Are you feeling overwhelmed? 🤔
As positive reinforcement animal trainers – overwhelm is all around us. We are bombarded by new learning opportunities, by new products to buy, books to read or documentaries to watch – the list goes on and on. We also want to be on top of all new comments and posts within our favourite online communities and we can feel bad when we are not.
We can make promises to ourselves “I won’t buy any more learning opportunities until I finish all the ones I already bought” and in a few weeks or months (if we are lucky) we find ourselves buying 3 more… Does that sound familiar?
We want you to know that you are not alone! Consequently, we have come up with a list of 5 possible ideas to help you overcome overwhelm and stay focused on your animal training objectives:
1) Prioritise your training goals so that you can prioritise your learning!
We can’t engage in every learning opportunity that is out there. By prioritising what you want to achieve with your personal animal training goals – it will be easier for you to let go of the excess of opportunities & just pick ones that will best serve you. To help achieve this, check out this previous ATA blog about prioritising your training goals & setting yourself achievable approximations to accomplish them.
2) Acknowledge FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and practice gratitude.
FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) refers to the feeling or perception that others might be having better experiences than you. You might have experienced feeling this when via social media you saw people having fun at an event you couldn’t attend. Adding new learning opportunities to our life is great but feeling that we NEED these opportunities and can’t move forward without them can be crippling to our Ripple making abilities.
To try to ease the FOMO, I’m curious if there’s value in reframing it. Could we even be grateful for it? We are lucky to live in times where knowledge is so readily available. This is something I am personally super grateful for.
3) Say ‘NO’ more.
Saying NO can totally be SUPER hard though (remember that FOMO). Check out this previous ATA blog post where we talked specifically about this topic.
4) Consider the opportunity cost of saying yes!
Time is a valuable resource. Many of us are behavior geeks and new learning opportunities are highly reinforcing for us. However, saying “yes” to a new learning opportunity means saying “no” to something else! For example, developing your own business, spending time with friends and family, your own animals and/or self care.
5) Celebrate your own learning!
Just because someone spends more time engaging in learning opportunities it doesn’t mean that their situation is exactly the same as ours. They might have different commitments or more free time than we do. And even if they don’t – that’s not a reason to expect ourselves to be like them! We might have a tendency to expect much more from ourselves than we would from others.
I personally endeavour to celebrate all the time I spend on my own learning (no matter how small or insignificant it might seem). What about you – think about all that you have learned so far this year (including getting this far in this blog post)! We are celebrating this with you.
There are so many learning opportunities out there that we simply can’t fit them all in. And if we try, we can easily start to feel overwhelmed and our to-do/to-watch list becomes never-ending! We hope the ideas shared in this blog can offer some possible approximations for you to help prioritize your resources and stay focused on your training goals!
Anna Bartosik (Blog Writer & ATA Happiness Engineer) &
Ryan Cartlidge (Blog editor & ATA Founder/Connector/Founder)
PS. This blog was inspired by Ripple Makers extraordinaires in the ATA members only community. To join in on similar discussions and get inspired by other amazing ATA members access your exclusive 30 day ATA membership trial here >>> https://www.animaltrainingacademy.com/trial-21/
Birgit Heckemann says
Thank you for the reminder on how to deal with overwhelm. I am feeling so overwhelmed right now with work and life, it’s good to step back and re-evaluate what is important for me and not compare myself to others.