Nearly all the professionals I chat to experience some kind of imposter syndrome (that feeling you’re going to be found out/aren’t good enough). Many also say they are experiencing symptoms of feeling overwhelmed. And yet when I chat to them and ask, ‘how much time do you give yourself to rest’ they laugh and say, ‘I don’t have time to rest’.
Next I ask what they do when they’re not working? I usually find they either have very little time when they’re not and/or they fill their time with activities like facebook, instagram and watching TV.
How much information do we take in in one day?
It is averaged that in any given day we are bombarded with the equivalent of 174 newspapers of information. In this blog (Why Resting Isn’t Idle) I talked about how resting is far from being idle but a fundamental process in helping us to understand the information we receive.
If you are experiencing symptoms of imposter syndrome or feeling overwhelmed then you may be guilty of taking in so much information but not giving yourself the mental time you need to process it. You are suffering from information overload.
How to stop the negative impacts of information overload?
At first making changes to the way in which you live can be hard and take practise but we are learning beings. So long as your reasons are big enough any new behaviour will form a habit pretty quickly. Take a look at your life at the moment and assess the following:
1) How much information do you take in each day? What can you reduce? – Since information comes into your life at all times these days and the high from social media is addictive you need your own self-discipline. Focus on the things you can change, turn off your notifications and set some boundaries which you feel are reasonable. Examples may include looking at social media twice a day for 10 minutes and that’s it or planning one evening per week when you don’t watch TV.
2) Make time and give yourself permission to rest – this is time to daydream and process information, not watch TV, read a book etc. Go for a walk and actually enjoy the walk, sit looking out of the window or ponder the world whilst you drink your coffee. It may take practise and feel a little weird at first but it is worth it.
What to do if you’re struggling with Imposter Syndrome or Overwhelm
Many people assess every thought, believe their thoughts are all true and over think each one. I challenge you to set aside some time for resting and in this time to not assess your thoughts, action them or get worried by them. They are just a thought and they can come as fast as they can go. Your rest time is about giving your unconscious mind time to process and make connections.
If you’re struggling with resting download my free 10 minute audio, sometimes it’s easier to sit and just listen as someone else guides you.
Some people also rest by doing, if that’s you thats absolutely fine but pick an action which is mundane and repetitive. Choose something which requires no new learning or much cognitive application. Examples may be doing a jigsaw, washing dishes, walking, running, climbing etc. For people who rest by doing these repetitive actions distract your conscious mind and allow you to focus on processing your day. If you’re not daydreaming, the action is too involved!!!!
The biggest tip for today
Most important of all, change your belief that resting is a nice to have, or that by resting you’re being lazy. Resting is a fundamental human function and without it you struggle to process life!!
If you’re experiencing anxiety, stress illnesses or chronic pain and struggle to relax I want to help. My Healthy Mindset Programme teaches you strategies to help you with mental processing. Strategies which can help you refocus, re-energise and overcome your symptoms of imposter syndrome and overwhelm. If you would like some help I’d love to have a chat with you, books a complimentary mindset review.
Until next time