Guest Post by Judi Phillips, Pastoral Counselor at CatholicCounselors.com
Often, in the course of my daily professional work, I find that clients are so focused on the ‘big picture,’ that they can become easily overwhelmed, frozen, and find themselves struggling to do anything at all. This often leads to internal self-talk that further sabotages their efforts at moving forward. Statements such as, “This is all too much,” “I always end up like this,” “I don’t know where to begin,” “How am I ever going to get any of this done,” along with any other similar form of self talk that is indicative of believing one’s self to be powerless.
We have a tendency, in our humanity, to doubt that we can accomplish what needs to be accomplished. We focus on ‘all there is to do,’ and we lose sight of the fact that there is always something we can do. However, we won’t be able to do a small thing if we are focusing on everything or if we are focusing only on the big picture. We need to break down, whatever it is that we are facing, into smaller segments, smaller ‘bites’ so to speak. I often say to my clients, “Does a person get from the base of Mt. Everest in a giant step? No! It’s one small step and then the next, and the next…” This is the very way that we need to address any problem we may face in daily life.
To compound this challenge, there is a rampant belief system in our culture, the “all or nothing” belief of I either have to do ‘all of it the right way and perfectly,’ or I ‘can’t do anything.’ This often leads to the continuous cycle of starting and expecting perfection, which is unrealistic, or stopping and not doing anything.
God created us to have the ability to be empowered. We know this because of the way our brain is created. There is a part of our brain dedicated to being aware of and processing emotions and a part of our brain dedicated to logic, reasoning, and cognitive processing. Using both parts of our brain, we can determine a way forward, which is God’s desire for us, to know that we have the potential to always take a step forward. Essentially, we are empowered in the ways God intends when we operate from the place that ‘there is always something I can do’ no matter how small it might be.
So, the next time you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or frozen, remember…”There is always something I can do!” Then ask yourself, “What is one small step I can take to begin helping myself to address this issue?” You’ll find it is a small thing that has a HUGE payoff!
If you would like more support on this topic or another area of your life, schedule an appointment with Judi Phillips (or any of our Pastoral Counselors) at CatholicCounselors.com!