Feeling Overwhelmed? That’s Your Fear Talking

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Welcome back!

We’ve been talking about different symptoms of fear so that you can learn to recognize them. Here’s another one: Feeling overwhelmed.

Now, this one manifests itself in several ways, including:

  • Anxiety. Here’s where you actually experience the feeling of being overwhelmed, to the point you may feel anxious. You may feel stressed out, which can lead to problems like headaches, digestion problems and problems sleeping. This is the most severe scenario, so very people actually feel clinically anxious like this.
  • Mild feeling of being overwhelmed. This feeling is more common. People look at their goals and their “to do” list and they get the feeling of being overwhelmed. They may not know where to start. They may start on one step and then flit to another item on their to-do list, since feeling overwhelmed can lead to indecisiveness.

One common result of feeling overwhelmed is referred to as “analysis paralysis.” This is where the person starts off reading and learning about a topic before she actually tries it for herself. So far, so good.

However, this student never tries to apply what she’s learning about. Instead, she keeps reading more and more. Often she’ll read contradicting theories that get her confused. At other times, it seems like all steps in a particular process are important, so this student won’t know where to start. Eventually, analysis paralysis takes over and she doesn’t take any action at all.

For example:

  • The aspiring entrepreneur can’t decide which is the best business model.
  • The online marketer can’t decide whether to start with pay per click marketing, affiliate marketing, search engine optimization, content marketing or other strategies.
  • The aspiring writer can’t decide whether to write a horror, adventure or romance novel.
  • And so on. In nearly any venture that requires several steps and/or some degree of knowledge, there’s a chance that the person will simply stop taking action because he feels overwhelmed.
  • Here are some tips to combat this feeling of being overwhelmed:
  • Find out from experts where is the best place to start. If you’re prone to analysis paralysis, don’t read everything you can get your hands on. Instead, go to a top expert in the field and find out where to start. Then follow the advice you receive.
  • Get an overview of the process. Next, learn what you can about the process, but ideally learn it from one point of view. Remember, you’ve already heard from an expert about where to start – don’t get confused or overwhelmed by looking at multiple sources.
  • Pick one thing, focus, and get it done. Once you know how to do something, you may follow up to get more information about the step you’re about to take. Focus on that step and then just get it done. Don’t worry if you did it right or if it’s perfect, because you can always fix it later if need be (though you probably won’t have to).

Here’s the bottom line: Take action. Just put one foot in front of the other, even if it’s a tiny step. Just the act of moving forward (even with a baby step) will give you the momentum you need to brush away your fears and ignore your feelings of being overwhelmed.

That’s it for this time. Next time you’ll find out if you have a grasshopper mind!

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