Be Challenged, Be Empowered, Blog

Over-thinkers of the World, This One’s for You.

Greetings, dear ones! Thanks for joining me for another dose of empowerment. A mindset refresh. A quick little reminder that you can do it.

This week is going to be quick and simple. I heard the collective sigh of relief.

When you spend time in the world of mental health and personal development, you hear a lot about “strengths based” approaches. It’s such a common idea to me that it became pretty superficial for a while, until I realized that it’s not just a clinical model, it’s a powerful perspective.

I am a fantastic over-thinker. Sure, people will try to tell you that overthinking is bad for you, and leads to worry and is a useless exercise which wastes your valuable mental power… And that’s probably true. But ruminating and in-depth processing are also amazing strengths if you just give your brain a little direction.

Thinking through every ill that could befall you in a day is a pretty stressful existence, especially as the days tick by and those scenarios compile. Choosing to think and rethink everything you’ve ever said, or could have said in various social interactions is likely to bring shame and isolation unless tempered with change and forgiveness.

On the other hand, how great do you feel when you head out somewhere new and know exactly how to get there, and what you would do if it started raining, or your car broke down, or all of your friends decided to never talk to you again but Emma Watson decided to befriend you. Over-thinkers everywhere are saying “Wait, other people find their minds going over this stuff too?!” Yes.  And that mental behavior that you’ve been frustrated with and spent ages trying to quiet can have some pretty brilliant applications if you can just flip the script.

I spent a long time thinking about working out before I actually started doing it. I would think of a million excuses and plan to start at a better time and think about how much I’d rather do something else. Wouldn’t you know, that better time never came. Lethargy, depressing feelings, regret and shame came instead. Then one day I decided that I was going to work out when I got home the next evening. I wrote it down as the plan for the next day, and went to bed with the idea firmly in my mind.

I woke up the next morning and when I was sufficiently awake my processing wheels started spinning. As I set about packing my floral print lunchbox with my food for the day, tucking in snacks and portioning out my lunch, I thought about my plan to exercise and threw in an extra piece of fruit and a granola bar for the ride home. When my coworkers talked about what they would make for dinner or whether or not they would stay late, I thought about my workout plans. Throughout my day, even in the periphery, my mind was planning for a workout and preparing my body to follow through.

When I got home this thing that I had been consciously and subconsciously preparing for all day had finally arrived, and my brain and body worked in tandem to make it happen without the usual deliberation. I was almost looking forward to it with excitement, instead of the usual dread. Once I discovered the true power of my tendency to spend the entire day thinking about how the upcoming day and week would go, I started using my power for good instead of evil. I started deciding that the things I wanted to do were going to happen, and leaving my brainpower to figure out how to make them successful.

Exercising isn’t the chore it used to be, requiring a day of forethought to execute. Though there are some days when I have to bring that back into my daily mental process- winter days when I’ve found just the right spot on the couch, and the blankets are just the right weight and temperature, and another cup of cocoa is calling. Or days in the blazing heat of summer when just thinking about putting on tight layers of clothing just to exert myself til I’m drenched in sweat then contort myself into impossible positions just to extricate myself from my sports bra… But no, these days I have to warm myself up for other things: professional self-promotion, making difficult phone calls, grocery shopping. But the same is true, I can make this weakness my strength. I can determine to complete a task and use my thoughts throughout the day to make it come to pass.

 

Give it a try! You might surprise yourself.

  1. Set your new goal for the day. Decide what you are going to be successful in bringing to pass.
  2. Let your mind weave into your musings the way that thing is going to be achieved. Run with it. Let it change and grow clearer. It’s ok if you imagine the things that would keep you from it to. You’ve already decided they won’t matter.
  3. Remind yourself of what you’ve decided to do. Remember the reasons you decided that today was the day. Hype yo’self up!
  4. When the time comes, don’t think. Just do. You know your mind. You know that it’s spent the entire day thinking about this, so you don’t have to think any more! It’s time for action.

Let me know what you achieve! Your world is waiting to hear ❤

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