Overwhelmed By Stress? Do ThisJun 03, 2023
We all go through phases where life feels overwhelming and chaotic.
The year 2021 was such a time for me:
I hit a wall while preparing for that year’s powerlifting nationals and trying everything I could to grow my business.
The stress became unbearable, and I found myself stuck, unable to move forward in both areas of my life.
For the first time in 10 years, I’d dread the gym and my business seemed to have come to a standstill.
I felt lost, burnt out, and miserable.
You probably know situations like these and how challenging they can be.
However, there’s a positive side:
Chaos brings opportunities for growth and transformation – if you know how to handle it.
As Nobel-prize winner Ilya Prigogine puts it:
“We grow in direct proportion to the amount of chaos we can sustain and dissipate”
You need to be able to adapt and handle it, especially if you’re an entrepreneur.
In this article, I will share a 5-step framework to help you navigate and thrive in such circumstances.
Continue reading and discover how to transform chaos into personal triumph.
1 - Release:
The first step in getting out of a rut is to create space and relief for yourself.
Stress, in its essence, is a signal from your body that it perceives a threat to your survival.
You must release this immediate stress.
Don’t try to force yourself through it – you will only make it worse.
Be compassionate with yourself and avoid self-blame.
Recognize the aspects of your life that drain your energy and take deliberate steps to distance yourself from them.
Reach out to supportive individuals who can help you navigate this phase.
Seek ways to replenish your energy.
For me, this includes:
- Spending time in nature
- Journaling my thoughts
- Taking time off work, even if it’s uncomfortable
It’s crucial that you do this.
Otherwise, you’ll just pile up more and more stress and dig yourself into an even deeper hole.
2 - Acknowledgement:
Once you have released the immediate stress, acknowledge your current reality.
This may seem counterintuitive if you dislike your current situation.
Yet, it’s essential for change.
You might have heard the saying “What you resist, persists” - and it’s true.
When you resist or deny your current circumstances, you inadvertently give them more power.
Acknowledging doesn’t mean resignation - it means facing reality.
Take responsibility for your role in creating your situation.
Again, this isn’t about blaming yourself.
It’s about regaining a sense of control and perspective, which allows you to reorient for the future.
Without self-responsibility, you’re powerless.
3 - Reorientation:
„The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result“ – Albert Einstein
Reorientation is the phase where you learn from chaos and find new directions.
It is essential to avoid repeating the same patterns that led to the rut.
Identify what got you there and recognize what has to change.
I realized that I couldn't simultaneously prioritize powerlifting competitions and business growth.
This experience also helped me realize how big of an obstacle stress is to achieve your fitness goals.
Awareness that led to the creation of the Strong Entrepreneur Program.
Identify energy-draining habits that need to be released.
Define worthy goals that inspire you to move forward.
Recognize what you are no longer willing to tolerate.
4 - Commitment:
Our brains love familiarity, making it difficult to let go of destructive habits and patterns.
That’s why you feel resistance towards change, even though you know it would be good for you.
In his book „Breaking the Habit of being yourself“, Joe Dispenza writes about how we get addicted to the chemicals our body releases as a response to stress.
Lasting change requires a commitment to a new reality - a promise you make to yourself.
It is not enough to simply desire change; you must actively choose it every day.
Embrace the discomfort that arises as you step outside your comfort zone.
Know it’s an integral part of the growth process.
The conscious choice will evolve into an ingrained habit that creates a new reality for you.
5 – Ride the wave:
Now it’s time to ride the momentum you’ve built, without hitting the wall again.
Remember that nothing worthwhile is ever built in one sprint.
Treat your goals like a muscle and use the principle of Progressive Overload (read HERE for an in-depth article on this topic):
Set challenges that move you forward, and balance them with recovery.
Trying to “grind out” everything as quickly as possible might give you faster results initially, but you’ll burn out just as quickly.
Establish recovery strategies and stick to them before you run out of energy.
Don't wait until you reach the point of burnout before taking a break.
That way, you can ride the wave of momentum much longer and you’ll avoid falling into the rut again.
If you’re in a rut, make sure to get some relief first.
Engage in activities that revitalize you, reach out to supportive people, and distance yourself from energy drainers as much as you can.
Next, acknowledge your current situation and take responsibility.
Responsibility is not about blaming yourself or beating yourself up.
It‘s simply looking for the most powerful choices you have available right now.
Reorient yourself and look for new opportunities.
This is often the time when your goals adjust.
Commit to this reality once you have clarity about new, inspiring goals.
Recognize that your instinct is to go for the familiar, which is why you need to make a conscious choice every day.
Aim to ride your momentum as long as possible by setting challenges that grow you and balance them with recovery.
Recover before you start feeling exhausted to avoid repeating the same rut.
If you want to learn more about how to handle stress effectively so that you can finally reach your dream physique, click the link to get personalized help.
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