Momentum Podcast: 887
End Holiday Overwhelm
by Alex Charfen
Join Alex in this podcast episode as he shares a personal journey of overcoming overwhelm, especially during the bustling holiday season. Discover the power of a simple 20-minute walk in transforming the pressures and noise of entrepreneurship into a confident stride.
In this episode, Alex outlines a practical three-step process to shift from overwhelm to confidence. From clarifying today and getting everything out of your head to creating a partially known outcome, these steps provide a clear path forward. Experience the physiological shift that accompanies this exercise, bringing clarity, momentum, and a sense of peace.
As the holiday season unfolds, discover the importance of admitting when you're overwhelmed and embracing an act of self-love and self-care. Whether you're an evolutionary hunter navigating the challenges of business or simply seeking tools to stay grounded during the holidays, this episode offers practical guidance for maintaining momentum and achieving success. Tune in and equip yourself with the tools to walk out of overwhelm and into a confident and clear state of mind. Here's to your momentum this holiday season and beyond!
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Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum podcast.
This is the Momentum podcast. It's the week after Thanksgiving. I am home in Austin after having visited my family in California. I feel like one of the topics that I should cover and always endeavor to cover the holiday during the holidays is how to get out of entrepreneurial overwhelm. This time of year carries with it a lot of celebration and fun and seeing family and traditions. But let's be real. It also carries with it a tremendous amount of overwhelm for a lot of us. There are additional things that we are responsible for. There's a lot of expectations during this time of year, and it is an easy time of year to get to the place where in the moment you are overwhelmed. And today, I want to share with you a strategy that's worked for me for hundreds of my clients, for my family, for entrepreneurial personality types all around the world, to get out of overwhelm in the moment and turn that overwhelm into a feeling of confidence and momentum.
I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum podcast. Made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution. And we always will be.
If you hear a little background noise on this podcast, it's because I'm in a park about to go into planning meetings with my team and I wanted to get outside and just move around a little bit. And for me, any time I'm feeling overwhelmed or pressure and noise, a walk is something that just changes everything for me. Just simply going for a walk can be a huge game changer. I've found that very few things in my life that are causing me pressure, noise or overwhelm can outlast a 20 minute walk. And this is what I do a lot of the time just to get out of overwhelm and get into momentum. But there are times where I get completely overwhelmed in the moment, especially during the holidays. It's usually a combination of things that I have to do for my business, things that I have to do for my family, expectations of what's going on around me. Just expectations around the holidays. And in the moment I'll get to the point where I feel constrained and stuck and I don't know what to do. And that is one of the most challenging feelings for us as entrepreneurial personality types. We are evolutionary hunters, and when we're not clear on what we're hunting, we're not clear on what we're going after. When there's too many things, too many directions we're going, we can feel pulled apart, we can feel unfocused, we can feel massive constraint and out of momentum.
And like I've shared before, when we're in constraint and we're out of momentum, we become triggered and reactive. It's difficult for us to see how to move forward. It's difficult for us to create momentum and the world itself can get frustrating. And what I found is that overwhelm in the moment is a pretty simple equation. Overwhelm comes from pressure and noise and an unknown outcome. In other words, we have a lot going on and we don't know what we're going to do next. And we're not clear on our next steps to move forward, create momentum and get back on the hunt and calm things down. And I share this exercise often because it literally changes everything in the moment. If we take that equation, pressure, noise and an unknown outcome creates overwhelm. This is what that means. It means that when we have high pressure noise, we don't know the next steps. That's where people like us get stuck and we feel frustrated and brain fogged, irritated and triggered and reactive. All things that are not productive for us as entrepreneurial personality types who are out doing things and changing things and changing the status quo and trying to move our lives forward. And so when we get to this place, it can be incredibly challenging to do anything. And what I found is that when I identify that I'm in this place, it's crucially important for me to go through an exercise to change my state. And here's what I do. I go for a 20 minute walk and I want to change that equation of pressure, noise and an unknown outcome so that I can take the overwhelm I'm feeling and moving into confidence. And here's how I do that. It's a pretty simple equation. In order to take overwhelm and moving into confidence, you have to do two things: clarify today and create a partially known outcome. And here's what those two things mean. One is get everything out of your head that is creating overwhelm. That's what I mean by clarify today. You know, a lot of times overwhelm for us is somewhat self inflicted by the way that our minds work. We're hunters, we want an outcome. We want to be moving forward. We want to be in momentum. We want to be making things happen. And when there's too much going on and too many choices that we're carrying around in our head, that ambiguity of what can do, what to do next can slow us down, make us feel constrained and make us feel like we're stuck in place. I know this feeling intimately, and I've learned that I can help my mind, my brain, my consciousness, get really clear by doing the following: I go for a 20 minute walk, I come back and I'm going to do this right. When I get back to my desk, I write down everything that is creating overwhelm, everything I write down that I need to get my head. And right now these are the things that are creating overwhelm for me. I need to make sure that we get my oldest daughter, Reagan, a car before her birthday this year, and we have some issues with her insurance, and the car that we had in California was backed into. I need to make sure it's taken care of. And there's stuff that we have for a Black Friday promotion that I need to take care of and on and on and on.
