A serious, but largely overlooked, problem in philanthropy is feeling overwhelmed. What is overwhelm? According to wellness writer Michelle Rees, “Overwhelm happens when the sheer volume of thoughts feelings, tasks, and stimuli in our daily environment shifts our brain and nervous system into a reactive, stressed state.” The result? Easy things become hard, and hard things become impossible.

Think feeling overwhelmed is not a big deal for philanthropists? Think again. In addition to zapping our creativity and problem-solving skills, overwhelm creates a relentless cycle of inactivity. We stop in our tracks. We don’t know the right path forward, which step to take, or what direction to choose. Overwhelm costs money, drains time, and suffocates talent.

Here are four ways philanthropists experience overwhelm and what to do instead.

  1. You feel overwhelmed by the world’s problems
  2. You feel overwhelmed finding a cause to support.
  3. You feel overwhelmed by change.
  4. You feel overwhelmed by a lack of time.

Feeling overwhelmed is delusional because you don’t recognize the damage it’s causing you and your philanthropy. Understanding how much control you have to reduce overwhelm is the first step to regaining the control and momentum that your mental health and your critical work in the world deserves.

Read the full article about overwhelmed donors by Kris Putnam-Walkerly at Forbes.