Tracey was a business coach who worked with women-owned businesses. She loved helping female entrepreneurs grow their businesses so they could help more people with their genius.
After a few years in business, Tracey found herself feeling different. She’d go to her computer to start work for the day, and instead of accomplishing anything, she stared at the screen. She had a to-do list overflowing with tasks and requests from new clients for potential contracts. But she still couldn’t seem to do anything.
When she complained about it to a colleague, the other woman suggested that perhaps Tracey wasn’t motivated. Maybe she was, in fact, overwhelmed with her business.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in business, what type of clients you serve, or even the contracts you take on. Any entrepreneur can become overwhelmed in their business.
Here are 12 signs it might be happening to you…
Sign #1: Difficulty Focusing
You have difficulty focusing. You might sit down at your desk and not know what to get started on. It seems like everything is equally important, but you can’t work up the energy to get started or even care.
Like Tracey, you might sit there lost in thought, unable to be productive. Hours pass, and you haven’t gotten a single thing done. Each day, you leave your work area feeling frustrated. As time goes on, the pressure starts to mount as one day’s unfinished work is added to the next. This can create a crippling cycle of overwhelm.
Sign #2: Procrastination
Procrastination can be another sign that you’re overwhelmed. You used to love working on certain projects, but now you avoid them.
Anxiety can also be a direct result of dealing with overwhelm. You might avoid working on tasks because the overwhelm makes you afraid that you’re just going to fail anyway. As you procrastinate, the anxiety continues to build because you get further and further behind on what you need to do.
You might work on several projects and rush through them to cope with this. In the end, you don’t feel satisfied with the outcome of any of them. But now you’ve created a cycle where you procrastinate then you’re suddenly productive for a few days or weeks, only to crash and burn again.
Sign #3: You’re Irritable
Another sign that you’re struggling is irritability. The little annoyances that life deals you, such as having to wait in line, suddenly feel like catastrophes. You might realize that you’re snapping at people, including family and friends. You have little to no patience for things or people anymore.
Sign #4: Unexplained Stomach Upset
Many people who develop overwhelm start to have physical side effects because overwhelm is stressful, and stress harms the body. You start to feel sick to your stomach or may have other gastrointestinal issues, ranging from mild discomfort to more severe.
Stomachaches and nausea are both common results of overwhelm, and this is because your body begins to release more stress hormones known as cortisol. The excess cortisol leads to constipation, stomach cramps, and even diarrhea.
Sign #5: Exhaustion
Being overwhelmed in your business can make you feel tired frequently. Stress depletes your mental and physical resources, leaving you exhausted even when you’re not sleepy.
This symptom of overwhelm can become a never-ending cycle. Being tired makes you feel more drained, which makes the overwhelm worse. Even if you do manage to get some rest, you’re not refreshed and dread starting a new day.
Sign #6: Changes in Your Eating Habits
The truth is that overwhelm affects every area of your life, including your eating habits. For some people, being overwhelmed means they don’t feel like eating at all, so they skip meals or don’t eat enough. This brings on physical symptoms from not getting enough calories or the right amount of nutrients.
However, some entrepreneurs deal with overwhelm by overeating. It’s easier to turn to food when you’re upset as a way of trying to manage your emotions. But since overeating leads to shame and guilt for many people, it can make you feel worse about yourself.
Sign #7: Memory Lapses
You’ve started missing appointments and meetings. You didn’t get that one tiny task done for a client that you meant to do a week ago. You can’t remember where you put that important file you needed.
Being overwhelmed can cause memory lapses and difficulty recalling important facts. As your brain struggles to absorb and retain too much information, it begins deleting things that don’t seem as essential at the moment.
Sign #8: Frequent Mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes now and again. But if you’re frequently making mistakes, it might be caused by overwhelm. Since you’re experiencing difficulty concentrating and problems with memory recall, it’s easy to make silly mistakes that you usually wouldn’t.
Sign #9: Negative Self-Talk
Many entrepreneurs struggle with negative self-talk from time to time. But you may not realize this can be one of the first warning signs of overwhelm in your business. You might stop believing in yourself and your abilities, and all you can see are the projects you’ve failed at or the mistakes you made.
You tell yourself that you’ll never be able to finish that project or that the project is beyond your skill level and that you should give up. But if you allow it to continue, negative self-talk can eventually affect your performance and profits.
Sign #10: Insomnia
Insomnia is a common side effect of overwhelm. You may notice that you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. You can’t get your mind to shut off. You wake up worried about a client project, or you can’t sleep because you’re struggling to come up with solutions to problems your business is facing.
Sign #11: Isolating Yourself
Withdrawing from social situations isn’t uncommon when you’re overwhelmed. Maybe you don’t want to hang out with friends, and perhaps you don’t have the energy and don’t feel excited about the prospect of doing anything. You might even cancel events that you used to attend regularly and loved.
There are two reasons you might be doing this during times of overwhelm. The first reason is that you feel you can’t handle one more thing, even if that thing is enjoyable. The second reason is that you might feel as if you deserve to be punished since you’re so far behind on your workload. But both of these reasons are keeping you from what you really need — contact with people who care about you.
Sign #12: Giving Up Self Care
If you’re overwhelmed, self-care is the first thing you might let go of. You stop eating healthy. You skip out on your exercise class, and you stop taking time to journal or read before bed.
On the surface, it seems like a good plan. If you stop taking care of yourself, you’ll have more time to focus on your business and projects. But you don’t realize that the business ceases to exist without you. If you’re not taking care of yourself – your most important asset.
Now, after all that… here is some good news!
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY.
Maybe you’ve been overwhelmed as long as you’ve been in business. Perhaps you think that this is the way for entrepreneurs. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can live free from overwhelm and actually enjoy your work again, and it starts with joining my 2023 planning 4-series workshop so you can begin to experience true financial freedom and love your work again!
Here is what I want you to do next. I want you to join me for my 4-Series Workshop, designed to steer your company to innovative production and massive success in 2023 and get you out of overwhelm.
Join me and walk away with a clear roadmap to get from today to where you want to go next year without overwhelm.
My strategic planning is quick, simple, and easy to execute. I get results because I am focused, and it’s no secret that results come from what is focused on.
Virtual tickets are currently going for $97/each.
Go here for more information: https://live.susiecarder.com/4-series-workshop.