Episode 199 is all about overwhelm, what it is, and how to combat it.  In today’s episode, Lisa shares exactly why overwhelm shows up in our lives, and the steps she takes to move through it, and how to stop overwhelm so you can get stuff done and stay focused.

Overwhelm is a Choice

When I first heard that overwhelm was a choice, I couldn’t accept it. I literally thought, “it’s not a choice, you don’t know my life. You don’t know all the things I have going on in my life with, my business, my career, sports, my kids etc.” Do you hear yourself in my story too? It’s a lot.

Think about it, where in your life are you not taking an honest inventory of all the things you’re doing and prioritizing?

Do you see that overwhelm is in fact, a lack of priority? I know from working with my clients who have massive responsibilities in their life from high level entrepreneurs to CEOs and everything in between is they have a lot on their plates. Part of our work together is taking an inventory of all the things that they’re doing and figure out what are the priorities and what is just busy work that keeps them stuck in the doing.

If you’re someone who is spinning multiple plates in life and never seem to have enough time to do what you want and need to do, today’s episode is a must-listen.

To learn more about The Full Frontal Living Collective join the waitlist, lisacarpenter.ca/collective Connect with Lisa on Instagram 



Today on the podcast, we are talking about overwhelm and how to stop it. So grab yourself a cup of water, pour yourself a cup of tea, grab a cup of coffee, settle in. And let’s get started.

This is the full frontal living podcast. I’m your host, master coach and emotional resiliency expert Lisa carpenter. I’m here to be your guide through real raw conversations, navigating life as a high achiever. This show covers what it takes to create physical and emotional well-being, along with how to honour and partner with your body. I’m here to guide you to a connected relationship with yourself, turning self-care into a way of being and not just another task on your to-do list. After all the things we love, we take care of this podcast gives you permission to love what you do. But love yourself more. Welcome to the full frontal living podcast.

All right, thanks for tuning in to another episode of The Full Frontal living podcast. So overwhelm is a massive, massive topic. And there are so many different directions we could go with this. But the reason that I wanted to talk about it is because, you know, recently when I did a bunch of market research, and just in working with the number of clients that I’ve been working with over the years, overwhelm is a very common theme. And overwhelm has been something that I’ve gotten into, and I can still start to dip my toe in it. And I have to remind myself of what I need to do to stop it dead in its tracks.

So I wanted to talk today about overwhelm, and what you can do to stop it. Because you may not like to hear this. And this stopped me dead in my tracks. When I first heard it, that overwhelm was a choice. I was like, it’s not a choice. Like you don’t know my life, you don’t know all the things I’m doing. Look at me, I’ve got this business, I’ve got these kids, I’ve got all the things that I need to do, I need to go to the gym, I need to pack my food, I need to, you know, make dinner for everybody else. I constantly had a gazillion things to do. And even now thinking back on it, I was like, What? What was I doing all the time that I was so busy? And you may hear yourself in my story, you might be thinking, Well, yeah, Lisa, I’m always in overwhelm. I’ve got my career, I’ve got my kids, I’ve got sporting events, I’m trying to take care of myself. It’s a lot. It’s a lot. And we each have the same number of hours in a day. So when I heard this phrase, overwhelmed was a choice, my first thought was, it’s not a choice. That’s my life, it just is the way it is. But the more that I thought about it, the more that I realized it was true.
And it’s probably true for you as well. Where in your life, are you not taking an honest inventory of all the things you’re doing and prioritizing them. So overwhelmed, in fact, is a lack of priority. And what I know, from working with all the men and women that I work with, and these are successful people who have massive responsibilities in their life, from high-level entrepreneurs to CEOs, and everything in between, is they have a lot of plates that they’re spinning.

