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- “The thing that gives you positivity and the ability to deal with difficulties is perspective.”
- To proactively handle overwhelm in your life, remember to identify REAL deadlines, gain perspective from the people around you and across history, and make sure to master your psychology with daily declarations.
- “I always try to find people who are more successful than me, and ask how they did those things. How do you keep such a fresh and positive mind when everything’s so crazy? How do you deal with confidence issues? How do you deal with insecurity? How do you deal with the times you fail? How do you deal with the times it doesn’t work out? I’m always in that conversation with people around me to learn how they dealt with it, and that perspective strengthened my heart and my spirit.”
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- This is a MUST WATCH episode about how to manage overwhelm, deal with self-sabotage and have more peace in your daily life!
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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of Youtube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)
Today we’re going to talk about overwhelm. It’s the all-important topic of overwhelm and how you can handle it better.
Okay my friends, I’ve got in front of me a list of five things you can do to better manage and deal with overwhelm, and I think you’re going to really love this session. And I know I’m sitting in front of a beach.
This might seem silly, but here’s the reality: if you’ve been along the journey with Denise and I (Denise is my wife) and watching out Instagram Live, you know that in this last month or so we moved our entire life down here to Puerto Rico from Portland, Oregon.
We manage a bunch of different brands and businesses. We have team all around, and different brands and businesses all around in different states and countries.
It has been an intense time to move down here. We moved down right after the holidays, and when we got down here we didn’t have anything. I didn’t even have this camera I’m shooting on right now, or any of these lights around. It was bananas. We moved here and in 48 hours we launched a brand new brand. We did Transformation Week. Then we had about 40 hours of rest, then we launched another new thing.
Denise had never been on camera, never been on Instagram Live. We were just trying to maintain, manage and run everything. It was really difficult, and honestly the #1 thing that the community asks on Instagram Live is, “How are you guys doing this? How do you move, run brands, do new launches, have teams, achieve your dreams when there’s a lot of chaos and change?”
So, I hope that these five things will really serve you today, and I’ll share our own journey and what we’ve been dealing with. It’s been hard, but I think this will help.
#1. Identify real deadlines.
Number one idea is identify the real deadlines you have in life, the real ones. Most people are living their life or guiding their days based off of arbitrary deadlines or what I call “preferential deadlines”.
That’s like if someone says, “Hey, I need that thing on Monday.”
If you rush to get it done on Monday, sometimes they didn’t even need it. You should have a conversation with them and ask, “What’s the real deadline you need this on? Like if you don’t get it on that date and time the world will burn down, your career will end, you’ll have to fire me… Like, the worst case scenario. What date is that?”
You need to get clarity on the actual deadline. That’s the real deadline, and that’s the real date. If you don’t know the real date, what you’re always doing is scrambling to meet everyone’s preference.
They want it tomorrow, but they don’t necessarily need it tomorrow.
Or you might set a deadline for yourself, and it’s a preference when you’d love to have it, but it’s not as real as a deadline.
I’ll give an example. I was supposed to launch HPXlife.com and all our new planners, supplements, tools, blogs and membership stuff. I have been talking about it for two or three weeks on Instagram and Facebook Live. We’ve been building up towards it. It was supposed to go yesterday, but some gear didn’t show up, our podcast didn’t go live on Apple, and all these things happened.
It just didn’t happen. So I had to go live and apologize to everybody, and the truth is it was a failure. It was a failure on my part to meet a deadline I said I would meet, but the world wasn’t ending.
It was a goal and a dream that I had, that my wife and I set. It didn’t happen when we wanted it to happen, but nobody went to jail, nobody cried, nobody freaked out.
I went live on social media and told people, “I’m really sorry I didn’t make this deadline. Here are some things that happened. We were working to do these things.”
I took full accountability and responsibility, and I said what I was working on. People were super cool about it and cheering it on because everybody has been overwhelmed before.
Everybody has had things not turn out the way they wanted them to. But here’s the deal, if you’re working each day without a clear and real deadline, then I promise you are scrambling with too much stress all the time.
You want to know the real deadline for every single project, and when you know that, the real deadline, the real goal, the real date, the real timeline, your mind almost find a little bit of ease. Even if it’s not a lot of ease, at least you know the path forward. At least you know the obligations and responsibilities. It’s when we get all these things thrown on us without real deadlines or clear deadlines, we start freaking out.
I know this is my career. My team could probably tell you the same thing. Not knowing the real deadlines creates a lot of chaos and a lot of unknowns.
#2. Get perspective
A lot of people ask, “How are you guys dealing with this? Isn’t it stressful?” Yes, it is. And if you know my story, I wasn’t always at a beautiful beach house. When I started my career as a writer, a coach and an online trainer, I was living in this tiny apartment in San Francisco. All of the money was going to my rent. My bed was literally in the closet, and I was sleeping under the clothes hanging above me. I was going into bankruptcy. My girlfriend was having to buy me food.
