I have long since over-thought nearly everything in my life—every action, every detail, every emotion, every hypothetical possibility. I believe this habit to be ingrained in me, both as a result of nurture as well as circumstance. Our experiences create the bulk of who we are, and reinforcement just nails those traits deeper into our being. At its best, over-thinking helps me to be good at—well–what I am good at. I notice the smallest of details. I ponder options. I am studious and thorough. I can evaluate and come up with better solutions to almost anything. I’m reliable and stay on top of things. But, at its worst, over-thinking usually causes me to second guess myself, and it holds me back. Essentially, it costs me.
Reasoning is the antithesis of emotion. Not saying that one is better or worse than the other. In fact, you need both. The balance is referred to as “wise mind.” Don’t get me wrong, I am emotional—typically exasperatedly so. I have had to learn to be able to reel those emotions back in and check the facts, so to speak. This has been a long, windy road of practice and self-correction. Despite my knack for being overly-emotional, I have still learned, nonetheless, to over-think. I assume that this stems from a combination of my own experiences, anxieties, and simply, my innate shyness. This mindset makes me constantly fear saying or doing the wrong thing. It keeps me locked up in my own secluded cocoon, and prevents me from experiencing new things. It panders to my reservations to the point where I choose to not even try at all.
At a point in my life, I nearly gave up on all of my own desires. I would want something, only to later talk myself out of it because I deemed myself to be incapable. I allowed past circumstances to dictate all of my future. I assumed that as far as I was concerned, I missed my boat, and all I could do now was live solely for others. I took a cheerleader approach to my life and family. Everyone came before me. And in a way, my children should—but how did I expect to build them into confident, motivated people if I didn’t lead by example? I pride myself on my ability to overcome hardship–like a survivor of sorts. But, wasn’t I cheating? If I never even attempted, what was I really overcoming? Challenges are generally an area where I thrive. Yet, here I was—doing everything I could to avoid any possible difficulty from arising; however, what I should have been doing was taking advantage of my ambitious determination and deep-seeded stubbornness. I was taking the backseat—refusing to capitalize on my qualities. What I didn’t know then was that I didn’t have faith in my strengths. Let me correct myself: I don’t think that I even recognized them.
But I’m fatigued from all of the waiting that I’ve been doing.
From here on out, I’m just going for it, and if I can’t win, I sure as hell want the participation trophy. I’m going for it until I’m tired of it. I am learning to confront myself. I choose to only hear the wisdom that accompanies the over-thinking, rather than the limitations that is causes me. I can’t allow my mind to prevent me from ever trying. Slowly but surely, I am teaching myself acceptance and forgiveness. I have to accept that failures are a part of life–and that is okay–as long as my intentions are good and thoughtful (thoughtful–not overly-thoughtful), and I have to forgive myself when things don’t work out. Scratch that. Forget the forgiveness—congratulate yourself for throwing yourself at something! In practice, I think that we will find that we are our own biggest hurdles. We doubt ourselves. We stand in our own way. We try to constantly safeguard and control what we can, when in reality, sometimes we just need to let go. Trust in yourself. Trust that we have all come equipped to do this life thing. And remember: if you don’t believe in your own capabilities, who else is going to want to take a chance on you? So, the first person you have to market yourself to is: yourself. Sometimes, you have to dive in and give it all you’ve got—understanding that there is no path to success without that initial step. Have faith and build yourself unwavering. Live purposefully, thoughtfully, and do it with intention. Go for it, because what is a life without some passion?