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Issue #7: The More Overwhelmed You Are The More Underwhelming You’ll Be

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“I’m just so busy, so many things going on, pulling me in different directions – I just feel so overwhelmed!”

 

Put your hand up if you’ve experienced this 🙋‍♂️

 

Put the other one up if you experience this frequently…

 

Overwhelm is common. in Nice Guys. Usually inevitable.

 

The Nice Guy overcommits. He becomes overwhelmed.

 

The fear of saying no and what might come from that; rejection, judgement, other people’s discomfort – is so strong, that he’d rather overload himself than say no.

 

Plus there is this twisted bonus the Nice Guy (thinks he) gets from saying yes despite overcommitting himself.

 

He short-sightedly focuses on the benefit of being seen as capable enough to do the thing he’s committing to.

 

Without taking into account what happens in the long run to reputation and respectability of the inevitable underdelivering.

 

When you  OVERcommit, by definition you UNDERdeliver.

 

You overwhelm yourself.

 

The more overwhelmed you are the more underwhelming you’ll be.

 

Read that one again.

 

 

Overwhelming is often an indication of poor boundaries and poor capacity management around those boundaries.

 

Many Nice Guys say YES to more than they can handle – not even safely cover, just flat out even get near to covering at a stretch.

 

As a result, overwhelm becomes the friends-without-benefits for most Nice Guys.

Exceptions to this

However, overwhelm doesn’t always indicate this. It can be an indication of growth.

 

Of being at an edge. A place where we feel stretched because we are being stretched to a new level, new capabilities and capacities.

 

We’re being invited to grow into a new capability.

 

We’re being asked to let go of some things that are no longer for us and step up into something new. A new way of seeing things. Of doing things. A new way of being.

 

Enter a surprise lesson for Nice Guys; when you are overwhelmed, when you feel overcommitted, this is an indication of an edge, an invitation to growth.

 

You are being asked to let go of people pleasing, of the fear of saying no and being disliked or upsetting people. You are being asked to step into having self-respect, and communicating boundaries. You are being invited to shedding more of what isn’t serving you and choosing to respect your time and energy more.

 

You are being reminded by your entire system “Stop letting fear of what people might think about you run your life and start honouring yourself and your capacity and needs.”

 

If this is landing for you as it has for thousands of men I’ve spoken to and worked with over the years, then I suggest one of the major reasons you experience overwhelm is because life gets on top of you.

 

Or, more accurately, you let life get on top of you.

 

Fear wins. You chase approval and peace. You react to life instead of choosing powerfully.

 

Your work is to start choosing what happens in your life more, dictating your time and energy instead of reacting to life and always chasing to try and feel ok. Hoping. Waiting. Losing.

Exploring Overwhelm

I’m going to share a short scenario that I purposefully set up for my new coaching students inside the Everyday Legends Academy.

 

When the guys start the work in ELA or the Development Academy I mention that at some point everyone will likely feel overwhelmed.

 

In fact, for many guys – not everyone – before I even communicate that with them, it has already happened.

 

Before we properly dive into the content of the work, we have a whole week of orientation.

 

Orientation is what it says on the can – all the stuff they need so they can do the work.

 

And, purposefully, there’s a bit in there – it can be daunting.

 

WHY?

 

1. Communicate important details: we want the guys to know all the pieces that will support them in the execution of the program.

 

2. Facilitate some overwhelm: I want to throw a challenge at them to see how they handle it, and how they respond and show up.

 

How we respond to challenges speaks volumes. It holds so much information on us.

 

I want to see what these men and made of. I want to see where they’re at, what’s going on, and what shit comes up for them.

 

Do they leave it all to the end of the week? Do they find excuses? Do they ask or go silent? Do they get on top of it and plan? Do they all of a sudden feel overwhelmed and then all their stories come up and they panic?

 

There’s no judgment. There’s no right or wrong, but it’s all information for us to understand to better coach and support them.

 

This work asks you to give a shit about yourself, to prioritise yourself, to show up, to be challenged and respond to it, and to be accountable – it invites you into a growth-orientated environment of men all leaning in into the same work.

 

I don’t fuck around with this work or the men who choose to work with me and my team.

 

I want the guys to have to lean in, prioritise themselves, plan, and give a shit.

 

We’re sprinting. And sprinting has an intensity to it.

 

So, we see what they’re made of upfront, we stretch them into a little overwhelmed and step back and pay attention.

 

What arises shows us some areas that we get to focus on and work on.

 

And then, we do.

 

So, overwhelm is a vitally important thing to explore.

 

Today, my invitation is to reflect on how OVERWHELM plays a part in your life.

 

P.S. When you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can support you:

 

  1. Listen to a solo podcast episode with me on Handling Overwhelm
  2. Level up your relationship game with the Better Partner Project
  3. Explore coaching in the Everyday Legends Academy