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Overwhelm (Be the BOSS of your Brain)

lessons from coaching neuroscience Jul 09, 2022

As a Life Coach we are advised to pick a “niche” or group of people to coach. My intention is to work with people who are in health care and ask themselves, “Should I stay or should I go (now)?” (The other part of my work is to make sure you have The Clash in your head all day. You’re welcome). I chose this niche because I was that person. Constantly asking myself, “Should I leave my job?” “Get a new job?” “Stick it out?” “What would I do if I left?” And on and on…..Here’s an example of a model I did when I first found coaching and the model:


C: I have a full-time job.

T: I need a new job

F: Overwhelmed

A: Get my resume together; look for jobs; think about what job I want; think about all the things I don’t like about my job; decide that getting a new job will fix all my problems; start to apply but then change my mind; schedule an interview but cancel

R: I haven’t created any opportunities for myself to either get a new job OR come to terms with my current job.


This model is an “unintentional model.” Unintentional models happen every day when we: 

1) Don’t manage our thoughts

2) Let our brains run the show  

3) Think everything the brain offers is a FACT


Unintentional models don’t move us toward our goals, they keep us stuck. Often, we “blame” the “C” (circumstance) for all our feelings. In the above model, I was blaming my job for creating feelings of overwhelm. What REALLY created overwhelm was the thought, “I need a new job.”

This thought seems so useful, so innocent, so helpful. “I need a new job.” Beware of innocent thoughts!!  “I need a new job” did not create a feeling of excitement at the prospect of looking for a new job or fascination at the possibilities. “I need a new job” created the feeling of overwhelm (for me).  Did I REALLY need a NEW job? Maybe I just wanted to feel better at my current job. Have you decided that a new job is going to fix ALL the feelings and GETTING a new job is the ONLY solution? 

“Overwhelm” is an indulgent emotion. Indulgent emotions are easy to spot because they lead to inaction. The actions listed in the model APPEAR productive: "Get resume together; look for jobs; think about what job I want."  BUT, did these “actions” actually move me towards getting a new job (or, lead me to DECIDE to be happy at my current job?)

Here are a few of the many things I learned from my coach at the time:

1) Nothing has gone wrong here

2) Everyone experiences overwhelm occasionally

3) Coaching and follow-up thought work can turn the tide on overwhelm



I created this “intentional” model after a few coaching sessions. Intentional models allow us to be the BOSS of our brains and DECIDE what to think and how we WANT to feel.


C: I have a full-time job

T: I was able to work and have a regular paycheck throughout the pandemic of 2020-2021

F: Relieved 

A: Go to work each day thinking “I was able to work throughout the pandemic," be open to possibilities, get certified as a Life Coach, Start a Life Coaching business

R: I’ve got a new job: Creating thoughts for myself that lead to feelings of relief, gratitude, determination to build my business, and peace that I’ve DECIDED to stay put, for now. 


It’s not the job that created the feeling of overwhelm, it was the thought, “I need a new job.” For me, I think the word “need” in my model created overwhelm, along with anxiety and a desire to “hurry up” and DO SOMETHING.  As if the change itself was going to create a feeling of peace or calm. Let’s be clear, change jobs all you like, the overwhelm will go with you like an old pair of shoes if you continue to NOT manage your mind and thoughts. (And nobody likes old shoes).

I know, I know, “If it’s that easy why doesn’t everyone do it?” It’s simple….for sure. But that’s not the same as easy. Changing long-held thoughts and beliefs takes time and energy. Working with a coach speeds up the process tremendously. I now DECIDE every day to enjoy my day, my job, and my co-workers AND develop my coaching business. It’s pretty simple, but it’s not always easy. I also create models with “determination” “desire” and “confident” in the F line. 


What thoughts create overwhelm in your life? Why are these thoughts a problem? How would you like to proceed? 

Want to know more about what I do? Try my new course,

"Stress and Overwhelm: Causes, Cures and Coping."

In it you will find neuroscience, practices and my signature sense of humor. All at your fingertips in the Kajabi app.



I also offer 1:1 coaching for physical therapists and other people in health care who want to love their life, jobs and career again. If you’ve been thinking, “All I need is a new job, new career, new something and I’ll feel better”… I can help you feel better right now, right HERE. 


Click the link to book a free 45 minute stress-assessment call and get started on your unique plan. 




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