If you’re feeling overwhelmed and struggle to say no, you’re not alone. Learn how to deal with feeling overwhelmed and learn some simple ways to graciously say no so you can avoid stress, work better within your business, and do more of what you love.
Why we get overwhelmed.
One of the biggest reasons we experience overwhelm is because we say yes too much. As entrepreneurs and team leaders, it’s critical to notice how often we say yes and dissect why we feel the way we do when we say no.
Here’s the problem: When we say yes to everything, we’re saying yes to requests that are both essential and non-essential, and soon we’re booked up and feeling overwhelmed because the non-essential things aren’t part of our role or purpose.
As much as we’d love to be the source of all wonderful things for all people, that’s just not possible.
So, even though you may love to help, first ask yourself:
- “Am I the right person?”
- “Is this something that is their responsibility or someone else’s?”
- “Am I going outside the bounds of my knowledge or capabilities?”
Learning to deal with feeling overwhelmed is extremely important for entrepreneurs, and it’s one of the things that Strategic Coach helps clients learn to handle. To do so, we have to first understand what actions are essential. Then, we learn to graciously say no—or “not yet”—to the rest.
How to deal with feeling overwhelmed.
It can be easy to blame others for our feeling overwhelmed.
“Everyone comes to me for everything!”
“Why can’t other people figure out how to get things done? Am I the only one?”
The truth is, we create our reality, and what we do to avoid feeling overwhelmed is our responsibility.
If your team always hears you say yes, or you don’t first empower and encourage their own resolutions, they simply won’t be used to resolving things before bringing them to you.
Just say no.
To avoid feeling overwhelmed, get nice and comfortable saying no. It’s a beautiful word that, frankly, needs to be a more significant part of our vocabulary—especially as entrepreneurs! See, if you say yes to any type of client, they may not be the right fit. Say yes to any business opportunity, and it may not be an opportunity at all. Any collaboration or deal can get messy when you realize your value systems don’t align (talk about feeling overwhelmed!).
Overwhelm is treatable, but when we say yes to too much of the wrong things, it’s a whole other beast. So, prevent messes before they start by knowing when to say no.
At Strategic Coach, we teach entrepreneurs how to deal with feeling overwhelmed and prevent it. First, we get clear on the best activities for you to do and not do. Second, we establish the people you want to work with in terms of both clientele and team. You also get clear on the types of products, services, and experiences you want to create for people, so there’s no feeling overwhelmed due to uncertainty.
When you have standards and qualifications, the right people jump in your boat, and the wrong people stay away. As a result, you’ll reduce some of the complexity—and resulting overwhelm—in your business.
The first step in dealing with feeling overwhelmed is to understand that you cannot be all things to all people all the time.
Instead, you recognize that there’s a specific way you create value and then address a particular type of issue for people. That way, you can become an expert, be superb, and know this sliver of the marketplace extraordinarily well. You can take excellent care of your clientele and not worry about being all things to everyone else.
Ways to say no.
It’s essential to learn gracious ways to say no when learning how to deal with feeling overwhelmed so you can feel good, focus, do your best work, create more value, and provide the best solutions possible.
Here are some examples:
“It’s interesting, I’m intrigued, but it doesn’t fit in with my priorities.”
“Is there another strategy?”
“I’m fully committed. Is there another strategy that we could figure out to get this done?”
“I’m not sure that’s the best use of my time right now.”
“What you’re asking me to do is outside of my expertise.” (Then, direct them to the right person.)
“What help do you need from me?”
“Is there some information that I could provide instead that would help you handle this?”
You can also say, “Not yet” to avoid feeling overwhelmed. This can sound like, “That’s interesting, but I wouldn’t be able to get to it for at least three weeks. Since that won’t meet your time frame, can I help you think it through?”
Sometimes, people just want to know whether you can provide immediate assistance. If the answer is no, then they’ll go somewhere else, and you don’t have to feel guilty about it. Now, if it’s what you love to do and it’s what you get paid for, saying no may not make sense. But in any other case, think it over to prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed down the road.
When you say no to the things that don’t align, you make room for saying yes when the right things come your way. So, protect that, not just to avoid feeling overwhelmed, but to build an aligned life filled with passion, purpose, and more of what you love.
If you’d like to learn more about how to prevent and deal with feeling overwhelmed in business, grab your copy of The Team Success Handbook.