When we’re going through a challenging period and overwhelmed with one problem after another it’s easy to give in to frustration and feel like giving in. Moving forward or even tackling your problems can appear to be an impossible task. Over the years I have noticed that if someone is feeling that their problems have blown out to impossible proportions they can automatically start to string drama and pain and disaster together, losing perspective in the process. Our brain is a brilliant machine which loves patterns but this natural way of processing information can be unhelpful when we are in crisis.
Let’s look at a sample scenario. You’ve just split up with someone, are having problems with a work colleague and what is even more frustrating you want to start your own business doing what you love, but never seem to have the time. On top of that a family member has health problems and then the phone rings and it’s a relative bringing up an old family argument you thought had been put to rest. When you leave to go to work you notice your car has a flat tyre which means you’re going to be late which translates into more conflict with your work colleague.
Now this is an extreme example but how do you deal with times like this where nothing seems to be going right? Do you end up feeling every day is like this? Do feel you are trapped in a destructive cycle that seems to take you over that you can’t escape? The way our mind works at such times is the key to us feeling hopeless, powerless and that life is a living nightmare. The example I’ve used is clearly someone going through a very hard time but how could they handle it so that it doesn’t totally drain them?
The good news is that when you change the way you perceive things everything around you changes. We have more power than we could possibly know and by taking charge of our thoughts that dictate our reality we can pull the puzzle apart and regain our power. Remember what I said about how our brains love patterns? We can use that trait to empower ourselves and sort out our problems by doing something called ‘chunking down’.
‘Chunking down’ is a term originally coined in NLP that has found its way into business leadership and also everyday life. So how does it work?
First you have to separate out your problems. Treat each problem as if it was your only one rather than focussing on everything that’s wrong. This way you keep your problems in perspective and as a result won’t feel overwhelmed or that your situation is hopeless. If we were to take the above example, this is how you would go about ‘chunking down’ the list so it becomes manageable again.
If you don’t know how to change a tyre then call a friend who does or else ring a local tyre company with a call-out service. Let’s face it – if you’re having a fabulous day a flat tyre is an inconvenience – not a disaster.
Separate yourself out from your family member being a pain. If they had called at a time when you were happy you would be aware of the fact they hold onto grudges and that this is the way they relate to everyone and therefore is not personal.
It’s natural to be worried when someone you love is going through an illness and it’s important to be supportive, but people do get ill and their illness isn’t a reflection of your terrible luck!
You need to understand that your work colleague’s behaviour may not be motivated by anything personal. Just like your relative they may be stuck in their ‘stuff’. Look at them with compassion and if this does not work for you then consider an official procedure to resolve matters such as mediation.
Of course, if your troublesome colleague is your boss or supervisor, it may not be that easy but having ‘chunked down’ your other problems you are now in a position to tackle the big one. Again, if you are trying to start a business or follow your dream during a crisis period the ‘chunking down’ principle still applies. Work out what steps you need to take to realise your dream and make a list. Then tackle them one at a time. People often ask me how I created this massive website with over 1000 personally recorded videos and thousands of articles. I did it by doing things ‘little and often’. So, if starting your own business is your dream but you feel you haven’t got the time or if you have begun but now feel overwhelmed by the task, chunk it down into small steps. Don’t forget – small steps can lead to crossing the globe!
Ticking off one tiny task each day builds the foundation for the future. Write a business plan and start off by describing what you love about your work. What is unique about you and your idea? Think outside of the box and be your own PR person and come up with how you can stamp your idea with your own creativity. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – you don’t have to have every skill you need – just the main one. Remember enthusiasm is contagious. Get excited about your business cards and website and get help designing one that really shows who you are.
When we separate out problems we become empowered rather than seeing them as a huge ugly lump of monster bad luck on a personal vendetta to ruin our lives! The more problems you solve the more you will reduce any remaining ones down to size and before you know it you will be well on the way to building your dreams.
What you believe you create. So choose to believe in a Universe that loves you and wants the very best for you.
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