Recently I’ve come to terms with three of my default strategies for coping with overwhelm:

1) Run away

2) Just keep working and plowing through

3) Don’t feel

I ran away from jobs when I got overwhelmed.

I kept working to the point of exhaustion, eventually getting Mono.

I kept the lid on emotions that I told myself I didn’t have time to feel.

I now realize that I used these coping mechanisms because I didn’t know what else to do. I wouldn’t ask for help.

But what I really wanted was a way to get off the hamster wheel safely.

I wanted to take a break, to find joy again, to have more fun instead of just coping or running away or plowing through.

With the guidance of Ryan Mathie, I had these realizations when asking what boils down to these questions:

> What scares you?

> What are you telling yourself to create this overwhelmed reality?

> What do you want instead?

Are you willing to take a hard look at the cost of your own default coping strategies?

Are you willing to ask yourself these questions and get in touch with what you really want instead?

Is your organization ready for a change?

Stephanie Blackburn Freeth is the creator of The Strategy Tango.


The Strategy Tango is designed to move through seven tried and true planning steps while also accommodating the unique needs of your organization in each moment.


The Strategy Tango process is built upon a foundation of collaboration, candor, and focus.

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