Does overwhelm hit you at the most inappropriate moments? It does for me. The long lost friend calls or a relative plans an unexpected visit right as I'm up against a deadline or I have said Yes when my best interests would have been served with a NO. Fight, Flight or Freeze... which is your go to?
So how do you move past the fight, flight or freeze mode and actually get things done? How do you move forward when your shoes feel stuck in cement? Or you want to punch something and instead you end up terrorizing all that are around you?
Well for starters, recognize where you are. You know, the Mall map that says "YOU ARE HERE" and has a star right on the point you are standing. It's important to know that we are in that kind of space. It's difficult at best to move in any direction if we don't know first where we are. The old adage of "know thine enemy" holds true when dealing with our own reactivity as well.
So now you know. Next is which mode are you in? Running and hiding, fighting and being territorial or simply freezing like a deer in the headlights. Again, recognition is half the battle. Deception and justification have no place when you have a deadline to meet.
Finally, how do you get out of where you are to get to the important big stuff that needs doing? Well, again look at your default modes from the past. This is one of the few times I make an exception and look back at how I might have handled things differently. Most of the time I feel that rearview mirror watching is not helpful and can actually be like the Harry Potter book's 'Mirror of Erised' - it becomes addictive. It's easy to keep looking at how we could have done something differently - it's hard work to make a present day change in our daily lives. Harder to take a responsive clear action and then literally own the choice. Looking back with regret does have it's melancholy advantage of staying stuck but serves no purpose going forward.
So once you see your mode of justifying your actions... disembark. That's right - let that ship, anchor or sandbag go. It's holding you back from making progress on your dreams today. See it for what it is... a comfortable pattern that may not have even been your own to start with. Then take your work deadline and attack it. ONE easy step at a time. I like to start with the simplest thing I can do for a project and get it rolling. Throw in some physics (something in motion will stay in motion) and you are off to the races.
Good luck fine friends. I've indulged my default mode of distracting myself with this blog post and now its time to tackle the tasks around me.
"The Mirror will be moved to a new home tomorrow, Harry, and I ask you not to go looking for it again. If you ever do run across it, you will now be prepared. It does not do to dwell... and forget to live, remember that..."
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone