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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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In The Other Side of Organized, Linda Samuels, CPO-CD® will encourage you to get organized enough to reduce the stress of life’s details and make time to embrace your passions. Already, thousands of clients and readers have found help and inspiration in her advice, personal reflections on change and connection, and vision of what can be accomplished when you find that sweet spot between chaos and perfection.

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Shift Perspective By Asking, "What help do I need?"

One of my great joys is writing. In addition to being a professional organizer, you might know me as a blogger, author or letter writer. For over 40 years I’ve also been a journal writer. Since I was 11 years old, I’ve filled many volumes with thoughts, feelings, observations, drawings and paintings. Journaling has helped me to clarify ideas, capture moments in time, and offer me perspective.

Aside from writing, another joy is revisiting my journals. Particularly when I’m traveling, I enjoy not only writing, but also going back to read about the past. Why go back? It helps me gain perspective, notice growth, identify themes, and discover areas for learning.

Just this past week, while taking a vacation with my husband to the lovely Delaware beach, I did some reading. I’d like to share one concept that I rediscovered. I wrote this as a way to help myself during a particularly full and challenging time. I offer it to you in the hopes that you’ll be able to access it when you need it.


When you're feeling overwhelmed and challenged, instead of saying,

“It’s so hard.”

Shift your perspective by asking,

“What can I learn?”

“What help do I need?”


How do you help yourself when you’re feeling overwhelmed? What has helped you shift your perspective? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation.





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Reader Comments (10)

Overwhelm steals the joy from my life, so I don't take it lying down. I cope best by clarifying the next step I can take to climbing away from it. I'm always surprised by the power rush I get from opening even one small door and giving it a try. Just reading these words of wisdom from you remind me that I'm not the only one who periodically feels under water - it is normal, and it is temporary.

August 25, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

Seana- That is such a powerful statement you wrote…."Overwhelm steals the joy from my life, so I don't take it l lying down." I like your proactive approach to figuring out "next." You're absolutely right that you're not alone. Overwhelm happens to everyone and like you said, it's normal and temporary. Appreciate how you expanded the conversation.

August 25, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Just this week I was thinking about how a change in perspective makes a difference in all we do and all we think about. This change can come about from inside out or outside in, as well as with or without the help of others. When faced with a challenge, I like to take a look at all perspectives and see which feels best. It is a great way for me to move forward.

August 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

Ellen- It sounds like this we were on the same wavelength this week…thinking about how differently things can look and feel from a new angle or perspective. It's like hearing two people describe the same event. It can seem like two completely different stories. And it's like that for us when we're looking at something. We have an opportunity to view it in different ways and hopefully choose a perspective that's positive.

August 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

I love what both Seana and Ellen have written as comments to your wonderful post, Linda. Feeling that sense of overwhelm is debilitating and shifting perspective can often enable me to move forward. I am a paper and pencil girl and a list maker. Creating a list of everything that is contributing to the overwhelming feeling allows me to make a plan and prioritize what to ignore, delegate or tackle and puts me back in control.

August 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Quintana

Diane- Great to "hear" your voice! Ah…nothing quite like paper and pencil (or pen) to help sort out those ideas. Like you, I'm also a list maker and use them in a variety of ways to help reduce that overwhelm and keep me focused. Most of the time they're very effective. And then sometimes, we just have "those" days when other techniques or strategies need to be activated. It's wonderful that you know what works for you.

August 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

When I feel overwhelmed with troubles, what I do to shift perspective is subtracting me from the equation, that way I can view the problem with another set of eyes, and with an emotional detachment. Having a cool head help me to think better.

August 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNacho Eguiarte

Nacho- Wow! What a skill that is. I imagine that it isn't so easy to "subtract" yourself from the equation and see the situation from another view, as if you're not involved. While I can look at a situation from many angles, I know that my eyes are still on it, so that I'm not 100% objective. That's when I rely on another person's eyes to bounce some ideas off of and get a more neutral perspective. I applaud you for being able to play that role for yourself.

August 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Realizing that it's okay to ask for help, whether it be delegating a difficult or time-consuming task to someone else, asking for advice, or seeking answers online, goes a long way towards reducing overwhelm in my life.

The best thing is when I start to type out an email to someone or a message to post on a forum, and the mere process of explaining the problem provides me with the clarity I need to solve the problem!

September 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

Janet- As someone who is often the person that helps the overwhelmed, you must be an expert in identifying for yourself when you need help. It's interesting how by writing to someone and explaining your problem, you discover the source for the solution. That's wonderful. In the coaching field, there's an industry term called NCRW. It means Naturally Creative, Resourceful and Whole. It's about adopting that belief in ourselves and others. Through curiosity, observation, and questioning we can discover our own creative solutions or find clarity for our challenges.

September 7, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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