It was not an ideal situation, but even then people were like, “Hey you seem to have a positive attitude. How?”
The thing that gives you positivity and the ability to deal with difficulties is perspective.
And I had that in a couple different ways.
For one, I always had mentors. So I hope you get a mentor, and you just share your stresses with them because they’ll help you baseline the expectations and the challenges. If you don’t have a mentor and you’d like to have one or you’d like me as one, check out High Performance Mentoring at Brendon.com/monthly.
The second thing I always did that has helped my life so much is I read and devour biographies. If you read the biography of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Churchill or the Roosevelt, they dealt with so many stresses, and so many major difficulties and challenges. It’s hard to really get overwhelmed by your day when you have that kind of perspective and encounter their life stories.
“Oh, you missed your internet deadline, Brendon? Aww.” You know what I mean?
I have clients who have literally lost limbs, who have lost jobs, are coming back from cancer, or just lost a family member, and yet they are still able to carry on. They’re so inspiring to me.
When you see other people’s inspiring stories, it makes you go, “Wow.”
And you don’t have to see them and think, “They’re so lucky.”
What you should say is, “Wow, what is their mindset? What’s their day like? How are they handling it? How do they delegate? How do they plan? How do they prioritize?”
That’s what I was always looking for. I always try to find people who are more successful than me, and ask how they did those things. How do you keep such a fresh and positive mind when everything’s so crazy? How do you deal with confidence issues? How do you deal with insecurity? How do you deal with the times you fail? How do you deal with the times it doesn’t work out? I’m always in that conversation with people around me to learn how they dealt with it, and that perspective strengthened my heart and my spirit.
#3. Daily Declarations
This is my practice. For some people it’s their prayer, for some people it’s their meditation.
One unique thing that I do is find passages from books I really like—sometimes it’s a spiritual text, sometimes it’s just something that really inspires me—and I read it out loud.And then after I read it out loud, I give declarations and self-talk to myself. Almost like spiritual self-talk.
One form of self-talk I might say to myself is: “I am grateful today for the positive attitude that I have that’s going to allow me to approach my work with enthusiasm.”
Or I might say: “Thank you, God, for an open, enthusiastic mind willing to serve today. I am excited about the things I get to do today because other people would dream of having my career and I get to do it. Thank you, God, for this opportunity to serve today.”
I’ll say these things over and over to myself.
It sounds silly and affirmation-oriented, but the reality is it gets my mind programmed to be thankful and to be in charge. Immediately, in the morning, by speaking it aloud, I have taken control of my self-talk for the day.
So later on when overwhelm, that “Oh my god,” comes in, I’m able to be in command and go, “Hey Brendon, take a breath buddy. It’s not that big of a deal. Just figure out what’s the next right action of integrity, and take that step right now. You’ve got this.”
By speaking to myself every morning in positive ways, I’m more able and skilled to speak to myself when it really matters.
That’s your daily declaration. Some people pray to get command of themselves, or meditate and say things to themselves as a mantra. It’s just about learning to control your self-talk in your mind, so that when you find yourself in an important time of your day or life, you can really do it.
#4. Tell everybody.
Everybody who’s important to you in your life who you deal with on a consistent basis should know what your dreams are and what you want of this life.
The people in your life should know the major activities you are working on this week that might stress you out, and when those things might happen.
That’s a lot. But one of the reasons people get overwhelmed all the time is the people around them keep stacking more onto their plate. The reason they keep stacking more onto your plate is because you never told them, “Hey this is what I’m working on, these are the times it’s crazy for me. Please don’t add anything during this hour, this day, or this week because I’m already at max capacity, and I’m about to freak out and lose my mind.”
By sharing that information about your capacity in advance, people can know when they’ve got to walk on eggshells around you a little bit, and when they can be attentive to the needs and the stresses that you’re dealing with. I think that’s really important to realize.
Some of you know I also am the High Performance coach for literally the most accomplished people in the world. I had the blessing of working with a gold medalist athlete one time. She hadn’t been a gold medalist before, so I asked her, “What made the difference for you?”
She’d been at some world championships, but she never won a gold and never won a medal in the Olympics.
She said, “You know what made the difference for me, Brendon, was I started shouting my dreams from the rooftop. I started telling people, ‘I want to be a gold medalist.’”
I asked how that helped her.
She said, “When you shout your dreams from the rooftop, a couple things will happen. One, expect that some of the village idiots will come out and point at you and judge you. That’s going to happen. But the village leaders also come out. They hear you, they see you. They say, ‘Oh young woman, you want to accomplish that? Do you know this coach? Oh, you want to accomplish that? Do you know this person? Let me open this door, let me help you.’
As you share ambitious dreams, the ambitious, thoughtful, positive leaders in your community might hear that and might assist you, my friend.
