You Don't Have to Give in to the Season of Overwhelm

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I looked at my calendar the other day and had a mild panic attack!I think I’m just about ready to enjoy Halloween, so clearly I’m feeling behind in life. And I know I’m not alone in this. If you’re in the midst of a job or career transition, it can feel even worse. When overwhelm kicks in, we can no longer see the forest for the trees (as my mother would say). All we can see is the giant mass of stuff to deal with. It gets hard to know which way to turn or what to do to get out. It’s tempting to just curl up in the fetal position, close your eyes, and hope it all sorts itself out.

But we also know in our hearts that is not the best or fastest way out. So what can you do to deal with overwhelm and get into action while bolstering your confidence?

Here are 5 steps you can take.

1 – Breathe.

That’s right. If you’re feeling overwhelmed the first thing to do is stop, close your eyes, and take a few (3 – 10) slow deep breaths. Give yourself a moment to clear your head and take in oxygen. This also moves your focus to the present moment.


2 – Make a list of everything that needs to be done or addressed.

Get the thoughts out of your head and onto paper where you can see them. Write it all down until there’s nothing left to write. Often the act of writing it all down brings a bit of relief. Plus, now you can organize and deal with the items on your list.


3 – Prioritize the list.

Now you can put the list into order. What do you have to deal with right now? What things can you put off? What items have deadlines? Organize your list into the order in which things need to be dealt with or completed.


4 – Break the high priority items into the smallest steps you can take.

Before you are tempted to take action, identify the smallest doable actions you can take. Taking action, any action, will help you feel more in control. But when you are overwhelmed, that can seem daunting. So break things into tiny action steps. Once you’ve done this, you are ready for step 5.


5 – Take the next tiny action.

Pick one of your top-priority, time-critical items. Review the list of small or tiny steps, pick one, and take your next tiny action. Then check it off the list. You can work your way through your list of next tiny actions, one at a time, as your time and energy allow.


Whew! I am already feeling better and seeing things more clearly. How about you? What tips do you have to manage the overwhelm that comes with this time of year, or with being in job or career transition? I’d love to read your comments below.



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Client Stories

What did you need at the time you hired Lori?

I wanted to work in my industry and didn't know how to progress any further than I was. I knew I had much experience that could be put in the industry of my choice but not how to parlay that experience. I needed guidance.

What did you and Lori do together?

Many, many things. Overall, to get clear in my mind what I offered and really what I wanted in a work environment. Every week was another epiphany after another. One of my favorites was the "knowing your core values". Having had some experience on this subject I was all ready to dive-in. Core Values is key. Knowing your core values. 

Lori makes it so easy to pinpoint. One time we were speaking about something else and we both realized...OMG...that is a core value for me. I hadn't written it down before, but discovered later that if ever a core value fit was the one I mentioned at that time.  Knowing that piece of information also answered a long standing question in my head.  One of the "why's" as to my constant upset with other places I had worked.

What were the results from working with Lori?

Many things. One is a great looking resume. I thought, wow, I look good and it was all from work I had already done elsewhere but didn't know how to say it or present it. Another is the clarity of knowing where I will feel good when I do work. What I really want and with the kind of people I really want to work with on a daily basis. This entire process is so valuable. The best money I ever spent and I am not kidding or exaggerating. I was only hoping it would be valuable and it really was valuable.< I know stuff and it has value and is marketable. Lori showed me those things and it gives me confidence.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Lori delivers above and beyond. The highest quality of exchange, 'more than you expected.' I told my friends this over and over: 'I wish I had her 10-20-even 30 years ago.' Every one, and I mean EVERYONE, needs a Lori. Her understanding,patience, how she problem solves, putting things in simple terms, was mind blowing. I wish I could that well. I present a problem and she could turn it around and yes...another epiphany.

Lori, is worth every penny. It isn't about a title. It is about enjoying everyday doing work you love with people you like and are like minded. You'll know what you are looking for when you interview.  I never say this, but I will say it here. Lori is a major key into the rest of my life doing what I always wanted to do. That is: Being happy doing what I do, everyday. Something I have been saying for years. Allowing be Sherlock.  Finding my people. They are out there and now I know what I am looking for in that respect.


Sherlock Ganz, Los Angeles, CA