In a world that feels more volatile and uncertain than ever, it can be helpful to recognize three phases of psychological orientation--individually and collectively--in response to crisis. More than two years into a global pandemic, not to mention multiple intersecting additional crises, many people are still anchored in the apprehension or acclimation orientation. These approaches leave us focused on meeting needs near the bottom of Maslow's hierarchy. One reason that we can stay stuck is that the continued uncertainty and dislocation from what we used to know leads us to feel overwhelmed--the ways we used to meet our needs simply aren't available anymore when the world doesn't work the way it used to. The opportunity here is to get re-oriented in a shifted world and find new ways of delivering at your very best, whatever is coming next. This is about finding a way to accelerate your own contribution in a personally sustainable way even when what's going on around you can feel overwhelming.
As someone with a calling to make the world a better place, one of your greatest risks for feeling overwhelmed is actually your calling itself! You can’t run and you can’t hide: chances are you are going to feel deeply called to serve others throughout the whole course of your life. This is why finding your personal “pace of grace” is vital to answering your call at the highest possible level over the course of your life.
So what exactly is this "pace of grace?"
Your “pace of grace” is the “just right” intensity of daily engagement in pursuit of your calling that brings the greatest cumulative impact and joy over the course of your life. Chances are this pace of grace will vary from one period of your life to the next. This is especially true as we all navigate through the three phases of crisis response in a world that feels more volatile and uncertain than ever.
In a world that is full of hurt and injustice, many change agents get overwhelmed by over-indexing on the problem and on their peers and underinvesting in the personal and the practical….
The video for this post walks through some key ideas for breakout out of the overwhelm cycle.
Your toolkit of go-to anti-overwhelm strategies with enough variety that at least one will always be an option, no matter what the situation. Building from what's already working for you when it comes to getting relief from that feeling of overwhelm is key. Check out the video as well as additional posts linked below for some ideas about what might make this list for you.
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These are the same materials we use with the social entrepreneurs in our accelerator program and the funders we coach one on one. The world has never been more in need of a new, greatest generation of change agents and that's why we're opening up free access to these materials to anyone who's ready to make use of them!