Loving Limits – The Personal Leadership Way to Lift Overwhelm

limit your overwhelm

Overwhelm:” Too little time and too much to think about, to feel or to do”

Overwhelm isn’t necessary. It happens when we don’t set limits.”

Given your limited amount of time, energy and resources, you have the opportunity to make decisions,  set priorities and make progress by using a practice of focusing in on what is most important and limiting the rest.   Two things are important here.  1) The way you think about time and 2) How you lead yourself.

Successful momentum comes out of your ability to limit the number of things in focus – especially those that cannot be achieved or started in the immediate future.

Putting limits on what you will and will not focus on, for any given period helps you lead yourself better.

No more would you lose connection with your heart’s knowing and let your mind overrun things, and make you attempt to be all things to all people. Limiting things allows you to focus on incremental and measured movement instead of trying make change all in one swoosh!

“No more do you need to feel scattered, isolated or confused.”

 Worry and Anxiety be banished! …Catch your breath and limit yourself to the present”

Here are a few ideas of things you might limit:

  1. Your time
  2. Your focus
  3. Your Agreements

1.      Ways you might limit your time:

  • The amount of time you take to make a decision.
  • The amount of time you spend doing activities: reading, watching TV, eating, and interacting with social media.
  • The amount of time you “give away” to serve other’s dreams, wants and desires.
  • The amount of time you worry.
  • The amount of time you sit without taking a break.
  • The amount of time you break without down sitting ( avoiding what needs to be done).
  • The amount of time you analyze a problem.
  • The amount of time you tell a story about a problem (stuck spending time orientated in the past).

2.     Ways you might limit your focus:

  • Identify 3 things you want to move forward that day, and commit to moving them forward!
  • Break things down in to small 20 to 50 minute tasks.
  • Make a promise to yourself you will not “go down any tunnels” or side shoots while you are working on a project.
  • Create habits for yourself – so that your focus can be “repetitive,” so that you can gain mastery and limit the drain causes.
  • Get rid of any distractions in your environment. If you have clutter around you – chances are – it’s affecting your ability to focus and it could just be contributing to that overwhelm.
  • Keep what INSPIRES you – close to you. The closer your inspiration is – the faster you can use it
  • Focus on getting needs met before focusing on wants. Trying to have it all – might be just giving you ALL this overwhelm. Make priority choices
  • Stay realistic. Spending too much time dreaming without grounding that dream into reality can keep things out of touch.
  • Ask for help. Bring in others and assign them a focus to help move

3.     Ways you can limit your agreements:

Identify what it is you really want to say yes too. Everything else has its place. For example, if   something you are doing is not on your YES list and you are still doing it, be very clear about why. Sometimes it takes courage to look at what might choose to “stop” doing.

For example could you say no to:

  • Saying yes automatically?
  • Saying yes to invites to dinner parties or activities (When they get in the way of what YOU want)?
  • Telling stories or retelling conversations?
  • Putting to many things on your to-do list?
  • Refusing to ask?
  • Eating something that is unhealthy for you?
  • Collecting things on to your ‘resentment pile”
  • Not leaving enough time in your schedule to take a nap or otherwise rejuvenate or recharge.

Freedom means less without a balance of structure and limits.

Instead, you love setting limits so you can enjoy your freedom more. Spend the rest of your time, energy and resources on things that are most meaningful to you.


4 Daily Practices for Lightening up Your Personal Leadership Style

Here are 4 daily habits that can assist you in experiencing more lightness:

1. Be impeccably mindful of time

There is nothing that takes away the sense of lightness of being faster – than having to rush to an appointment, fret that you will be late – and then run in huffing and puffing  just to find out that you just made it – or you are a few minutes late.      Lightness of being around time, is to give yourself enough time and energy to enjoy the journey – breathe and rest before – and know you are early for your appointment. Being well prepared for your appointments also brings lightness when your energy can then be directed where it is most effective instead of in the chaos of rubbing up against a time deadline.

Being more fully aware of time for some this is a natural gift – and for others it is one of those things to choose to be conscious about.    If you are one of those folks that gets caught up in what you are doing and you loose track of time – you may want to set up small structures to support you to be mindful of time. (alarms, notes , egg timers, mindful bells.)

There is also a mind shift to make here – from being “right on time” to being 5 minutes early is on time.  It’s a subtle shift to make – but it is an inspiring one.

2. Listen for deep understanding and double your curiosity

There is a dramatic difference between listening to respond and listening to understand.

You can test this out for yourself  the next time you are in a conversation with someone.  Are you already formulating what you next need to say – before the other person has finished what they are saying?  If so – that is a good clue that you are not yet skilled at listening for understanding.   One way of practicing this is to wait till the other person is finished – and then ask a question to expand more about what they have said.    Listen for there response and then – only then – formulate your next words.    One of the things that makes this easier to do is to realize  you can think a lot faster than you believe you already do.

3. Watch Your Language

The language we use has amazing power, and often more power than we realize.  If you are a sensitive soul you may already recognize this.   For example using language that expresses angry, harm, war or aggression has an effect on the energy of people.   For example: “let’s hit that target” vs “let’s reach our goals”  . I am sure you could identify a list of things you use in your every day language…..   The key here is to recognize that for some there is a dramatic difference on how they internalize the language.  To increase your lightness – consciously try using softer, kinder, more loving  phraseology and see if you notice a difference in your own lightness or in the lightness of those around you.

4. Look for the best of what is  – instead of  what is not working

Taking an appreciative view and way is one good way to lighten up your leadership style.  There is still an accepted expectation out there in the world for us to look for what isn’t working – look for the gaps in things – and then try to fix them.  Instead – try a perspective of leveraging what is already working extremely well – and then leap frog from there to what would be ideal.  It accomplishes the same innovation – without the energy of focusing on the negative. It’s a lighter approach that inspires.