And part of our work together is taking an inventory of all the things that they’re doing, and figuring out what things are priorities, and what things are just busy work that keep them stuck in the doing but aren’t actually producing the results they want. Not creating the outcome that they want in their life, and certainly not making them feel the way they feel.
But overwhelm is a pattern that we get into. And I want to talk a little bit about why overwhelm becomes such a pattern because for most of you, there is a real benefit from being in overwhelm. And again, you’re probably thinking likely so what that f is the benefit of being in overwhelm, like it sucks, it feels horrible. But for most of you if you’re being honest with yourselves, when you’re in overwhelm. Do you ever feel like you’re getting anything accomplished? When you’re overwhelmed? Often we find excuses as to why we can’t do the things we need to do. Because we’re overwhelmed like you can’t possibly take care of yourself because there’s so many other things demand sending your attention. Who has time to eat healthy, when you’ve got all these other things that are taking precedence? So overwhelm is used as an excuse to avoid doing the things that we really need to make a priority, because often that’s linked back to making you a priority.
And I can tell you that most of my clients struggled to make themselves a priority. So even though they are successful to everybody, from the outside looking in, they look like they’ve got their shit together. On the inside, they’re struggling to believe that they’re worthy of having time to themselves that they’re worthy of taking care of themselves, that they get to be a priority in their lives. Most of us struggle with our belief in feeling good enough. Truthfully, the most successful people I know, have, at one point in time in their lives, struggled with feeling good enough, they get into imposter syndrome, comparisonitis, all of these things that anybody else would be like, how could you get into that? And I know this, from the clients that I’ve worked with. And I also know this because these are things that I have gotten into.

So how do we tackle overwhelm? First thing is taking inventory, you’ve got to get honest with yourself about all the things you’re doing all the plates, you’ve been spinning, all the things you tell yourself that you have to do. Take an inventory, write it all down. In fact, in a recent program that I’ve been running called the Energy edit, I had everybody take a doing list. Basically, it was like a doing log, like some people keep food logs, I had my clients go out and keep a doing logs. So they had to write down everything that they did, over, you know, 24-hour 48-hour period, so that they could get a clearer idea of where they were spending their time. Because, again, if they’re getting into overwhelm, this is a lack of priority. So we need to figure out where you’re directing your time and your attention. Are you giving it to things that truly matter? Or are you getting into overwhelm because you’ve just loaded your plate with a bunch of busy work, that doesn’t really matter.

So the same mentor, who is Jim Ford, and if any of you guys have been following me, you know that Jim has been a mentor of mine for years now, and I’m one of his senior coaches in his transformational coaching program. And he has a really awesome saying that you can only ride one horse with one ass, which I agree with, right one horse one ass meaning put your focus and attention on one thing and give it your all. However, this is where I slightly disagree, because for the women that I work with, and I do work with men, but predominantly, you know, the largest part of my clientele is women. We have multiple horses, ladies, you know, it’s true, we have multiple horses. So we have a horse that represents our family, we have a horse that represents our career. Maybe you have a horse that represents hopefully a horse that represents you spending some time with yourself, you’ve got a horse that represents friends.
So I want you to think about all these different horses. Now overwhelmed, overwhelmed comes in when you’re trying to ride all the horses at the same time, you’re getting into a lot of multitasking, you’re getting into a lot of context switching, you got a gazillion tabs open on your computer, and you’re constantly switching back and forth between each of them. Now listen, women can multitask better than men. However, that doesn’t mean that we’re effective at it. So I believe in having more than one horse. But I also believe that you can only ride one horse at a time. So when I’m sitting down to work in my business, that’s what I’m focused on. That’s what gets my attention. When I’m in the gym, working on my fitness goals. That’s the horse I’m riding, that’s the horse that gets my attention. And you need to be, well, you don’t need to do anything. But I suggest that you look at all the different horses all the different things that you’re doing, and get discerning about what you are committed to.

Because I’ve talked about in previous episodes, and I’ll probably do a separate episode on this as well. The way to become more committed is by being less committed. So instead of being committed to a million things, I want you to call it down and really think about what do I want to make a priority? What is it that I really, really want to be committed to what is that going to look like? So in I think the past couple of episodes, so I’ve talked about how my training schedule right now has gone down to four days a week, because my business needs more of my time and attention, I had to get really discerning about where I was spending my time and energy. So although my fitness goals are really, really important to me, and I’m aiming for my first pro show in August of next year, I have time, and I can still train effectively four days a week, the changes that are happening in my business are things that need to get moved forward, and I need those extra hours at my desk.
So same is true for you. If you’re getting into overwhelm, you have to look at how many things have you committed yourself to? And what do you start need to start saying no to, so that you can fully be committed to that one thing, and then work through the things that you need to do within that commitment to create the outcome that you want.

