ARE YOU OVERWHELMED? LOOK OUT FOR RED FLAGS
Feeling overwhelmed is hardly unique to Executives and Managers; yet leaders often deny, ignore or push away the feelings. They accept it as part of their role, or assume that they “should” be able to power through it.
As a leader, you’re the go-to person for others when the going gets tough. But what happens when the going gets tough for you?
Depending on your personality type, the signs of overwhelm may or may not be obvious. Some leaders are able to maintain the false appearance that everything is just fine. Others admit feeling “off their game,” but have trouble pinpointing the cause.
Let’s talk red flags. When you have persistent and multiple difficulties that are uncharacteristic for you, these are signals you should not ignore. Overwhelm may cause you to behave in quite atypical ways. If you’re normally logical and controlled, you might become strangely volatile or moody; if you tend to be a high-performing achiever, you may disconnect and start foot-dragging on deliverables.
If overwhelm is affecting your physical or emotional well-being, there will be signs that your body is in a pervasive state of “fight, flight or freeze.” The resources of your neurophysiological system have been diverted or marshalled against a perceived threat.
Once overwhelm happens, you will experience disruption in many or most areas of everyday functioning: eating, sleeping, energy, productivity, efficiency and even relationships.
The red flags of overwhelm can manifest as a variety of symptoms, including:
· Emotional volatility
· Inability to concentrate or listen
· Difficulty making decisions
· Feeling pervasive dread
· Constantly irritated or annoyed
· Numbness or withdrawal (from people or activities)
· Physical aches and pains — headaches, back pain, digestive issues, fatigue and more
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