Sometimes work, life even, can feel overwhelming. You know those times when everything seems to go wrong, people oppose your ideas, you feel thwarted at every turn, like you cannot go on?

I know I’m making that sound dramatic – but when you are in the middle of it, it FEELS dramatic. You left logic and rational thinking some way back down the road, you’re in overload and stress (or the physiological state associated with it) and that is driving the bus!

NEVER GIVE UP. This is the very time to hold on, just because things are not going right just now doesn’t mean that they never will. Your attitude, resilience and flexibility are key. Being able to keep some perspective, looking at the situation and what you have control over and starting there. Just because things are not working out right now doesn’t mean you are a failure.

But when you see yourself as a failure, or you blame yourself and those around you, or you encase yourself in negativity and defeat, it’s just too easy to become consumed by your ‘mistakes’ or shortcomings to the extent that they become part of your story, part of who you are. This is a hard cycle to break.

What can you do to make it better?

  1. First, know that nothing is constant, everything changes – good things and bad things, even if you do nothing. The trick here is to decide what will affect the situation in a positive way, what preserves your sense of self, your confidence and reduces the overwhelm, and start there.
  1. If you are overloaded and stressed, stop. I know it sounds counterintuitive but you need to redress the physiological imbalance, even temporarily, to enable some perspective and clarity to return. Often even a few hours away from a situation: a walk, a coffee with friends, whatever, re-connects you with your bigger self.
  1. Look at the circumstances – is this temporary, is it worth riding it out, or are you on the wrong track? If it’s the later be flexible enough to change direction without worrying about losing face, or what others think. At this point what you do to yourself is far more important. Be brave enough to persevere or to learn what you need to learn, then let go.
  1. Know the longer-term impact is more important than your immediate reaction. This is where the stories you tell yourself are critical. If you believe you can’t do something or that things always go wrong for you, then that is what you are focussed on, that is what you expect and, unsurprisingly, that is what you create. Similarly, if you focus on what you want, what you believe you can do, and what you learned, you are in a much better position for success.
  1. Take responsibility. Remember to focus on what you can control, not to blame others, (even if they are part of the problem), and don’t spend too much time ‘thinking’ – action is what changes things.
  1. Enlist help where you need it. This might be practical help with the volume of things you’re facing – work or domestic, financial help, mentorship or expert support, or emotional support from those closest to you. Most people don’t get help because they don’t ask!

In short, never give up on yourself. Things change and you are far more likely to regret the dream you never pursued and the mediocrity you settled for than the mistakes or disappointments you may encounter along the way.

Be Brave.