And what happens to us as entrepreneurial personality types, as evolutionary hunters when there's too many options, too many things, too many different issues banging around in our minds. It creates constraints, creates constraint, makes us feel like we're held in place. And that held in place feeling starts unraveling us as entrepreneurs. And so what I do is I make sure that I get clear on everything. And here's what I'm looking for. When I get down, I'm back to my desk and I start writing things down. I am looking for, and I am aware of, and I am anticipating a physiological shift out of overwhelm. And overwhelm is a feeling of fight or flight. Overwhelm is a feeling of constraint. When I start writing down all the things that are bothering me, I take them out of my mind, out of ambiguity, and I make them real on a sheet of paper. And doing that… once I get enough down, once I get it all on paper, it creates this feeling of peace and this shift in my physiology because I've created clarity. Clarity creates momentum. And a lack of clarity creates confusion and competition and constraint. And so as soon as I got everything on paper that's bothering me, I'll actually feel a shift. Then I look at it and I say, “Okay, what are the next few obvious things that I can do to move forward and create momentum?” I look at the sheet of paper and I start organizing. I say, “What should I do right now?” “What can I do later today?” “What is my partially known outcome?” And by partially known outcome, here's what I mean: We never know 100% of the steps we're going to take. In fact, as entrepreneurial personality types, we're usually planning our next few steps at a time towards a destination, towards an outcome. But rarely do we know every single step we're going to take, we just have to have those next few steps. And what happens for me is when I sit down, I clarify the day, write everything down, get everything out and feel that physiological shift. If for any reason I don't feel it, I go for another walk. Come back. Keep writing if I need to. I'll go for a third walk. Come back, keep writing until I feel that physiological shift. Until I can feel that something has changed in my physiology so that I feel calmer and I feel more clear. Then I start creating that partially known outcome. And here's what happens every time: the feelings of overwhelm become feelings of confidence. Because I have those next few steps. I'm an evolutionary hunter. If I'm clear on what I'm doing and I have the next few steps, I will attack them and get after them. I will get them done quickly. And that makes me feel momentum.
And so this time of year, it's almost inevitable that sooner or later you're going to feel some level of overwhelm when that happens. Walk. Make sure you move your body. It helps us process. Come back, clarify today, write down everything that's going on. And then step three, look at it and create a partially known outcome. What are the next few steps you need to take to move your life forward? To move things forward? To get out of overwhelm. This works. And this will help you stay in your body, stay present and aware, and eliminate trigger ability and reactivity during the holidays. And if you're like me, you may have to do this once or twice a week. If there's a lot going on, you might have to do this every morning for a few days just to get really clear and give yourself some space. But what I want to caution you against is when we are in overwhelm and we're feeling all of those feelings, and you have the brain fogged of overwhelm and the triggerability of overwhelm, the reactivity of overwhelm, and we try and go head down and make it work, even though we're overwhelmed. When we try and push through it, even though we're overwhelmed. When we try and just do things without creating clarity. First, what happens to me and what's happened to a lot of the people that I work with is it creates more overwhelm, it creates more constraint, it takes away more of our momentum and makes us feel like we're even more stuck. So this holiday season, admit to yourself when you're overwhelmed. This is an act of self-love and an act of self-care actually saying, “Hey, I feel it right now. I'm overwhelmed. I'm in that place where there's too much going on, feeling a little triggered, feeling a little reactive”. Be honest with yourself and go through this process and help yourself walk out of it. This is one of those things that now and forever will be an exercise that you can use to stay out of overwhelm and this holiday season and beyond.
If you're looking for a community where you can talk about these things, where people are sharing what's going on for them. Go check out our Facebook group. It's called Simple Operations: Operating Your Business Just Got Simple. But it's so much more than business operations. It's business operations. And you can ask questions about being an EPT. being an evolutionary hunter, getting stuck during the fourth quarter, what you're trying to achieve, what you're trying to accomplish. This is a community where you can get a ton of support. So go to our Facebook group. Simple Operations: Operating Your Business Just Got Simple. I'm looking forward to seeing you there. And remember this exercise if for any reason you feel overwhelmed during this holiday season. And I thank you for being a podcast listener. Thanks for being here with me today. Thanks for letting me share this with you. Here's to your momentum.