I was going to write some kind of dreamy prose on this, something sweet enough that it could almost be a pink-tinted Instagram picture.

But then I laughed and typed, “Overwhelm sucks.” At least, experiencing it does. Why make it any more or less straightforward than that?

Most people who are talking with me about overwhelm share some variation of the following:

“I’m tired of starting each day with a focus, and then getting caught up in distractions.”
“I want to stop freezing up when feelings of overwhelm happen.”
“I keep putting huge expectations on myself.”
“How can I finally stick with things?”
“There’s always more and more to do, but with less and less time.”

 

These are the voices of overwhelm. This is what it sounds like, and it’s exhausting. When client after client shared with me that they felt this way, I created Breathing Space, a unique once-a-year course that’s about releasing overwhelm so that you can get to feeling more ease, more connection, and ultimately, more confidence in your life.

Oh, and some side benefits of working through overwhelm? Greater productivity and focus.

The tricky part with shifting overwhelm, is this: we can’t shift those spaces by just implementing a new “time management strategy.” Having a lot to do isn’t the whole problem, and most of us know at least one person who has a lot to do but who manages it with less overwhelm.

If you’re going to crack overwhelm, you’ve got to examine three pieces: feelings, belief systems, and self-talk.

This is exactly the point where I appreciate the work of Dr. Brene Brown, who has given us clear research to back up what personal growth types have been saying for years:

“You can’t get to courage, without vulnerability.”

breathing space e-course overwhelm Color coding your files? Time-hacking your life, a la’ the Four-Hour WorkWeek? Finding the new scheduling app for your mobile device that perfectly organizes every life category?

These are all helpful–but they don’t stop overwhelm. Overwhelm is a flavor of fear, and fear requires courageous practices to work through it and past it, not to side-step it.

If you’re interested in joining or learning more about Breathing Space, click here: http://www.yourcourageouslife.com/breathing-space

This is the only circle of Breathing Space that I’ll be running this year.

Past participants said:

“The practices that Kate offered us to do each week were not time-consuming–thank goodness!–but were very thought-provoking and shape shifting. They were simple practices with the potential for big impact.”

I didn’t have to work hard to get results in the class, but it seemed to work all on its own, like an elixir whose healthful benefits are felt long after I’ve finished sipping.”

“Kate, you did a wonderful job of providing us with great support around saying ‘no’ and creating space and time to think about our responses before we automatically said ‘yes.’ It was helpful to have a dialogue around what the inner critic says…and being able to practice that in a group was fantastic!”

I am better able to let go of expectation around what I take on each day and what I set out to accomplish. I am able to recognize the things that are contributing to overwhelm and better equipped to move through it.”

“Kate, your leadership was so amazing. This group has seriously been a life-changing experience for me. Your ability to listen closely and provide amazing individual coaching within the group in a way that allowed all of us to learn from each other was truly fantastic.”