Part of the overwhelm is that you feel like you’ve got to do it yourself. But when you start speaking and sharing more with other people about what you’re doing, people start raising their hands, saying, ‘I know somebody, can I help you, can I serve you?’ Or at least they know what you’re dealing with, and they’re less likely to pile more onto you. So tell everybody around you. Anticipate that people will judge you, people will put you down, people will doubt you, but their permission or their understanding is not required for your progress, my friend.”
#5. Daily Morning Preparation
This is key. Many of you guys know I created the High Performance Planner and I’m insanely passionate about it because I needed a tool to manage my morning and my days and prioritize my life better, so I created the High Performance Planner.
But even if you don’t have one, let me tell you the practice. I spend 20 minutes in the morning with my planner going through my day’s schedule, and sometimes the schedule’s on my calendar and on my phone. I write it down and I write down the times of the meetings or the times of the things that I’m going to be doing something.
With my High Performance Planner, I write it all down, I think about my priorities, and I think about my tasks or my meetings that are scheduled for the day. Then I literally sit there and I visualize doing the day with excellence.
I think, “Okay, I’ve got that meeting. How can I do that meeting well? What would I have to prepare? What would I have to think about? What can I say in the meeting?”
Or I think about this video right here. I thought, ‘How can I do this well? I’ll have to manage my food, manage my workout, I’ll have to set everything up early, and I’ll just have to go up there and practice a couple times because I don’t know how to use this camera, I don’t know how to use these lights, the sun’s going to be set. I don’t know what the heck’s going to be happening.’” So I just steeled myself for it. I thought through it.
I literally spend 20 minutes a day just thinking about the day to come. I don’t know very many people who do that. I also don’t know many people who have been blessed to serve as many people or to achieve as many dreams as I got to at a young age.
I’ve been doing this forever, and I’m not here to brag about it. I’m here to say it’s just a differentiator for me, and I think it’s really key.
We all know we should visualize. We all know we should think through things and be thoughtful, but very few people take the time to do those things. Most people are just going through the motions, and bumbling into one meeting after another.
By taking just 20 minutes out of your day to prepare for your day, you prepare your mind.
So even when the chaos and the randomness happens or strikes during the day, you can recalibrate and re-prioritize and still get the day done with excellence because you know what’s on your plate.
The worst thing is when you’re going through the day and more just keeps getting piled on you, and you don’t even know what has to happen at 3pm, 4pm, 5pm or 6pm that day. You lose track of your schedule, and your time.
When everything becomes a surprise, it then becomes uncertain. When everything is uncertain, that’s when you get overwhelmed.
So really thinking through your day in advance will serve you.
It’s been incredibly easy to get caught up in the stress and overwhelm as we’re trying to start HPX. If you haven’t been along the journey with us on Instagram or Facebook Live, please just follow me @brendonburchard on Instagram, and on Facebook it’s Brendon Burchard Fan.
And I go live, and Denise has been going live with me, and we’ve just been talking about this journey as we’re struggling to figure out how to launch this new brand that we call HPX.
HPX stands for the High Performance Experience. Our belief is that everybody wants to live their best life. Everyone wants to be higher performing at whatever they do. People want to be a better performing mom, a better performing businessperson, a better performing contributor or team member. We all want the High Performance Experience, and we believe that that comes from learning to be more vibrant in life, as well as managing your mind and your body so that you have the energy to do what you need to do. It’s about being more connected with yourself, present and mindful. It’s about connecting with other people by understanding how to influence, lead and serve. It’s about ultimately being more excellent at what we do.
Developing skill, delivering our service with real excellence, being attentive to detail and being world-class in what we do: that’s what we call HPX, the High Performance Experience.
We’re working mindfully every day to make it happen for you guys, and I share that because my last point on overwhelm is sometimes when you have a positive community there that’s cheering you on, it makes all the difference in the world.
I can’t extend enough gratitude and thanks to you guys. You’ve been incredibly patient and positive as Denise and I launch this new brand, HPXLife. You’ve welcomed her to the community, you’ve cheered me on. You guys have been there in our lives and just been so supportive, and honestly, amid all the chaos of moving and starting new brands and trying to find a house and moving into one, moving out of another—still don’t have my office, still just trying to figure out how I’m going to do my career down here—your support made all the difference.
It made it less stressful, so I hope that you will really take to heart what I shared.
Tell people what you’re working on. It will make such a difference. If you can, along the way build a tribe of people who’ve got your back and who believe in you, because that support can take away some of that stress and that overwhelm in ways that you cannot fathom as you take on big goals or projects in your life.
Surround yourself with positive, amazing people who like you and I are in, what we call, the HPX community. People who are trying to live the High Performance Experience. So, if you’d like to participate in some way, again go to HPXlife.com, gives us your name and email, and we’ll send you the newsletter!
Other than that, I just have deep gratitude. Thank you for being here. If Denise were here today, she’d end like she often ends our Lives when we’re doing our HPX show on our Instagram. She often says, you know, each day you get to choose, and you can choose to be average, or you can choose to become extraordinary.
So my friends, deal with your overwhelm a little better and go be extraordinary.