477 – How To Avoid Overwhelm, Stress And Burnout

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When you are trying to get something new off the ground, there seems to be an ever increasing list of high priority projects that need to be accomplished. I know, from personal experience, that trying to do too much can be overwhelming, stressful and potentially lead to burnout.

In this week's podcast, I share five steps that I have learned to take to avoid overwhelm, stress and burnout when it comes to consistently taking my online business efforts to the next level.

1. Commit to having a mindset of gratitude and positivity.
2. Consistently reprioritize your ongoing project list.
3. Choose one thing to focus on and say not to all other projects.
4. Embrace Grace. You can't do everything!
5. Never neglect the top five priorities outside of work. (sleep, physical fitness, family, friends and recreation)

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Creating The Content That You Feel Called To Create

I recently came across one of quote on the internet that says… “Some people will only love you as long as you fit into their box.  Don't be afraid to disappoint.

Focus On The Positive Concept

As a content creator, you simply cannot expect to make everyone happy. I have come to the place where I believe it is detrimental to your brand, and your overall health, to even attempt to make everyone happy.

Recently, in episode 379 of my Podcast Answer Man podcast, I opened the show by letting my audience know that this episode was going to be out of the norm, that I would be spending the entire episode sharing some thoughts that I had about the direction that I may be heading with my personal brand. I shared some pretty aspirational visions that I had about what that future might look like.

The feel that this was a perfect episode for Podcast Answer Man as my target audience is made up of people who are building personal brands and businesses around those brands.

I felt that it was good to share my journey of how I’d achieved far greater success than I have ever anticipated with Podcast Answer Man and the vision I have for future that may contain success far greater than I could even imagine at this point. I had stated I have a sense that if I knew where I was going to be in ten years from now, I’d be scared to death, because it’s so far beyond what my current confidence level would allow me to pursue.

I also shared that the majority of the impact that I have, in the future, may be completely unrelated to my consulting and coaching work in the area of podcasting.

I received a lot of very positive feedback as the result of this episode via email, face to face conversations at a recent conference, etc. The overwhelming majority of the feedback could be summed up with what Kathleen Thompson shared as a comment on the show notes posted to my website for this episode.

  • I listened to your podcast while cooking dinner. It's amazing to me that someone like you who has already accomplished so much is thinking so many of the same thoughts, with big, scary, and fuzzy dreams for your future. When we say we want to change the world, we really do have to be prepared for it to be a much larger piece of the world than we currently influence. And that is downright scary. I think you have the potential to reach many more people than you currently reach. As I think it was Todd who stated, your heart, accessibility, and passion for helping others is what draws us to you. Where you'll go – who knows? So I suggest you keep you mind, heart, eyes, and imagination open. Can't wait to see what the future will look like in the life of Cliff Ravenscraft! All the best – Kathleen Thompson

Of course, I love it when I get feedback that supports what I’ve been feeling in my heart, when the feedback seems to confirm my thoughts about the direction that I’m heading.

However, it never fails. I could have over one hundred people tell me how much they love something that I’ve recently done or said, and if I get one person who posts something negative or critical, it can cause me to take pause and question my own motives. This happened when Rob Flores posted the following one line comment on that episode.

  • Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which people have an excessive sense of self‑importance. Lay off the Kool Aid – Rob Flores

Here’s the deal, when I hit the record button, I wondered if people would think that I seem arrogant by sharing these thoughts of such a lofty vision of the future. However, there was absolutely no question in my heart as to whether or not I should share what was on my heart at that time.

The next week, I recorded episode 380 of the show and titled it “Are Podcasters Narcissists?” Again, I felt that this content would be a great topic for those who are building a personal brand. Too many of us already struggle with questions like “Who am I, to say that I’m an expert?”

During the episode, I went through a personal evaluation of each of the symptoms listed for someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I shared my authentic and transparent thoughts on how I felt I ranked with each of those symptoms. At the end of the episode, I suggested I feel that most podcasters need to be more bold and do more things that may seem narcissistic to many. Overall, I felt very good about that episode.

Once again, I got a lot of overwhelmingly positive feedback about this episode. Here are just a few things that people said about this episode…

  • Hi Cliff, as a new podcaster I REALLY enjoyed this episode. Your authenticity and honesty in sharing who you are and your wisdom on how to deal with that kind of feedback. Thank you for encouraging us to share our message without making excuses or feeling like we have a narcissistic disorder 🙂 Besides. its your show, why can´t you talk about what you want? I am a new listener to you on podcasting tips, but this was just as helpful. Thank you from a new regular subscriber. God bless you. – The Goals Coach
  • I loved the discourse on narcissistic personality disorder and you addressed the Rob Flores comment in exactly the right way. Two words came to mind as I listened to you: authentic and human. Authentic for not straying from who you are, and recognizing there are traits in your personality that could lead to issues if they were expressed in excess, which they are not. Humanness (is that a word?) for sharing feelings that we all experience – occasional jealousy and envy, and an enjoyment of praise. To me, and to many of your listeners I am sure, your openness is refreshing and honest. – Heather Bayer

Not only did I feel confident in episode 380, I had more than than 50 people who went out of their way to tell me that the most recent episodes of Podcast Answer Man have been the most meaningful to them in their journey of building their platform.

