If you’re like me, when you are completely overwhelmed about a situation falling on you, you freeze. Then you become apathetic about the situation as a coping mechanism to ignore the situation and only deal with it peripherally. For me, the apathy is a form of fear: a way to cope with the enormity of the situation, the maze of decisions, and the overwhelming wave of emotional turmoil. So instead of facing the issue head on, I shut down and just sort of convince myself that I’m really not all that interested or the matter isn’t really all that important. However, because the brain doesn’t forget, it eats away at me, and I push back harder, feigning a lack of concern — but I’m really just kidding myself, because I know the enormity of the responsibility we have for our family. And then the vicious cycle continues.
Can you relate to this? In the recent movie, Moms’ Night Out, a few of the moms expressed another word for the same freeze – Stress Paralysis. When you just become so overwhelmed that you can’t do a thing.
The dangers of apathy or stress paralysis
- Giving up
- Putting your family at risk
- Relying on others to do for you
- Becoming a danger to yourself
Nike had a great idea with the Just Do It! campaign. No excuses. No whining. Just do it. But apathy (or fear if you will), makes it that much harder to just take that extra step, but it’s something you absolutely must push past in order to become a more prepared family.
Ways to Push Past the Fear and Do It Anyway
Take Baby Steps
If the fear of taking that next step to becoming more self-sufficient is too much for you to accomplish, start with smaller goals that aren’t so daunting.
Determine Your Dream
Before you can set your goals, you have to determine just what it is that you envision as being the life you want to live. This dream can morph into something else as you go along. With me, our initial desire to be prepared for any emergency that might come to us is slowly morphing in a greater desire to also be self-sufficient on land that is our own and free from the shackles of what binds us now. But we have that dream – we know it, we can voice it, and it has power!
Different than just making a list, setting goals of what you’d like to accomplish, when you’d like to accomplish it, and how you’d like to accomplish it can give you some defined direction on your preparedness journey. Do you want to be completely self-reliant in five years? Are you looking to be prepared for a list of common emergency threats in your area? Do you want to be debt free in two years so that you can accomplish either of these goals or more? Set some goals, post them on the wall and go for it!
Make a List
If you’re not overwhelmed by a list, write down your next five steps so that you can visualize that it’s not as big of a task as you think it might be. Are you a brand at the idea of preparedness and just need a place to start because you feel so overwhelmed by the task at hand? Write down 5 things to do, and focus only on them. Don’t worry about the rest until you’ve done the 5. Whether that’s save an emergency fund, put away water for 3 days, gather supplies for camping, take stock of the equipment you might already own, etc. Just 5 things that will help you see the next few steps without feeling overwhelmed by the highway ahead of you.
Find people in your area who you can commune with. Whether is is someone who has been at this awhile and can guide and teach you, whether it’s others just starting out on the journey, or someone, who like you, might be ready to take that next big step and make it all real, find people who have those common values to commune with. Even if you don’t have anyone in your life who would understand your desires to be more self-reliant, find a community online where you can learn and discuss your concerns and find ways to move past the initial paralysis of there being so much to do. If you’re on Facebook, there’s a great community of women who have a heart for preparing for their families.
Learn a New Skill
Sometimes, the big goal seems so unbelievably daunting that you can’t get past it. So break it down into those baby steps. Learn a new skill that you can use in your life now, and that will help you attain your goals in the future. Even something as small as raising all of your own food can start with a few containers on your patio as you begin to learn.
Jump in with Both Feet
While breaking things down into smaller bite sized pieces are great for some people, for others, they need to just jump in the freezing lake completely naked and exposed. If that’s you – DO IT! (Well, don’t really do the naked part!) Sometimes, going all in allows us to stop thinking and just do.
Find a Greater Purpose
Look past yourself at the bigger picture. For us, it was looking at our children and our children’s children and the world that we saw coming for them to have to live in. We also see a bigger purpose in our faith and helping others and how these life skills that we’re learning now can make us better servants now, and in the future. We want to be able to get past any emergency that comes our way and not rely on anyone to help us and then to be a blessing to others who do need a hand to get back on their feet without relying on outside forces.
READ MORE — TIPS TO HELP YOU FEEL LESS OVERWHELMED
Share Your Thoughts – do you have ways that help you cope when you seem to hit a wall and need help climbing over it? Share them with us here!
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