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They say "A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." Actually, the proper quote by Lao Tzu is that it "...begins beneath one's feet," which means something slightly different.

However, for my purposes here, they're similar enough to make my point, which is about facing a difficult -- or seemingly impossible challenge -- and wanting to give up before you start because it feels like it's just too much to manage.

It's easy to be in a place of feeling overwhelmed. All of us feel that way at times. It's like standing at the base of a mountain and staring up at its tallest peak, knowing you have to scale the damned thing and you don't even have a climbing rope.

You might feel like turning and running full speed in the opposite direction, just changing your mind or abandoning your responsibilities. But of course, sometimes neither of those options will work in the long term.

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So what do you do in the short term? How do you get past feeling completely overwhelmed and unable to cope with everything that you're facing?

Well, you do it one step at a time. You look at one small, manageable "something" that you can do right now, in this moment, or today, and you do that. Just take one step and begin the journey up that mountain. Don't look up. Don't look down. Just stay focused on where you need to put your foot next, and that's it.

The more steps you take, the easier they'll get, and eventually you'll feel ready to look up and see how much of that mountain is still ahead of you. It'll also give you a chance to notice how far you've come, which will spur you on and help you to continue to make progress.

Whatever your "mountain" is, every time you start to feel overwhelmed or as though you just can't cope with everything ahead of you, just remember that you don't have to do it all in one day. Focus on just one manageable step for now, and that's all you need to do. Then the next one, and the next one, and so on until you're feeling better.

Have you ever felt like this before? What did you do to start taking steps to move forward? Please share in the comments below. It could help someone else.

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