"Stress," "demands," "pressure." These are the words that come up on repeat during my workshops with entrepreneurs, CEOs, startup execs, and other leaders.
Since stress does not discriminate, most people have experienced feeling like they've lost control in a stressful situation where relentless demands become overwhelming.
To reclaim your life from this pressure, I offer a powerfully simple system. The first step is to ask yourself these three questions:
1. What do I need to stop?
What's keeping you stuck? Maybe you need to stop working 24 hours a day. Maybe you need to stop eating unhealthy food, or give up a bad habit or toxic relationship. Maybe you need to stop magical thinking or expecting someone else to make your problems go away.
Identify the things that aren't working, and challenge yourself to stop them. When you stop the meaningless tasks, the fruitless relationships, the busyness, you make room for things that are more aligned with what you really want.
2. What do I need to start?
What improvements do you need to add to your life? Maybe you require time for reflection, added time for friends or more time for pursuits that matter to you. The more you start giving yourself what you want and require, the less stress you'll feel. Start finding ways that give to yourself.
Identify the actions and priorities that feed your vision. If you need to, spend time in deep thought or meditation, to discover what they are. Then start implementing them today.
3. What do I need to do more of?
When you're already overwhelmed, more of anything may sound like the last thing you want. But there are things we all need more of: gratitude, love, respect, trust, connection, meaning.
The more you cultivate the things that make you feel good, the things that fulfill you, the less room you'll have for stress and feeling overwhelmed. It's that simple.
Feeling overwhelmed is life's way of telling us it's time to slow down, to take stock.
By following these simple steps when life starts spinning out of control, you'll be able to keep what truly matter to you, in check. And when you hone in on what truly matters, you can handle anything that comes your way.