What Overwhelms You?

This blog is about how to get your story out there. It’s designed for filmmakers, writers, pastors, musicians, business and nonprofit leaders – anyone who has an idea or story burning in their heart that they need to share. But one of the greatest obstacles to getting your story out there is becoming overwhelmed with the process.

It happens to me when I’m balancing too many things, and get the sneaky suspicion that there’s something important to do that I’ve forgotten about. It usually comes when I haven’t been paying attention to my priorities, am over-stretched, and not taken a close look at my to-do list. When that happens, I usually get a wave of negative feelings, I find it tough to concentrate, I can’t write, and feel like I have to get away. I can see a meltdown coming in the distance.

The bad news is that I hate that feeling. It eats away inside like cancer, and I feel completely helpless and anxious. The good news is that I know what causes it, so I can see it coming. As a result, I know what steps to take to alleviate it, and get things calm again.

What about you? Have you taken the time to identify the red flags that lead you to become overwhelmed? Until you do, you’ll continue to get caught in the death spiral, and it usually happens at the most inopportune times – in client meetings, before deadlines, or in front of co-workers. Without intervention, over a period of time, these moments often lead to complete burn-out in a career.

Note that I’m not talking about serious depression or anxiety issues. Those need to be dealt with through a qualified professional. I’m talking about those moments when you simply feel overwhelmed, have hit a wall, and your creativity, productivity, and output bottoms out.

Know yourself. Learn to see it coming. Take the right steps to avert it. Because righting the ship during those challenging times can often lead to your greatest creative breakthroughs.

When it comes to getting things accomplished, what are some of the things that overwhelm you?

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Phil Cooke, Ph.D, is a filmmaker, media consultant, and founder of Cooke Media Group in Los Angeles, California. His latest book is “Ideas on a Deadline: How to Be Creative When the Clock is Ticking." Find out more at philcooke.com.