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Overcoming Overwhelm

brain training focus mindset overwhelm Jan 30, 2020


It is very common to hear people describe themselves as feeling 'overwhelmed'. 

This often happens when they have just committed to going bigger, doing something new and stretching themselves to be, do or have more in their life.


Here's the thing: overwhelm is your brain trying to keep you safe. 


Let me give you a pretty blunt example from my own recent experience.


A Personal Experience

I was in France recently on holiday, staying in a lodge in the depths of the countryside by a lake. The power went out on day 2, so we spent most of the week without power, heat, wifi or indeed with a straightforward way to keep our devices charged... and it was bliss.

In the midst of that, I was thinking through this year and the VIPs I am working with and will be adding more of to my schedule, as well as my existing fabulous clients in my membership community, writing my first book and planning the luxury retreats I will have...

At some point, I began to feel overwhelmed.

It all felt so big, so much that is new and so many things that I don't know from past experience that I can succeed at. I believe I can, but I don't have the reassurance of past successes yet.

As I was feeling overwhelmed, I really felt like God went:

' "overwhelmed" is a comfort blanket- you need to recognise it as such and not buy into it'...


Now I'm not shaming you if you're dealing with overwhelm, the feeling is real and it's horrible. I do, however, want to share with you what this spiritual 2x4 to the head taught me.


The Choice

What I realised (or was struck by!) was that whilst yes, my brain senses risk and wants to retreat under the duvet to what is familiar and what I KNOW I can succeed at... BUT. That is not what I am being called to do.

That is not the way I help more people. That is not the way I model courage for others. It is certainly not the way I get to experience the wild ride that living by faith is.

I can have my comfort blanket of overwhelm and retreat back into what my brain recognises as 'safe' and under control, OR I can have a word with my brain, recognise that it is trying to keep me safe by avoiding risk, but also realise that there is no magic or miracle to be experienced from the safety of my comfort blanket. 

And the same is true for you.


A Non-Negotiable

If you want to live bigger, bolder, braver this year, it IS going to involve times when you feel uncomfortable, or downright out of your depth.

That doesn't make you wrong to feel that way or to press on in spite of that feeling. Everything new and big can feel scary.

If you're continuing to grow and change, it's not that fear leaves you, you just learn not to let it define or dictate your actions. It's always on the journey with you, in the car as it were. The difference is, you just don't let it drive.

Overwhelm is a way that your brain keeps you safe from trying new things or risking failure. It is often effective, it is common, and it does not have to win the day. You can choose to recognise it for what it is, honour that your brain is trying to keep you safe, and then decide what actions make most sense for you to take, however small, to move forward.


Ask Yourself

  • If you are feeling overwhelmed today, what is overwhelm keeping you safe from?
  • What has it stopped you doing that would take you out of your comfort zone?
  • How do you feel about that?
  • What do you want to do in light of this awareness?


Overwhelm does not have to have the last word. You can CHOOSE how to recognise it, how to understand what your brain is interpreting as risk, and to decide to act first and let your feelings catch up. 

Overwhelm does not have to dictate whether you make progress or not. That is up to you. The choice is yours!


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Dr. Kathrine is a high performance mindset coach with entrepreneurial and sporting clients worldwide. Founder of Mind to Win and Creator of Mental Mastery, she has built successful businesses in the entertainment, pet and coaching industries and is a dynamic keynote speaker whose seminars are in-demand internationally. She has been featured in media such as Thrive Global, Richtopia, Clean Run, Agility Voice, Social Bee and Leadership Voices. Her first book will be published in 2020.   For more on Dr. Kathrine, please go to: