It's easy to fall prey to the feelings of overwhelm, especially during the holiday season. So what do you do, when you are faced with seemingly unsurmountable problems that often come in multiples?
Before I attempt an answer, I want to first point out what happens with Introverts when faced with difficulty. It's natural to want to retreat in the form of procrastination, avoiding, denial and even anger (as in why me? why now? etc). The worst response is to meet a challenge with rumination, turning the problems over and over in our minds instead of addressing each one, one by one.
Earlier this summer, I faced a ton of overwhelm. I was healing from an ongoing medical issue, one of my cars needed the engine replaced which would cost thousands of dollars, income taxes came due and my daughter was entering college and needed help with tuition and books. Three huge hurdles that at the time, I could not see any possible way of resolving without lots of worrying and challenge. What I was really experiencing was fear, fear of the unknown. It was true that I did not have immediate solutions to each of my problems, I learned to calm my thinking and be open to all kinds of possible solutions.
The first myth is believing that we have to solve our problems all on our own, without asking for help (I am looking at myself here). No where does is it written that we have to take on the world by ourselves. It's not practical and in the end it's not efficient because sometimes, other people can figure things out on better then you can, if you let them.
At first, I tried to resolve all of the problems by myself because I am usually very good at that. I am a fixer by nature. But it was way too much for me to handle by myself. My husband is way more laid back when it comes to every-day challenges. He refused to get stressed out, a quality I admire. Instead, we decided to divide and conquer each problem. I found a great doctor who helped me heal from my medical issues. My husband knows much more about cars than I do, so after a lot of research he decided to replace the engine himself. He totally did it and saved us thousands of dollars in labor costs! We tackled the taxes together, each speaking with the IRS agent and worked out an affordable payment plan. Last was the college tuition and fees for my daughter. After lots of red tape and wrangling of the bursars office, tuition and fees were worked out and my daughter started her first semester this fall. Sigh. All three challenges were resolved, even when I felt like they never would.
Challenges can come to us in a big tangled mess. It's up to you to take a breath and realize that you have what you need to slowly tease out the knots and straighten everything out. Even when you can't see a solution, you must believe one exits, because it does. Do not let overwhelm block your vision and most importantly your action. Deal with one thing at a time and before you know it you will be on the other end, breathing with a sigh of relief.
Christian Marie Herron, is Story Mentor and Creative Consultant for entrepreneurs, thinkers and creatives.