So the other place that I work from, when it comes to overwhelm is that I have more than enough time to get done the things that are important to me. So it’s six o’clock at night. Right now my little guy has gone out for tutoring on Monday nights. And I had a full client load today. So I was like, okay, now’s the time to sit down and do the podcast, I just did what needed to be done, it was important that I get this episode out, it’s important that I get an episode out every single week. So here I am setting up my computer at six o’clock at night. not optimal. But I wasn’t overwhelmed about it was simply something that needed to get done. And time expanded to give me the time that I needed in order to get this done. Little guy at tutor, right, so I had the house to myself, it was perfect, quiet time. So again, you always have more than enough time to do what’s important. And when you work from that belief. And that mindset, time will always expand to meet your needs. And I truly believe that. So what would be possible for you, if you started saying time expands to meet my needs. Instead of being in the story I have so much to do. I’m so busy. I don’t have any time. I’m so overwhelmed. That’s a completely different energy than being grounded and solid in, you know what I have more than enough time to get everything done. That is important. And I guarantee you, if you look at your life, and you’re honest with yourself, you have always completed the important tasks, you may have sometimes missed deadlines, sometimes dropped balls, but I bet for the most part. Because if you’re listening to this podcast, I already know a lot about you. Chances are, you always get things done that are important. It’s just the reality of it. So what is the point from working from this place of I have so much to do, things aren’t going to get done, I’m so overwhelmed when the evidence shows you that you always get things done when they need to get done. So that is also important to note.
Because again, this overwhelm, it can be a habit that we get into we run these kinds of tapes. This is how our life is this is our life is and then you get trapped in that cycle of overwhelm, which is nothing more than a story you are telling yourself.

Okay, so again, overwhelm is you not prioritizing things in your life. And it starts with asking yourself what it is you want. Because your priorities should be attached to what it is you want. So if you want to create more time for yourself, but you’re telling yourself you’re so overwhelmed with your work, then we need to look at well, what in your work? Do you need to let go of what do you need to delete or delegate or just simply do to get off your plate? How can we create that time for you because I guarantee you, it’s there. I guarantee you it’s there. I’ve never had a client that we haven’t been able to carve out space that we haven’t been able to let stuff go so that they can release the overwhelm the stress, the anxiety, all the plates that they’re spinning.
Again, these are just habits that can be broken.

So how do I personally stop overwhelm? This is a really fancy tip. I’m sure you’re gonna be like that’s it, Lisa like that’s what you do. So there’s a saying how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. So how do I overcome overwhelm when I start to notice that feeling creep in? First, I get honest with myself overwhelm is a choice, Lisa, what is it that you need to do first? What do we need to prioritize? And then I take everything that’s dancing around in my head that wants me to believe I’m so busy and there’s so much and I’m never gonna get through it all. And I write it down on a piece of paper, all of it. And then I look at those tasks. And I asked myself, Okay, which one of those tasks are the most important things that I need to get ticked off? Because they go to the top of the list? And then everything else I look at, is there anything on there again, that I can delegate to my team? Or can I ask my partner to do the driving? So he’s doing the driving with Jake tonight, so I can do record the podcast, right? Where can you ask for help? Where can you delegate some of this stuff to somebody else? I can’t even begin to tell you how many women I work with who unknowingly are in this martyrdom role, but because they are such high functioning overachieving, all the plates spinning, they are the person that people come to when they’re in trouble, because they, you know, they’ll get stuff done. They don’t even recognize that they’re working from this martyrdom story. It doesn’t even cross their mind to ask for help. Because oftentimes, they’re thinking, well, it’s just faster if I do it myself. But that, but then the same time, at the same time, they’re telling themselves a story that they’ve got so much to do, and they’re so overwhelmed. Right, you can’t have it both ways.
If you’re going to tell yourself, you’re overwhelmed, right, you have to start getting things off your plate, like you can’t do all the things and then expect to not be overwhelmed. So where can you delegate? Where can you ask for help? Look, where can you outsource things. I mean, I don’t even go into the grocery store anymore, I order my groceries online, I drive to the store, have my hubby drive to the store, we pick up the groceries, we don’t even go in the grocery store anymore. I can grocery shop at 10 o’clock at night from my bed if I want to. Not that I’m ever up that late. But right like, it can be easy. If you allow it to be easy, there are opportunities to make your life easy. I’ve had clients that have brought in people to help them with meal prep. So that all they have to do is throw stuff together. Because they found that one of the things that they were getting caught up in, in their lives was I want to take better care of myself. But I don’t feel like I have the time to food prep. So they brought someone in, I’ve had clients that have hired cleaners to come in, you know, once a month even. So they could keep their place tidy. But then the cleaner would come in and like deep clean it once a month. Because that’s time they get back. So all these little things in your life, where can you ask for help? Where can you outsource some of these things so that you can gain some of your time back. Okay, so I make this list. And I get honest with myself about what things on there are priorities, what things I need to do, what things I need to delegate ask for help for, and what things I maybe need to delete. Okay, because oftentimes, there’s things on our lists that we have told ourselves that we need to do, but you don’t actually need to do them. Like nobody will care if you don’t do them. So if you’ve got things on your list that you should do, that you’re bouncing around in your head all the time, I should do this, I shouldn’t do that I shouldn’t do this. Well, maybe you shouldn’t, maybe you should just delete it and be done with it, or circle back around to it in like two months or six months and then see, okay, am I ready to make time for this. Because when we have these projects that are kind of like a call them open loops, where you’re telling yourself, you should, but you’re not actually taking action on it, it stays on the to do list or it rattles around in your head forever. That’s costing you a tremendous amount of energy. And it’s part of the reason why you’re in overwhelm, right? Because there’s that nagging thing that you just haven’t been able to complete. Well delete it, get rid of it, right or put it in a I’m going to look at this in two months folder. And if I feel like I have the time and space to do it then great. Okay, so this is literally how I tackle overwhelm.

