The 9 Possibilities©

When you’re overwhelmed or anxious because you feel don’t have ‘enough time’, or you're finding it hard to think clearly about what to do or where to start, then take a moment to look into why you might be overwhelmed. It may not be about time at all!

When Overwhelm hits you, you know it.  It is different for each person, some become anxious, some breathless, some yawn and find it hard to stay awake, others cry, some scream, others get sick, some call it stress, others procrastination. Whatever your personal response, everyone knows what its like to be in a state of overwhelm. And once you’re in it it can be hard to find your way out.

1. Physical Needs

The mental or emotional OVERWHELM could simply be a sign that you need to pay attention to your body.

•           Movement

            Are you using your body? Don’t miss an opportunity to move: run, walk, swim, jump

•           Hydration

            When was the last time you had a drink of water?

•           Sustenance

            Are you eating regularly? Are you eating food that nourishes you?

•           Rest

Are you sleeping properly? Rather than working late, try going to bed before10.00 and working in the early hours ofthe morning?

•           Still

Are you allowing your mind to become still. Try meditating, or walking outside and lookat the sky, or simply taking a few slow quiet breaths.

•           Cycle (for women)

Are you taking care of your body throughout the menstrual cycle (especially pre menstrually)?

2. Research

Sometimes OVERWHELM is the mind’s way of letting us know that we don’t have enough facts to make a move and/or we need to clarify the validity of the information we already possess.

  • What do I need to know ?
  • What facts/data do I have so far?

3. Emotions

Sometimes the task itself may be quite do-able but it is surrounded by a highly charged emotional field. In such a case, the task and the emotions can become fused, making it seem as though both are the same..

  • What do I really feel about it ?

4. Communication

Sometimes we experience OVERWHELM because we have something important to say but don’t feel we are capable of succeeding with the communication or that we have a right to say what we feel.

  • If you are unsuccessful it may be simply that you need to adjustthe environment,  recipient, time or communication medium.

5. Dreams/Passions

Sometimes the OVERWHELM is a symptom that we have been repressing what our heart really desires, or the goal we really seek. This may be because we believe it is unattainable or that we don’t deserve it.

What do I really want to achieve if anything were possible?

6. Learn

Sometimes, especially when we’re older, we believe that we should already know things without having to be taught. This can mean we can be caught in a situation where we feel we are expected to know and are afraid to admit that we don’t know.

  • What stops you admitting that you don’t know?

7. Layers

Sometimes we feel OVERWHELM because we think our anxiety is a reaction to one area of our life, and in fact it belongs somewhere else.

  • In such a situation it is important to ‘trace the anxiety’ back to it’s origin. Once we take responsibility for the true source of the anxiety then we can return to the original issue and see more clearly what needs to be done..

8. Addiction

Sometimes we develop strategies of avoidance which end up becoming more complex than the issue we are avoiding.

An addiction for example is a patterned response designed to avoid pain (emotional, mental, physical). Sometimes these patterns can control us to the extent that we are unable to deal with the real issues underlying them.

  • In such a situation, where the avoidance strategy is, itself unmanageable, it isimportant to understand that you can seek professional support to break the pattern.

9. Power Games

Sometimes ‘being overwhelmed’ is a way of exerting power or influence over those around us.  It can be used as a passive form of controlling others, by creating a situation where others are compelled to help. This form of convenient OVERWHELM can provide you with a temporary feeling of being in control but it doesn’t last. Soon the people around you will begin to feel manipulated and resentful.

  • Underlying this form of OVERWHELM is the avoidance of honest communication-taking responsibility for your needs and even asking for help before you become overwhelmed.

The 9 Possibilities© are part of the Organic Time Management® System and are most effective when used with the other elements of the system