I was talking with a friend today and she said she was floundering. Floundering just sounds like such a bummer. I had visions of a fish out of water flopping around and gasping for air. I had to ask her what she meant by floundering. She said, no direction, all over the place, overwhelmed, not happy. It got me thinking about how we get to a place where we are flopping and gasping.
I have seen this over and over when working with clients. Not everyone calls it floundering but I think the end result is the same. I've come up with three roads that lead us to that point of gasping for air.
1. Too much thinking, too little action
When we have a huge "to do" list, and most of us do, it can be very easy to get overwhelmed by mentally carrying it all with you. We tend to spend more time thinking about our list of things and not actually doing them. What I recommend to my clients is to choose 3 action items per day that they WILL ABSOLUTELY DO. These items should be 3 things that are important for getting you to where you want to go. I'm not saying don't do anything else, but you must at least do these 3 things. When you successfully complete and cross off 3 things from your list each day, it give a huge sense of accomplishment and can give you the energy and excitement to complete even more.
2. Letting yesterday predict today
So you didn't follow through with your list yesterday? Does that mean you can't today? For many people it does. When we get in the pattern of letting ourselves down, we lose trust. We don't trust that we can accomplish what we set out to do. A perceived failure in the past does not have to dictate your future. Write out a list of "evidence" that you can follow through. List all the ways you did follow through and all the successes (no matter how small you think they are) you had in the past week.
3. Keeping it to yourself
How easy is it for you to ask for support? I'm guessing it's not so easy. Support can be anything from actually asking for help on a project to just venting to someone about what is going on. You are doing yourself no favor by internalizing your distress. Believe it or not, you have all your own answers. They are just sometimes covered up in all the crap we carry around with us in our heads. When you vent (not complain) to someone you trust, just hearing your own thoughts out loud can bring clarity. Make sure you vent to someone who can just listen and who isn't going to give you advice or try to "fix" things for you. This is where a good coach can come in handy. :)
If you are feeling like you're a fish flopping around, gasping for air, I encourage you to try my tips. Let me know how it goes.
Send me your specific questions and I'll do my best to respond!