The last thing that I do, which now completely just fell out in my head, and I found it bear with me, this is real life people. I don’t do perfect here and if you’re tuning in, you know I don’t do perfect because done is better than perfect. I got over that a long time ago. And listen, as we get older, sometimes our thoughts just like literally fall out of our head. It’s the craziest, craziest thing anyways, so the last thing that I do for overwhelm, is if I have things on my list that are not top priorities, right so they’re at the bottom of the list, and I get to the end of the week and I find that you know these things just keep carrying over from week to week. I create a get it done day. So I get it done date usually isn’t a whole day. It’s probably you know, two or three hours depending on how many little things are on that list, usually on a Saturday or a Sunday. Monday I coordinate with my family, I just say I need a couple extra hours to get this stuff done. And I sit down and I power through everything that’s on the list. So they’re not priorities are not top priorities, they can wait. But they do need to get done because everything that I don’t take off that list, like I said, is an open energetic loop, which then costs me energy, so I need to tick them off. So I love these like many get it done days where I sit down to three hours, power through it feels so good to like, cross. I don’t know about you. But when I’m crossing things off my to do list, it just makes me so happy. And then that’s it. Right that is it.
So even though right now in my business, I am in a season of massive growth we are coming up believe next week is the 200th episode of this podcast, we have over 200,000 downloads, which is like mind blowing to me that that many of you continue to tune in. I’m actually blown away that I’ve recorded 200 episodes like even my husband was like 200 like 200 I’m like yes, can you believe it? So we’re coming up on 200 episodes, we’ve got a whole podcast rebrand coming out that I’m super excited about because you know, after 200 episodes, I think it’s time for a little bit of a facelift for the full frontal living podcast.

We’re also working on stuff behind the scenes in the business, some stuff is my responsibility. Some stuff is my team’s. We’re working on some messaging, as you know, or maybe you don’t, I’ve opened up the waitlist for the collective for 2023. If you want to learn more about that, just jump on the waitlist at Lisacarpenter.ca/collective. That’s my intimate, small group coaching container that runs over 11 months, it’s going to be amazing next year. So we’ve got that going on. I’ve got another program running right now that I’m going to be tweaking and changing and relaunching. There’s just there’s a lot of things happening in my business right now I’ve kind of compared it to show prep, right, it’s a little bit more on my plate than I normally like, this is why I’m sitting down and recording a podcast episode at six o’clock at night. And it’s a short-term for the long-term payoff of where I’m headed and the vision that I have for my business in the future. But if I get into overwhelm, nothing will get done. Because just like most of you, overwhelmed provides an excuse to shut down and not do the things that are important. So if you are here, to live an extraordinary life, you want to take better care of yourself, you want more peace and ease and flow, less frustration, less overwhelm, this is how you do it. It’s not going to happen by accident. You need to get intentional, you need to take responsibility for how you’re feeling and create strategies to move through it. And if overwhelm is something that you cannot seem to get yourself out of no matter what it is you do, reach out. Let’s book a call. Let’s see how I can help. The collective might be the perfect fit for you. And we can create whatever it is you want. Because I guarantee you I am an expert at getting things off of people’s plates so that they can have more time, more energy and more freedom to do the things that they really love, which needs to be making yourself a priority.

So until next week’s episode, thank you so much for tuning in. I appreciate you being here. By all means get on the waitlist for the collective: Lisacarpenter.ca/collective and I will see you on the next episode.