Get Started

Written by Meaghan Heighway, LMHC-P

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” (Mark Twain)
Life can be overwhelming sometimes, can’t it? So many demands, pulling us in so many different directions… and yet, time just keeps flowing forward. Particularly when we feel buried under a perpetual to-do list and expectations (from our family, job, relationships, or inner self), it can be easy to slide into a sense of panic: what do I do now? Here are three suggestions to help you answer that question for yourself:

1.Have compassion. As you consider how to reduce your feeling of being overwhelmed, remember to show compassion to yourself. You don’t need to have everything figured out, right at this moment. You don’t need to do everything perfectly. You don’t need to complete everything on your to-do list today, or even this week! Be proud of the fact that you are taking small steps towards reducing your overall stress, and affirm that this is not beyond you. The amazing thing about starting is that once you see how easy it is to do, your stress is reduced, your confidence is bolstered and you find yourself exercising compassion to yourself. As the quote by Mr. Twain noted, by simply starting, you are moving forward, so that the rest happens, and that is a beautiful thing.
2.Prioritize. As the quote at the beginning of this article notes, by beginning something, we are simultaneously getting ahead. A particular issue in this area is the corresponding question: begin where? Try making a short list of your top three priorities (i.e. family, job, health) and then spend some time reflecting. What do you see as your crucial needs in each area? What is your dream, your vision, for each priority? How can you dissemble that vision into definite steps to pursue? Do any particular visions have time constraints or certain tangible experiences that need to be obtained prior to d? (I.e. getting a degree would increase your likelihood of getting a new position at your job, or even a raise). By explicitly laying out what you value, you can reduce your inner sense of being overwhelmed.
3.Just start. Once you’ve prioritized your top three things, simply pick one thing to do, right now. For example, if you realize that you will not be able to move forward in your job without some kind of continued education (and you are unhappy with how your current role moving forwaris shaping up), consider your options. What kind of degree would you need? Once you’ve decided that continuing your education is something that would make your priority of employment more enjoyable, just start. How? One way would be by going online and looking at what colleges in the area offer the degree you’re seeking, or if there is a long-distance learning option available. Start slowly compiling information about your desired area, just doing a bit at a time so it doesn’t become overwhelming. Even one small step is further than merely standing still. Doing even one small thing can work wonders for reducing your sense of feeling overwhelmed.

Be proud of yourself as you take these small steps – change is not beyond you.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is intended to educate, inform and entertain. This does not represent psychotherapy, therapeutic assessment, or any other form of therapeutic intervention. This should not be used as a substitute for consultation and treatment with a licensed mental health professional. If you have questions related to the material contained in this site please contact CCM or a licensed mental health professional of your choice.

Posted in: Uncategorized

Tagged in:

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply