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Do you find yourself overwhelmed in situations and don’t know where to start?

In this episode, guest Woody Rini shares HELP on how to handle being overwhelmed, especially if you are an introvert. He is the author of “HELP! I’m Overwhelmed! A 4-step method for escaping life’s rip currents and living a peaceful and meaningful life.” He’ll share his 4 strategies on how to take a step back, assess the situation, and make a plan. Learn to navigate the rough currents in life and float your way right onto the peaceful beach!

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Woody Rini is a life coach who specializes in getting people the resources they need to live meaningful and peaceful life. Woody has spent six years making therapy appointments, hiring life coaches, and reading every self-help book he could find. He’s been determined to escape his own sense of feeling overwhelmed. As a result of his research, Woody learned that the key to a peaceful and meaningful life is simple: Get more help from others! Woody now coaches clients on how to engage their support systems and how to ask for help when they need it.


Get Woody’s Book:
HELP! I’m Overwhelmed! A 4-step method for escaping life’s rip currents and living a peaceful and meaningful life

Website – helpimoverwhelmed.com
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/woodyrini/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/woodyrini/

Contact the host of the Quiet and Strong Podcast:

David Hall
Author, Speaker, Educator, Podcaster
quietandstrong.com
Gobio.link/quietandstrong
david@quietandstrong.com

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Podcast Transcript

00;00;02;13 – 00;00;06;22
David Hall
I’d like the concept in your book. You call it the ultimate empowering thought. What’s that?

00;00;07;11 – 00;00;25;25
Woody Rini
So I talk about how life is very overwhelm me because we’re all taught like I should be able to do this thing perfectly on the first time, but I can’t. So I’m a failure. And I call that the ultimate overwhelming thought. It’s kind of the thought that we sort of naturally create in ourselves, even if no one’s trying to put it on us.

00;00;26;07 – 00;00;54;11
Woody Rini
And so I was thinking, well, what’s the truth then? If I’m really if I don’t need to be overwhelmed, if I can get help, what should I be thinking? You know, to get that way. And I designed the ultimate empowering thought, which is I can try this thing as many times as I want with as much help as I can find, until I find a way to meet my need.

00;00;58;22 – 00;01;19;05
David Hall
Hello and welcome to the Quiet and Strong podcast, especially for introverts. I’m your host, David Hall, and the creator of QuietandStrong.com. It’s a weekly podcast dedicated to understanding the strengths and needs of introverts. Introversion is not something to fix, but to be embraced normally will air each episode on a Monday. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform.

00;01;19;22 – 00;01;39;26
David Hall
What do you bring as a life coach who specializes in getting people the resources they need to live a meaningful and peaceful life? What do you spent six years making therapy appointments, hiring life coaches and reading every self-help book he could find. He’s been determined to escape his own sense of feeling overwhelmed as a result of his research.

00;01;40;06 – 00;02;02;21
David Hall
What he learned that the key to a peaceful and meaningful life is simple. Get more help from others. What he now coaches clients on how to engage their support systems and how to ask for help when they need it. What? He has just released his book on Overcoming Overwhelm. Titled Help I’m Overwhelmed. A four-step method for escaping life’s rip currents and living a peaceful and meaningful life.

00;02;04;01 – 00;02;09;10
David Hall
All right. We’re very excited to welcome our guest, Woody. Welcome to the Quiet and Strong podcast.

00;02;10;00 – 00;02;12;10
Woody Rini
Thanks for having me, David. I really appreciate it.

00;02;12;28 – 00;02;25;11
David Hall
Woody has just released a book. It’s called Help I’m Overwhelmed, a four step method for escaping life’s rip currents and living a peaceful and meaningful life. Excited for the release of your book?

00;02;26;02 – 00;02;39;02
Woody Rini
Yeah, I’m excited to share about it. It’s definitely been a journey writing it, so I’m just glad to be into the sharing portion and kind of get it out into the world because even writing a book can be overwhelming. So I learned some of my own techniques while I was writing it.

00;02;39;27 – 00;02;59;09
David Hall
All right. And what is a fellow introvert? Of course, the book is for introverts and extroverts. But Woody, before we get into your book, just tell us a little bit about yourself. And again, I mean, definitely the introversion part is is part of your journey. You know, tell us about being an introvert and finding yourself overwhelmed and working through that to writing this book.

00;02;59;28 – 00;03;21;19
Woody Rini
Yeah, sure. So I think my introversion really hit when I entered the workforce. And by hit, I mean I became aware, like, I need to know about this and understand the difference between introversion and extroversion. Because in, you know, middle school, high school, I was an introvert, but I am sort of a sociable introvert. And so I was able to find time at home and recharge.

00;03;22;01 – 00;03;38;09
Woody Rini
And then in college, you know, being an introvert kind of helped in some ways because I was good at school and good at sitting and studying on my own and using my skills. I mean, I always had a dorm room to myself that I could go back to, but then I went to the corporate workplace and I worked as a computer programmer.

00;03;38;09 – 00;03;59;00
Woody Rini
Again, pretty good job for introverts, I would think. But I was in this huge open office area and that’s the first thing that kind of started pinging. My radar as an introvert is it feels really odd to be working in a room with 40 other people, and I can hear all their phone conversations going on. I can, you know, they’re all reaching over to talk to me or grab something.

00;03;59;00 – 00;04;22;08
Woody Rini
And it was kind of chaotic and I realized, wow, I’m not getting the space for myself I need and I’m feeling overwhelmed. And it wasn’t just the, you know, physical aspect. It was getting work emails all the time, you know, from different people and lots of little details flying around. And it it just felt very chaotic. And I also found that I wasn’t super happy at the job I was in.

00;04;22;26 – 00;04;38;01
Woody Rini
And so I got to this point, and I do tell this at the very beginning of the book, but I got to a point where I was like, Wow, I’m not in the career. I want. And I followed the rules, gone to school, gotten good grades, but I don’t know, you know, what to do with myself now. Do I change careers?

00;04;38;01 – 00;04;57;11
Woody Rini
Do I go back to school? What do I do? And I found the best way to cope at first was just to find a little space to myself and do a little meditation or do a little personality test. Took a personality test. It said, Hey, you’re in f j, you’re good at certain things. You’re bad at being a corporate worker or a corporate employee.

00;04;57;21 – 00;05;19;03
Woody Rini
You know, when I did the Myers-Briggs inventory and so I just realized, hey, I need to deliberately think about who I am and what my life would be like. Ideally, instead of just following the path society gave me. And so that’s kind of the genesis of this book, I guess, is just thinking about all that and having to take a conscious effort to be less overwhelmed.

00;05;19;07 – 00;05;21;12
Woody Rini
And that’s what got me thinking about it all in the first place.

00;05;22;03 – 00;05;38;25
David Hall
Yeah, definitely. And that’s that’s what it is. It’s like, what do I need? Where are my strengths? You mentioned right at the beginning, you know, when you’re in college, you had your own room, which I wish I would have had. So the first year I did it and I couldn’t have labeled it what was going on back then.

00;05;39;09 – 00;05;58;18
David Hall
But, you know, I managed to get my own room after that because it was really important just to have like you said, it was sociable. Right. But it was important to have that space and to be in a room with 40 other people. Why do we do that? You know, and most people I mean, we need we need a little space to work.

00;05;58;18 – 00;06;06;16
David Hall
We need a little focus. You know, why are workplaces set up like that? It’s pretty crazy. That’s definitely another show right there. So.

00;06;07;01 – 00;06;10;29
Woody Rini
Yeah, absolutely. You can bring another specialist on for that. Yeah, that’s a deep topic.

00;06;11;10 – 00;06;18;28
David Hall
Yeah. So how did you start to become less overwhelmed? How did you get over that?

00;06;19;06 – 00;06;20;00
Woody Rini
Yeah.

00;06;20;00 – 00;06;21;00
David Hall
What did that take?

00;06;21;14 – 00;06;38;06
Woody Rini
Yeah, it took I mean, at the core and I mean, this is what the book is about, is it took a willingness to ask for help. Basically, I’ve realized I was overwhelmed. This is like late 2016. I’m a year and a half out of college and suddenly, after a year and a half of work, I’m like, My body can’t handle this.

00;06;38;06 – 00;06;59;09
Woody Rini
I need to adjust and become less overwhelmed. And so I started taking the personality test, taken some space. But then I realized I did need to apply for a new job. And there happened to be a workplace that was really good in my area that also gave an office to every employee. So we talked about that and this is a really unique company that actually did have an office for every employee.

00;06;59;09 – 00;07;18;02
Woody Rini
And I thought, Wow, I can work at this great company and have my own separate space. And so I applied there, didn’t get in, applied there, didn’t get in, and then about a year into the process in like 2017 ish, late 2017, I realized I can’t just treat this like school. I’ve got to ask for help from people.

00;07;18;02 – 00;07;37;08
Woody Rini
I can’t do it on my own. And so I just started asking friends and family if they knew anyone who worked here. Did they know the hiring manager who was hiring at this company? And my friend who I just walked my dog with in my apartment was like, you know, this is a 10,000 person company, but I know your hiring manager personally and I can give you a resume to him.

00;07;37;08 – 00;07;55;03
Woody Rini
And so I just got lucky to get in there and ended up succeeding at the interview and getting the job. But I noticed, oh, this was not just like school where I just do my work and everything works out perfectly. If I do my side, it’s like I’ve got to go out and ask for help. And as an introvert, that was really scary, right?

00;07;55;13 – 00;08;24;14
Woody Rini
But it helped me move forward and so did that. And then at the new job, I signed up for therapy. And again, it was just kind of luck in hindsight that my physician who was on campus at the job said, Hey, Woody, you’re medically you’re fine, but you do probably have anxiety and you would benefit from therapy. And she gave me this pamphlet and like handed it to me and was like, you get four free therapy sessions through our mutual employer if you choose to go with their employee assistance program.

00;08;24;26 – 00;08;43;02
Woody Rini
And so I started going to therapy that’s maybe 2018, you know, and then little by little, I just kept asking for more help when the opportunity came. So the therapist recommended consider medication. I considered it with a psychiatrist and went on that and it just sort of snowballed from there where I was asking for more and more help.

00;08;43;18 – 00;09;05;03
Woody Rini
And then eventually I ended up quitting my corporate job to do more life coaching and more advocating for mental health and join some peer support groups. And it’s just been sort of an organic matter of feeling overwhelmed and thinking, who can help me with this? You know, how can I get support? But in a structured way, you know, kind of as an introvert, I like the structure.

00;09;05;03 – 00;09;17;16
Woody Rini
I like structured conversation. And so really it’s as simple as getting more help from others, but not not accepting the overwhelm and just kind of trying to change something with help.

00;09;18;17 – 00;09;39;17
David Hall
Yeah, that’s that’s a great story. You found the right person. And then that also led to some great resources to let’s back up just a little bit. You know, in your book, you talk about some of the causes of overwhelm, definitely like maybe in school and then in life, you get one shot at this being perfect. Another thing you mentioned being available all the time.

00;09;39;18 – 00;09;45;07
David Hall
There’s that expectation. What are these expectations that can give us overwhelmed?

00;09;45;07 – 00;10;09;10
Woody Rini
Yeah. Yeah, I really I’m amazed when I look back at how many things in society just kind of naturally make us overwhelmed. And I started with school when I was thinking back on this because I realized that in school there’s always a standard of perfection, at least in my schooling. There was, you know, which is 100 out of 100, you know, and you could take a test and you try to get 100 out of 100.

00;10;09;24 – 00;10;26;00
Woody Rini
And I realized that when I was in school, I was so focused on that because I thought, like you said and like I say in the book, I got one shot at perfection. So in school, if I take a test and I get a, you know, a 60 out of 100, that’s an F, and I may not have a chance to retake that.

00;10;26;00 – 00;10;55;04
Woody Rini
You know, I’m depending on the grading scale, but that could have serious implications for my grades, for my future. And so I sort of not that anybody told me, you know, my parents were very calm and supportive and I always got great grades. So it’s not like anyone was pressuring me. But just by nature of school being designed to get these grades and shoot for perfection, I was sort of conditioned and I still feel this way and I’m working on it in therapy to try and be perfect and always focus on the flaws.

00;10;55;16 – 00;11;12;10
Woody Rini
So then when I went to college and I got, you know, a 96 on a test, which is an amazing grade, right? I should be so happy with that. But all I would think is, oh, what? Two questions that I missed. What? Three questions that I missed. I forgot to study that one worksheet. And I did all this but didn’t study this one worksheet.

00;11;12;10 – 00;11;32;26
Woody Rini
So I got a worse grade. And so I think it’s even though I was succeeding, I was so scared of imminent failure because school gave me the option to think about that and also because there was no standard of what’s good enough. Like, you know, even if I’m great at undergraduate, what if I want to go to grad school?

00;11;33;02 – 00;11;56;00
Woody Rini
Then I need a perfect degree and a perfect this and that. And, you know, even the Ph.D. students and professors, professors have to compete for tenure and for grants and, you know, school. It’s not anyone’s fault. I think teachers and educators are absolutely like some of the best people on the planet. You know. But I think because of modernized society, we have to have some of these systems.

00;11;56;07 – 00;12;09;19
Woody Rini
And so I think rather than say, oh, all education is bad, it’s terrible, education’s obviously great, right? And really important. We just need to be aware of some of the side effects. And I think overwhelm is a big side effect of the modern education system.

00;12;09;19 – 00;12;40;06
David Hall
Yeah. And I mean definitely there’s some great work going on out there really looking at what is the goal here and what’s the best way to achieve it. And I think, you know, as I was reading about the, you know, kind of one shot, I think that spills over into our our lives and our work lives, because, honestly, some of the best learning comes from when something doesn’t go well, you know, you figure out, oh, okay, this part didn’t go well, but I learned something and now this is going to be even better.

00;12;40;11 – 00;13;01;21
David Hall
You know, this project I’m working on or this thing that I’m doing, we learned so much from our failures. You know, as I study successful people, they all have big failures in their lives. And that’s something to remember. But a lot of times, just like school, people don’t have a lot of tolerance from learning from failures. Right. And that’s definitely overwhelming in our work lives, too.

00;13;02;22 – 00;13;20;16
Woody Rini
Totally agree. Totally agree at work because it’s just it’s scary to let someone fail. You know, it’s scary to watch and not want to intervene. And so even our teachers or our bosses or people, they want us to get things right. It’s not even just selfish. It’s that, you know, it takes kind of emotional intelligence and skill to fail.

00;13;20;25 – 00;13;22;12
Woody Rini
I think we need to learn that, you know?

00;13;22;24 – 00;13;32;13
David Hall
Yeah, for sure. And then what about what’s this expectation of being available all the time? I definitely have had a hard time with that myself.

00;13;33;02 – 00;14;01;15
Woody Rini
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think this was already really happening since I kind of just generically market and I’m pretty young, but I call it the smartphone era because I just say that by the time you’ve got, you know, a computer that’s extremely strong in your own hand that you carry everywhere, you’re always able to be available. And so I notice that even if I just had to answer one email at night for work or consider one thing, it was just so accessible that it was hard to justify not doing it.

00;14;01;20 – 00;14;15;25
Woody Rini
You know, I say in the book like, what if you’re trying to get a promotion and your boss says, Hey, can you do this one email for me at 8 p.m. on a Friday night? It’s just going to take you 5 minutes and you’re out at dinner or something with your family. It’s like, Well, am I really going to say no?

00;14;15;25 – 00;14;30;02
Woody Rini
I mean, I just have to take my phone out and I just have to, you know, click a couple buttons like and they’re waiting on me. And another thing with being in a big work system if you work at a bigger institution, is that, you know, people are waiting on you for something. There’s kind of people work passes through.

00;14;30;13 – 00;14;56;23
Woody Rini
And so I think it’s just again, it’s an expectation, but it’s so hard to have a boundary. I think it’s not so much just working more or more often, but it’s hard to find the boundary and just determining your boundaries is very stressful. And, you know, maybe that’s an introvert skill we can use as our ability to kind of step back and set boundaries and think more abstractly about things rather than just kind of doing whatever comes in front of us.

00;14;57;02 – 00;15;08;22
Woody Rini
And that’s something I try to do and help me write this book, but it’s it’s just there. And COVID has made it, of course, even more in the forefront of everyone’s mind, working from home, having technology access at home.

00;15;08;22 – 00;15;27;15
David Hall
Yeah, definitely. And you’re right, it’s a skill that we have as far as being able to be reflective, but we have to give ourselves some space to do that. We have to give ourselves some time to think about that. So how does someone work through that? If they’re feeling overwhelmed, how do they pinpoint what’s causing it?

00;15;28;25 – 00;15;48;26
Woody Rini
Yeah, yeah. So I think this is a good chance to kind of segway into the solution. I offer the help method. It’s an acronym help because I thought about this and I’ve thought about it a lot. How do we know? And I think the answer is it’s not so much that we can know exactly what’s causing the most overwhelm for us.

00;15;48;26 – 00;16;09;17
Woody Rini
It’s that if we feel overwhelmed and, you know, I think we all have our own definition of that, but it’s that feeling of kind of resentment at like, oh, life is too much, you know, like that, oh, I can’t handle this. I just need a break. I just need some space, you know? Or maybe it’s just a physical sensation when we have that, we need to seek help to figure out what’s going on.

00;16;09;27 – 00;16;27;15
Woody Rini
And so I’ve been thinking about this and I think it’s I try to make medical analogies, kind of like comparing mental health to physical health to show it’s really all the same thing, you know, just as legitimate. And I think it’s like if you have a fever, you don’t necessarily analyze every single thing about your own self. And try to figure out why you have it.

00;16;27;21 – 00;16;48;17
Woody Rini
You go to the doctor and they say, Hey, I’m going to run a couple of tests or I’m going to give you some medicine and you seek help to understand what’s happening. And so if you may not have a fever, but you may feel anxious or depressed or just panicked. And so I think it’s important to go to a friend or to a therapist or a support group or someone who can help you.

00;16;49;04 – 00;17;20;01
Woody Rini
And so the way I deal with that and what’s outlined in the book is something I call the Help Method, and it stands for Halt the Panic. The first thing you do is just halt your panic, then engage your emotions, look for help, and then kind of patiently float along or parallel swim. And I have these floating and swimming metaphors in here because my main metaphor or analogy, I don’t know what it is in the book is that life is like a rip current in the ocean.

00;17;20;11 – 00;17;42;12
Woody Rini
It’s like these tides, you know, they’re technically currents that if you’re at the beach, they can pull you out into the ocean. And sometimes these rip currents that are pulling people away from the beach actually go faster than people can swim. And so what happens is we end up, you know, fighting against life and these swimmers end up fighting against this current, but they can’t out swim the current.

00;17;42;21 – 00;18;04;26
Woody Rini
You know, some of these rip currents go faster than an Olympic swimmer. And so I think life’s the same way. Sometimes school work, it’s too overwhelming and we can’t fight it head on. And so instead, we do what these swimmers in a rip current do. We halt our panic. We don’t fight against it. Then we engage our emotions instead of just drowning them or giving up, you know, just like a swimmer might give up and drown.

00;18;05;09 – 00;18;25;02
Woody Rini
And then we actually just wave and yell for help. You know, the way swimmers are rescued in the ocean, it’s all because a lifeguard saves them primarily. And while we’re waiting for help, we just kind of float along and sort of swim a little to the side out of that current until someone can rescue us. And so that’s kind of a brief version of how I kind of start feeling overwhelmed.

00;18;25;02 – 00;18;31;12
Woody Rini
And then the steps I noticed I was taking and have kind of formulated into this method for how to be less overwhelmed.

00;18;32;00 – 00;18;38;02
David Hall
Very good. I’m glad you brought up that kind of theme in your book about the rip current because that may come up again.

00;18;38;02 – 00;18;40;01
Woody Rini
So yeah.

00;18;41;00 – 00;18;45;09
David Hall
I’d like the concept in your book, you call it the ultimate empowering thought. What’s that?

00;18;45;28 – 00;19;04;14
Woody Rini
So I talk about how life is very overwhelming because we’re all taught like I should be able to do this thing perfectly on the first time, but I can’t. So I’m a failure. And I call that the ultimate overwhelming thought. It’s kind of the thought that we sort of naturally create in ourselves, even if no one’s trying to put it on us.

00;19;04;26 – 00;19;25;06
Woody Rini
And so I was thinking, Well, what’s the truth then? If I’m really if I don’t need to be overwhelmed, if I can get help, what should I be thinking, you know, to get that way? And I designed the ultimate empowering thought, which is I can try this thing as many times as I want with as much help as I can find until I find a way to meet my need.

00;19;25;24 – 00;19;45;28
Woody Rini
And I think a good example of this is how I changed jobs to that great new job a few years ago with its own office. And that was just a big leap for me, was I tried interviewing at this company three different times and the first two didn’t even get a response. And then the third time I said, okay, I’m going to keep trying and how can I get help?

00;19;45;28 – 00;20;09;06
Woody Rini
Well, I’ll ask friends, family. And I just ended up asking a friend at my apartment who worked there, and she had the connection I needed to, you know, get my resume seen. And I was able to meet my need of having a new job in my own office. And so I think the thing that’s really crucial about empowering ourselves is school and work often teach us we need to do things right.

00;20;09;15 – 00;20;28;19
Woody Rini
And I know the listeners can’t see me doing my air quotes here, but there’s air quotes around that, right? Because there’s really no reason to get something right except that you’re trying to meet a need, right? Like it’s just a signpost towards accomplishing something, you know? I want to build my house, right? So that it doesn’t crash in on me and kill me.

00;20;28;19 – 00;20;51;17
Woody Rini
And my need is to stay alive, you know? And so in school offenders assignments, we try to get right, but it’s not directly tied to a human need or to a specific end goal. And so I think that’s where things get tricky. And so the empowering thought is I can basically do whatever I can, you know, as long as I’m not hurting others to try and meet my need.

00;20;51;17 – 00;20;53;09
Woody Rini
And that’s the ultimate empowering thought.

00;20;54;13 – 00;21;11;01
David Hall
Yeah. And I think that that’s a really good thing to view because in this example, you tried to get a job at this same company and you weren’t successful at first, but you kept at it and you probably were learning all along the way and then you all got help, as you said. And I think that that’s really important.

00;21;11;01 – 00;21;36;02
David Hall
You know, I’ve seen a lot of people where they probably wanted that particular job and they didn’t get an interview or maybe they got an interview and they bombed it. Bombed the interview. But I’ve seen people where they treated that as a learning experience and then were successful later. And I’ve seen people that just gave up and of course they didn’t ever get the job if, you know, if you give up.

00;21;36;02 – 00;21;43;22
David Hall
So I really liked that concept that, you know what I’m going to learn from this and keep going and not let this overwhelming.

00;21;44;26 – 00;22;04;14
Woody Rini
Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, just to be clear, I always try to, you know, show the struggle. That’s one of my values, like show the struggle. I first interviewed at that ideal company in 2015 straight out of college, and I actually flunked a second phone interview just answered the question about programing wrong. And the guy was like, You don’t know what you’re talking about.

00;22;04;14 – 00;22;22;08
Woody Rini
You know, I’m sorry, you’re not getting the job. It’s like a direct rejection and it took two and a half years from that point to the point where I actually got the job at that company and, you know, three applications to that company and probably 30 or 40 applications to all over the place. So like you said, it takes a lot of failures to end up succeeding.

00;22;23;01 – 00;22;47;02
David Hall
Yeah. And I mean, that definitely can be overwhelming. You know, getting a direct rejection, as you said. Yeah, something like that, that you’re really, you know, you went to school for you’re ready to do. But again, it’s you just got to remember got to keep going and and you will have success. So how do we set boundaries and cut out some optional things that are overwhelming to us?

00;22;48;01 – 00;23;09;21
Woody Rini
Yeah. Yeah. So I have a little section in the book at the end that’s like, you know, even as hard as we try, a lot of the time, we just have too much going on and we’ve got to set some boundaries and take, I call it, you know, cutting weight because I’m using that rip current metaphor of like if you’re out in the ocean drowning, you know, for example, when a ship is sinking, right.

00;23;09;21 – 00;23;25;24
Woody Rini
What do you do? You throw all the crates off the ship, right? Or whatever, so that it doesn’t sink as fast. And we kind of need to do the same with ourselves to keep ourselves afloat and I noticed that I kept wanting to, you know, cut down on social activities or certain things I felt obligated to go to.

00;23;26;07 – 00;23;46;00
Woody Rini
But when I didn’t understand just how overwhelmed I was as a result of school or work or what have you, I thought I was a bad person for cutting down on activities. I thought I would disappoint others or hurt them or, you know, in some ways I was ashamed of being an introvert and thought I should be able to go out and socialize like all these other people.

00;23;46;00 – 00;24;04;03
Woody Rini
And, you know, like I just have to pretend I’m an extrovert. And once I did some of the personality tests and realized, wow, I have some great skills and some great talents and it’s okay if I need some different things than extroverts. There are plenty of other introverts in the world, you know, I got to cut some things out.

00;24;04;14 – 00;24;25;15
Woody Rini
And so what I decided is I would make a list of options, tasks I was doing, which were things that if I quit them, nobody else would be directly harmed, you know? So for example, if I chose to quit like, I don’t know, going to my job all of a sudden out of the blue, my wife might be harmed because our finances would be in jeopardy.

00;24;26;04 – 00;24;50;23
Woody Rini
But if I quit going to dinner parties that we were going to, my wife wouldn’t be harmed by that. You know, she might be alone at the dinner party or she might choose to not go if I wasn’t going. But I wasn’t harming her. I wasn’t actively doing anything to harm. And I think, you know, we all get so many expectations put on us in life and it becomes very stressful that it’s important to sort out what’s really harming others and what is taking space for ourselves.

00;24;51;03 – 00;25;09;08
Woody Rini
And so what I do now is I look at the thing that’s the most optional but also the most overwhelming to me. And I just use dinner parties as an example because these social parties, right, I’m an introvert who likes deep conversations like we’re having now. And I’m at a dinner party with, again, 30 people and it’s all this small talk and chaos.

00;25;09;08 – 00;25;32;21
Woody Rini
And I don’t really know them that well. And I’m trying to get deeper, but I can’t. And I left always feeling unsatisfied because like, I just knew my personality wasn’t getting what it needed. And yet it was just a casual, casual thing. And so I knew I could quit that. And so I recommend, you know, when you feel like, oh my goodness, I just can’t keep going, find the most overwhelming optional thing.

00;25;32;21 – 00;25;40;10
Woody Rini
You know, you don’t have to blow up at somebody or quit everything that’s important to you, but just find something that’s optional and and try to reduce that a little bit.

00;25;41;05 – 00;26;03;20
David Hall
Yeah, that’s great. And, you know, find out what you need and like you said, if this particular thing is not getting you to the deep conversations that you really need and wants, I mean, maybe there’s a better way to do that, but just to try to meet other people’s expectations and it’s overwhelming you. That’s a good example of something that you may be able to cut out.

00;26;03;29 – 00;26;22;24
David Hall
And, you know, maybe there’s sometimes it’s really your wife’s thing. Maybe it’s something you do need to do for her. But, you know, work through that. And and I know lots of people that have and you got to figure that out. You mentioned your strengths as an introvert. You found those by taking the personality test. What’s the strength that you have as an introvert?

00;26;23;22 – 00;26;47;17
Woody Rini
Yeah, I think for me, you know, so I it’s it was so funny because one of my first coping skills at work in my big open office was I would go to the one little single office they had that was kind of for use where people could take turns in it. And I would close the door and I started Googling like personality tests and you know, did one of them online and it said, Hey, according to Myers-Briggs, you’re an AI and MJ.

00;26;47;28 – 00;27;07;26
Woody Rini
And it gave me a profile and it literally said, you know, you’re great at helping people and emotional intelligence and deep thinking you will not be great at a detail oriented corporate job. And that was literally what I was working at, you know, and so that cracked me up. But it just showed me how little I had thought about my own personal, even in college, choosing my major, you know.

00;27;09;06 – 00;27;31;23
Woody Rini
And so now I’ve learned that I am really good at abstract thinking and that’s really valuable for noticing counterintuitive patterns in life. So my book is about how life is best handled when you don’t confront the biggest things head-on by yourself, but instead ask for help and kind of circle around the side of it. And it doesn’t mean you ignore things, it just means that you take a realistic view.

00;27;31;23 – 00;27;50;11
Woody Rini
If you’re overwhelmed, then you literally can’t defeat something head-on, some huge stressor. And so my abstract thinking helps me see that because I say in the book, if you’re getting pulled out to the ocean in a rip current, you’re first instinct is to swim back to the shore, right? Like, if my goal is to be alive on the shore, I should swim back towards that.

00;27;50;26 – 00;28;12;25
Woody Rini
And the same way at work, if my instinct is, Oh, this person sent another email, let me reply perfectly so that they are pleased and so that they’re not mad at me anymore. But instead of that, maybe I needed to take a break and take some time for myself and even apply for a new job, you know? But if I’m stuck in that loop of just respond to emails handling the immediate stress I may never have applied.

00;28;13;06 – 00;28;24;04
Woody Rini
And so I think as introverts, we and definitely for my type of introversion, I have the ability to notice that and say, hey, let’s take a step back and think from a higher level. And I think that’s really valuable.

00;28;24;23 – 00;28;45;18
David Hall
Yeah, for sure. And I n f j it’s the end intuitive part combined with your introversion that it makes you definitely see the big picture. And you probably can do details because obviously you did, you know, if you were a computer programmer, but doing that all of the time is not going to be your strength. I was going to do the same kind of work.

00;28;45;18 – 00;29;09;24
David Hall
I didn’t get as far. I changed majors, but I realized that that I’m very good at details. But to do that, all the time, is it my strength? I have a different strength. And and that’s that’s the key to all this. So when you’re getting help in the book, you also talk about an umbrella person. So what is that and how do you find your umbrella person?

00;29;10;12 – 00;29;33;25
Woody Rini
Yeah, yeah. I really love this idea. And it’s so funny because most of the ideas in this book sort of came backwards to me. It’s not that I invented them, it’s that I kind of did it on accident. And I was like, Oh, hey, that really worked, you know, because the book was originally I rewrote it a few times and the book was originally supposed to be just a trick yourself into not wearing, but that didn’t work for me, just telling myself not to worry.

00;29;33;25 – 00;29;53;09
Woody Rini
Somehow it didn’t work. And so I actually wrote a draft like that and then just I couldn’t get my own book to work on myself, so I had to kind of redraft it. But anyway, to really answer your question, an umbrella person is a person who keeps you safe and keeps a safe space for you while you engage other helpers in your life.

00;29;53;20 – 00;30;15;23
Woody Rini
So the point of my book is you can’t do it alone. And sometimes you just get trapped between the effort of asking for help and the logistics of actually getting the help. So when I needed therapy, right, I had anxiety issues my whole life, but I worked for multiple years in my corporate job, super anxious without getting therapy because yeah, I wanted it.

00;30;15;23 – 00;30;38;07
Woody Rini
But man, the hoops to jump through to sign up for therapy was like, you know, research it, pay, get the insurance right, do a questionnaire, you know, make sure my insurance is working. And I needed someone to help me with all of that. You know, the therapist’s office couldn’t do that. And so what happened to me is just by luck, my physician at my second job actually handed me that pamphlet, right?

00;30;38;07 – 00;31;00;14
Woody Rini
Like I told you. And she said, Here’s what you do to sign up. Here’s exactly where you go. Here is, you know, your first four sessions free. Just go sign up for therapy. And it’s very easy through our program. And so an umbrella person is like what my physician was for me, someone who’s safe and trusted that you’re already around, who then helps you sign up for the thing that meets your need, that’s more complex.

00;31;00;24 – 00;31;20;10
Woody Rini
And so I say, you know, we should all have these people who the umbrella comes from the like analogy or story that, you know, let’s say you’re driving across town and your friends dropping you off at your parent’s house or at, you know, a colleague or, I don’t know, someone else’s house. And you’ve got all this luggage and it’s raining outside and you’re carrying your luggage.

00;31;20;10 – 00;31;33;15
Woody Rini
And but you don’t have a hand for your umbrella. And so you just need your friend to get out of the car with the umbrella. Hold it over you both. Drop you at the door where you’re going. And then they just go back, get in their car and leave, and you’ve arrived dry and safe at the place you’re going.

00;31;33;27 – 00;31;54;07
Woody Rini
And so I think similarly, we all need someone to keep us, you know, metaphorically dry and safe, but physically, you know, safe and supported while we sign up for, you know, it’s not just therapy. It could be, you know, a career coaching program. It could be applying to a new graduate school. It could be anything you need that you’re too scared to sign up for or to take the first steps.

00;31;54;15 – 00;31;56;06
Woody Rini
We need someone to support us while we do that.

00;31;57;07 – 00;32;03;21
David Hall
Definitely. And so maybe this person might help us. How do we find the mental health resources that we need?

00;32;04;15 – 00;32;24;09
Woody Rini
Yeah. Yeah. So I definitely recommend finding an umbrella person, a person who will help you look things up. I know that it’s just easier with a team of two. And the great thing about this is that you can be mutual friends with someone, you know. So for example, my wife and I, we’re kind of umbrella people for each other.

00;32;24;09 – 00;32;46;04
Woody Rini
So if she says, Hey, I’m trying to eat healthier, can you find me some healthy meal services or some healthy cooking options? I say, Yeah, I can do that and help you figure out what will work for you. And if I say, Hey, I need help with my therapy or my insurance or these logistics, she’ll help me. But also I do put a lot in the book itself about what mental health resources are out there.

00;32;46;16 – 00;33;06;10
Woody Rini
And so I’d just like to briefly say it’s not just counseling. There are also a lot of great peer support groups out there. And so I recommend people when they are saying, Hey, I’m overwhelmed, you know, even with help, therapy can take months to get signed up for and it is cost prohibitive in some ways, although I list some ways to make it cheaper in the book.

00;33;06;22 – 00;33;26;18
Woody Rini
But there are peer support groups out there of people who are all facing the same challenge who often talk for free. And so I go to one for mental health and on my book and on my website I list some nonprofits and some organizations that run those sites. There are also 12 step meetings, like if you have an addiction and need help, there’s 12 step groups.

00;33;26;18 – 00;33;46;02
Woody Rini
I know those can be controversial, but I’m just saying they exist. And then there’s parents helping parents websites for parenting. There’s meetup.com for all sorts of interests. And I recommend just sort of exploring all those things and seeing if there’s not some peer supported way you can talk to other people who are overwhelmed by the same thing you are.

00;33;46;21 – 00;34;03;06
Woody Rini
For me, sometimes mental health. And I’m also in a writer’s group that I just found online. I just searched a peer support group for writers and found a group where we all meet together and we all write together in silence. It’s great for introverts because we turn off our cameras and our mikes and just write, but we’re together.

00;34;03;12 – 00;34;19;10
Woody Rini
And then we come on for a little bit of organized talk for just 10 minutes, and then we turn the cameras back off and write for another 45, 50 minutes. And so there are lots of great resources out there that people probably just don’t know about. And I’m trying to bring those to light and encourage people to go find them.

00;34;19;26 – 00;34;38;03
David Hall
Yeah. And you have a lot of great resources in your book. So another thing I really liked is, you know, sticking with rip current theme, you mentioned self-harming and self-improvement behaviors maybe while you’re waiting to get rescued. Is that how the how those go?

00;34;38;15 – 00;35;00;17
Woody Rini
Yeah. Yeah. So as I said, I really couldn’t get out of my biggest you know, I call them overwhelmed parents alone, like being stagnant in my career and, you know, 2016, 2017. And so what I did is I started learning skills to improve myself and some skills to calm myself down while I waited, you know, on the job application process.

00;35;00;28 – 00;35;19;28
Woody Rini
And, you know, similarly, if you’ve got mental health challenges, you got to wait for the next therapist appointment or the next peer support group meeting. So like, what do we do in the meantime? You know, and the answer is you’re not useless just because you need help. There’s just things you can do that aren’t fighting head on in a panicked way against your overwhelm.

00;35;19;28 – 00;35;41;20
Woody Rini
And so I think calming is really underrated. My therapist actually does a lot of somatic techniques with me, like techniques with your body itself, not your thoughts. And so I do some gentle rocking or swaying in a chair, and it’s just kind of like nourishing your body and giving your care. And then I also take like really luxurious baths.

00;35;41;21 – 00;35;58;29
Woody Rini
Now that’s in the book. And I never took a bath for so many years because I was I don’t have time for that. I’m too busy. I’ve got to go check my work emails and now I’ll like set up and a nice calming bath and just soothing your body can really help decrease your stress, even if the mental problems haven’t gone away.

00;35;59;10 – 00;36;19;27
Woody Rini
And so I really recommend that because, you know, it’s it’s physical, it’s just happening to you. But it’s also good to find music you like or podcasts like this one. Right, that are kind of they’re sort of self-improvement and sort of soothing, but it’s much better than just being in a panic, you know, or being in a spiral, which is why I think the work you’re doing, David, and stuff like this is so important.

00;36;20;18 – 00;36;35;23
Woody Rini
And even just like guided meditation apps, I know I used to just scroll the news all the time when I was at work. I would scroll, you know, the main news websites and look at every story when I was bored and it was just causing me more panic and it was kind of drowning me in all the world’s problems.

00;36;36;07 – 00;36;56;19
Woody Rini
And instead I started doing meditation, you know, with Headspace or com or one of those apps, and that really helped me. So I think just soothing yourself and admitting like, I can’t fight this off on my own, I need to take some space is always great. And then when you’re doing self-improvement, you know, I say don’t do it with a perfectionist mindset, do it with a survival mindset.

00;36;56;19 – 00;37;11;24
Woody Rini
Like, I’m going to get this skill, but I’m going to keep asking for help so that I can use the skill. And so it’s not that I’m useless or with help, I don’t have to do anything. It’s just like swimmers in a rip current kind of are taught to swim out to the side, like out of the current, but not towards the beach.

00;37;12;10 – 00;37;26;05
Woody Rini
We can do the same thing by building skills, building home and work skills, you know, learning more about our personalities. And then when we get the help and get the opportunities we’re waiting for, we’ll be primed for them. So that’s kind of my take on those things.

00;37;27;01 – 00;37;42;17
David Hall
Very nice. And that’s the key, is understanding who you are, what you need, and that things don’t need to be overwhelming, but finding the help that you need when they are, and then at the end you call it Life on the Beach. Tell us about that.

00;37;42;17 – 00;37;59;07
Woody Rini
Yeah, right. So it’s like, you know, I guess if my if I had a thesis for my book, it would be the problem is being overwhelmed. The solution is to get help, you know, through my method or just any way of getting help. And then the result that you get that’s so great is relief, the feeling of relief.

00;37;59;17 – 00;38;25;01
Woody Rini
And you get life at the beach and think of this not necessarily as like a lazy person sitting on the beach, you know, just doing nothing. I’m ignoring everything. I think of it as you’ve been out there swimming your whole life. There’s all this overwhelm right from a young age. I tell a story about a friend I know who’s six year old child is getting overwhelmed by school and so from such a young age, we are overwhelmed by a variety of things, you know?

00;38;25;15 – 00;38;44;09
Woody Rini
And so we’re always swimming, always panicking, always stressed. And when we get those little moments of relief, like, say, after completing a big exam or after completing a big work deadline, you know, or when your paycheck comes into your account and you have money, you know, that really feels so good, but it’s so transient. It goes by so fast.

00;38;44;20 – 00;39;17;16
Woody Rini
And so life at the beach is the idea that, you know, when we get enough help, we’ll actually end up on solid ground. And it’s not just about doing leisure all the time. It’s about, oh my goodness, I can just stop and take a breath and exist and feel my emotions and everything is going to be okay. And I think it’s hard to picture that feeling until you’ve found a little taste of it, but it’s just a matter of, you know, continuing to get help and always just asking for more support and giving it to others, too.

00;39;17;22 – 00;39;43;27
Woody Rini
And so for me, life at the beach is like you are, you know, your life’s not perfect, but you have supporters and helpers to keep you out of the worst things in your slowly putting yourself in more, safer, calmer situations. And then everyday life is just good. And I say in the book, you know, nowadays this is true probably only in the past year or so that when I put my head on the pillow at night, I actually can go to sleep and think I don’t have regrets today.

00;39;44;06 – 00;40;00;02
Woody Rini
And I think that’s because little parts of me inside of me were always screaming, You need help, you need to get us out of this bad situation. You know, we are too taxed. And because I’ve gotten so much help, those parts of me and my body are kind of like, Oh, like life is good. We can relax a little bit.

00;40;00;18 – 00;40;10;02
Woody Rini
I think we all probably underestimate the amount of stress and anxiety we have, even though we know we have it. And so life on the beach is just a life with less of that. And it feels it just feels great.

00;40;10;02 – 00;40;36;17
David Hall
Oh, that’s that’s wonderful. And we all get way too overwhelmed. And your book on this is is extremely helpful. And I get overwhelmed, and it really is, you know, who am I? And in your case, my case, we’re introverts and we have very unique gifts and strengths. This book is for introverts and extroverts, so the extrovert also needs to understand their gifts and their strengths and what they need.

00;40;37;03 – 00;41;00;21
David Hall
And a lot of times that is some some time alone. To use your gifts and strengths is an introvert. And just realizing that we’re not perfect and nobody is right and that there’s help out there. There’s other people out there that can help us. Woody, this has been a very helpful conversation. Is there anything else that you want to talk about that we did?

00;41;00;21 – 00;41;01;14
David Hall
And so far.

00;41;03;00 – 00;41;21;04
Woody Rini
I think we have most of it. I mean, I think I’ll just leave it with one more pitch, which is just, you know. I have seen firsthand just the immense relief of asking for help. And so I know it’s super scary. I know a lot of people listening are like, whoa, like you’re talking about a peer support group or a therapist or what is all this?

00;41;21;15 – 00;41;40;14
Woody Rini
But at the end of the day, you know, we’re up against big obstacles in life, you know, school and work aren’t necessarily out to get us, but they’re just huge systems. And so it is very stressful to be a part of that and have, you know, stuff put on you. And so I just encourage everyone to give asking for help, but try in whatever form works for you.

00;41;40;14 – 00;41;56;13
Woody Rini
You know, it doesn’t have to be my exact system or my book, but you know, I have done a lot of the work and really seen it work firsthand. And, you know, it’s not that I’m perfect and it’s not that I’m, you know, super rich or successful or anything like that. Right. But life can be good without those things.

00;41;56;22 – 00;42;07;08
Woody Rini
Life is good when you get relief from being overwhelmed. And I just think the feeling of relief is so great. I just recommend everybody at least give it a try like a little hello bite. But that’s basically all I have to say.

00;42;08;02 – 00;42;15;04
David Hall
All right. So the book is out Help. I’m overwhelmed. Where can people find out more information about your book and about the work you’re doing?

00;42;15;04 – 00;42;32;12
Woody Rini
Woody Sure. So the book is on Amazon. It’s, you know, paperback Kindle and audiobook format. So as long as my audio book isn’t having any issues, it should be up to. And so whatever mode you like, if you like listening, audiobook should be there for you. And then you can always visit me at help I’m overwhelmed dot com.

00;42;32;24 – 00;42;50;09
Woody Rini
That’s my main website. I do offer kind of a one page worksheet that goes with the book you can get for free on my website and also a list of the mental health resources I’m compiling. So I talk about these peer groups, right? And what are those? And even if you don’t have the book, you can go to my website and there’s a page help.

00;42;50;09 – 00;43;01;12
Woody Rini
I’m overwhelmed dot com slash resources and that’s where you can get those free resources. So no punctuation, just help. I am overwhelmed I’m sure David. I’ll put that in a link somewhere in. Right.

00;43;01;13 – 00;43;03;05
David Hall
I will add all of this to the show.

00;43;03;05 – 00;43;09;17
Woody Rini
That’s yeah. Awesome. But that’s where you can find me on social media Instagram at Woody Rainy. Just my name.

00;43;10;15 – 00;43;17;18
David Hall
Sounds great and thank you again. We all need a lot less overwhelm in our lives. And thank you for being on today.

00;43;18;08 – 00;43;19;09
Woody Rini
All right. Thanks for having me.

00;43;20;26 – 00;43;40;28
David Hall
Thank you so much for joining me today. I look forward to further connecting with you. Reach out at David at Quiet Strong Ecom or check out the quiet and strong dot com website, which includes blog posts and links to social media channels. Send me topics or guests you would like to see on the show if you’re interested in getting to know yourself better.

00;43;41;05 – 00;44;01;09
David Hall
There’s now a free type finder personality assessment on the quiet and strong website. This free assessment will give you a brief report, including the four letter Myers-Briggs code, and you can also have the option of purchasing the full report if you’d like to learn more out of link to the show notes. So many great things about being an introvert and we need those to be understood.

00;44;01;20 – 00;44;12;22
David Hall
Get to know your introverted strengths and needs and be strong.

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