However, yesterday I received my weekly email digest of all new written reviews posted to my iTunes listing for the Podcast Answer Man podcast. There was one written review with a two out of five star rating under the name “Dr. Arcane” posted on November 18, 2014. The written review says…

  • I just spent more than an hour listening to Cliff explain how he’s not a narcissist. He admits, he doesn’t want to talk about podcasting any more, he just likes to hear himself talk. Every once in a while, he’ll actually have an episode that focuses on the technology or procedures of podcasting, but more and more, he just focuses on motivational self-help-feel-good stuff. The good episodes are getting further and further apart. I know what podcasting is. I know what they are good for. I’m sold on that already. Quit talking about why podcasting is wonderful and talk about something USEFUL!

I will tell you that after eight years of podcasting, this type of feedback still packs a hefty sting. However, I’m happy to report that I was able to read this, ponder what was being said, and then make a decision of whether or not I agreed with this feedback. Thankfully, I had the overwhelming, positive, feedback from others that have confirmed the direction that I’m heading with my show.

By the way, I’ve never stated that I don’t want to talk about podcasting any more. I’ve simply stated that I no longer want the focus of the Podcast Answer Man podcast to be only be on the technical procedures of how to set up a podcast. My target audience, for Podcast Answer Man, is made up of those who already have a podcast and who are looking for education, encouragement and inspiration that will help them take their message, their business and their life to the next level.

For those who are looking for the technical procedures of how to podcast, they only need look at my website to see where I’ve devoted thousands of hours to making all that content available.

I see where Dr Arcane and others are coming from. I understand the appeal for folks to have a podcast that does nothing more than focus on technical procedures that have to do with audio equipment, RSS feed configurations, product reviews, etc. However, that simply is not the type of show that I have in my heart to create. I’ll never be able to make these people happy and as a result, I must remind myself that many of these people are going to post negative feedback in iTunes, in my show notes and in my email inbox.

What I’ve learned, that works best, is to keep a record of most of the positive and encouraging feedback that you receive. Keep creating the type of content that you have in your heart to share and that is confirmed by the feedback of people who tell you that this is the type of content that is making a positive difference in their lives.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe there is a great deal of value that can be gained from negative and critical feedback. My show has certainly improved over the years as a result of some painful and honest feedback. Even some of the most scathing and hurtful words have helped me see where I’d lost my focus in the past.

Yet, when it comes to the recurring theme of negative feedback from those who simply disagree with the type of content that I feel called, deep in my heart, to share, I simply choose to focus on the positive feedback.

In fact, this entire post was inspired both another piece of written feedback regarding the past two podcast episodes that I’ve mentioned above.

(BEGIN QUOTED FEEDBACK)

Cliff,
I really appreciate these past few episodes. (I appreciate them ALL, but I'm also very thankful for the topics you've shared recently.) You shared some very inspiring updates on your personal journey, and what you feel you might be building towards. Your words didn't sink in right away when I was listening to your episode yesterday, but for some reason, today while I was working around the house, some of your words jumped back into my thoughts. For example, you mentioned (I think in last week's episode) that you could foresee yourself speaking to a very large group, perhaps in a venue the size of a stadium. To be absolutely honest with you Cliff, I don't doubt that at all. There's something about you that is much larger than simply being Podcast Answer Man (not that I'm saying that's simple – don't get me wrong!) Also, I don't typically listen to PABL, but I'm so intrigued by what you mentioned in episode 381, that I'm going to download it right away!

You occasionally bring up faith in some of your episodes, and I've been more attuned to that in the recent couple of months. I was raised in the Roman Catholic faith, but I do not feel I have practiced my faith wholeheartedly in more many, many years. My wife and I were married in the Catholic Church just over 5 years ago, and we occasionally attend mass, but we both come up excuses that make us feel like it's ok for us to stay at home on Sundays. Truthfully, I feel a bit lost in my role in my faith. I've never really known how to talk to God. I just try to be a “good person” and love/serve others, but when it comes to practicing faith, I just feel like I'm “going through the motions”. This is something that I've felt some guilt for many years, but never knew quite what to do about it.

I'm really not sure where I'm going with this, but I felt compelled to reach out and tell you that I resonate with your intuition, that in your lifetime, God truly does have much larger plans for you. I do believe your recent successes, as deserved as you are of them, are simply God's plan in action to set your environment and lifestyle to exactly where you need to be to pursue the next level. (Ok, those words fit a little too well together!)

I'm so grateful to be a follower of yours, to listen to your show week after week, and to be an alumni of yours. Your journey is amazing and inspiring beyond words, and you inspire me to want to be a better Christian.

Thanks Cliff!

Darcy Sabatino

(END QUOTED FEEDBACK)

This feedback confirms that I’m creating the content that is according to my mission and purpose in the world.

Whatever you do, create the content that is in your heart.