How Not to Buckle Under Pressure When Everything is Happening at Once

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The following is a post by MPFJ staff writer, SK. SK writes about the reasons we get into debt, changing the patterns that get us into debt, and examines small business ownership and real estate investing at her blog, American Debt Project.

If you have ever been surfing, you know the importance of not letting one wave get you caught in a set of waves that hold you down and knock you around. But, beginners always end up going hard for the first wave of a set, excitedly standing on their board before losing their balance. Your reaction to getting knocked off your board is going to set up the next couple of minutes, and if you go about it the wrong way, it’s going to be a very rough couple of minutes

What’s the proper response? The first thing you want to do is grab your board and get back on it, and start paddling directly towards the next wave so you can get over it before it breaks. The beginner response is usually to stay off your board as you process falling off and going through “the washer” for a few cycles before looking around in a daze to figure out where the shore is. By this time, your board is somewhere by your side and the next wave is sitting on top of your head, about to knock the wind out of you again. Even though it seems scary, beginners start improving as soon as they learn how to handle a bad wave and getting right back on their board to paddle out strong for the next set. 

The good news is that life can be handled pretty much the exact same way.

There are periods in your life where you will deal with many important tasks and events at once. You know that this is the time when you need to perform, but it’s still going to be tough, a little scary, and sometimes there is a temptation to just stand there and look at the proverbial wave as it’s about to beat the crap out of you. I am right in the middle of one of those times in my life right now. Everything is happening, and I am not sure if I can handle it. I have become so focused on making sure everything goes well in my new job, new venture, new engagement, that I have let living my regular life completely fall apart. And that’s a mistake.

As of today, I am getting back on track. 

Getting to work early. Sending funny texts to my friends again.  Taking at least 30 minutes to exercise each day. Reading and taking quiet time at the end of the night. The trick of handling all those big important tasks is responsible time management, doing what you say you’re going to do when you say you’ll do it and all, but it’s all about not letting the monster wave engulf you and overtake everything. In surfing, you have to respect the ocean because she will cripple you if you underestimate her power. In life, we learn to respect our big responsibilities but without letting them take over the entirety of our being. 

How about you all? Have there been times in your life when you’ve felt too much is going on for you to handle? If so, how did you handle it?

Share your experiences by commenting below!

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