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Amira McLaughlin

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Feeling Overwhelmed? Learn how to take steps from a baby

Before a baby begins to walk, months after being born, there are stages he or she must undergo. Learning how to be in a new world different from the comfort of the womb can possibly be overwhelming. I would not know for sure, I cannot remember what it was like to be a baby. However, from my experience as a parent, now grandparent, I can tell you, the whole process seems to be stressful. But the little ones are equipped with the master process upon entering this world: You take one baby step at a time. Before you know it, you are rolling, crawling, standing, falling, walking (then, at last, running). They can teach us a thing or two about overcoming obstacles and navigating change.

Sometimes the biggest obstacle we face in moving forward after a crisis or major change has occurred in our life is our own sense of overwhelm. It’s scary to wonder where to go from here or how to dig ourselves out of a tough situation. It often seems easier to do nothing or to wallow in self-pity. I’m not judging you if you’ve found yourself in this position. I believe we probably all have been there at one time or another. Sometimes it just all seems like too much. That’s when you have to implement a plan of action. Even taking one tiny step toward change is a start. Keep reading to learn how you can stop the overwhelm by setting smaller goals you can more readily attain — take baby steps. 

Break It Down

I shared with you yesterday how journaling can help get your worries out of your head so that you can start to face them head-on. Brainstorming works much the same way. Take some time to write down all of the ideas you have for ways you can move ahead in your current situation. No matter how small or how far-fetched, just get them out. Then begin to break it all down into tangible, manageable and realistic steps you can actually take to overcome your problem. This act alone may help you to feel less stress and more hopeful, as you can now see the possibilities that may have been blurred before. 

Set Milestones

Next, you’ll want to set some milestones or checkpoints to help to keep yourself on track. Again, consider taking baby steps to help you overcome the overwhelm by setting your check-ins fairly regularly. Making your first goal post something readily attainable will help to increase your confidence, as well as your motivation to make it to the next milestone. Creating these assessment points also forces you to develop some sort of plan for your goal, rather than just hoping things will get better. 

Review Regularly

Take time to regularly review your original goal in order to be sure it’s still working for you or that you’re even still on the right path. Sometimes we find ourselves set on achieving something that’s no longer in our best interests simply because we’re too stubborn or scared to assess our circumstances. Reflect honestly on where you’re going looking back on the milestones you’ve passed so far. If it feels right in your gut, keep on keeping on. Should something seem off or if you’re not making the progress you’d hoped, go back to the drawing board. Take notes on your situation, jotting down your ultimate desire and brainstorming steps to help you attain it. Then begin anew with your revised game plan. 

Doing something is almost always better than doing nothing. This is true when facing times of change, for sure. Follow these suggestions for gaining control over the obstacles in your life and moving ahead one baby step at a time. You’ll soon see that what you want can be achieved and your troubles can be overcome.

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