Overthinking will not change your life

There are times in life where we feel that things aren’t how we’d like them to be or how they ‘should’ be. We then fall into the trap of overthinking in a feeble attempt to find the solutions to our problems yet as Einstein says,

“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them” – Albert Einsten

Overthinking will never provide the clarity we desire since that’s what got us feeling so crap in the first place! It’s a vicious circle as we start to observe our life, think about what we’re unhappy with, go down an endless pit of over-analysing the problems in the hopes to find a solution, realise we’re creating problems that we didn’t even notice before, start to overthink every aspect of life as if we need to fix it (when in fact life is never ‘broken’ or something that needs ‘fixing’), then we’ll notice we’re overthinking everything and so worry about that, and then stress ourselves out trying to stop overthinking and so on it goes.

“Too much thinking leads to paralysis by analysis.” – Robert Herjavec

In my own personal experience, overthinking tends to stem from feelings of ‘not good enough.’

“I’m not good enough.”

“My job isn’t good enough.”

“My house isn’t good enough.”

“My life isn’t good enough.”

While it’s normal and healthy to look at our external world and think about what we’d like to improve, there’s a difference between being in a state of flow and working towards that improvement and being in a state of displeasure and working hard to change everything. The former acknowledges that you have the power to improve your life but you’re not dependent on those external circumstances to feel good, therefore you’re not questioning your self worth. Whereas the latter projects feelings of resistance to what-is wherein everything is perceived as wrong, incomplete and a failure. These labels and judgements can then result in feelings of apathy, unworthiness, self blame or self doubt. Pitiful thoughts such as the following start to creep in,

“What am I doing with my life?”

“I’m such a failure because I’m not where I should be in life.”

“Maybe I’m just not good enough otherwise I’d have everything I want.”

Yes we all have goals we’re working towards, yes we each want to fulfill our potential as an individual, yes we want to live the best life possible however feeling sorry for yourself or putting so much pressure on yourself to obtain those achievements will not and does not work. Those thoughts and feeling only cause more grief and so solace seems even further away.

Our ego-mind believes that peace, self worth and fulfilment is elsewhere; it’s anywhere but here. Thoughts such as “I will feel good enough when I have that dream job” or “I will feel loved when I have the perfect relationship” are filled with insecurity and they’re fixated on outer events as if those events will give us salvation from the inner turmoil we feel. Not only do we become attached to the outer world but we start to base our identity on it as if having a lot to show for yourself makes you a better person. Yet it’s when we’re going with the flow of life and doing what makes us happy without overthinking that we have all of the energy and inspiration we want to naturally become the amazing person we’re striving way too hard to be.

“Detachment is the only vehicle available to take you from striving to arriving.” – Wayne Dyer

Detach yourself from your overthinking and from looking to your outer world to find the feelings of peace and worthiness you so truly want and which are already ever-present.

“But if I just accept my life as it is when I now see there are so many things I’m unhappy with, I need to think about them in order to make a change” is the next thought that may appear. There’s a false belief that by accepting and surrendering to the present moment and life circumstances we will not elicit any change, as if appreciating what-is will make us complacent, yet life is ever-changing. It is this resistance to the present moment which creates suffering and as a result makes us feel like we’re stuck in a rut.

I can look back on my life at moments where I could say my life wasn’t ‘perfect’ and I wasn’t where I wanted to be in certain areas yet I still got to where I needed to be and it wasn’t by overthinking; it was by enjoying my life as-is which in turn allowed room for grace and for events to effortlessly fall into place. My overthinking could not have come up with or strategised the ways I entered my desired career, the relationships that grew stronger or any events which have brought me true fulfilment and wonder.

“A Course in Miracles rightly points out that, whenever you are unhappy, there is the unconscious belief that the unhappiness “buys” you what you want. If “you” — the mind — did not believe that unhappiness works, why would you create it? The fact is, of course, that negativity does not work. Instead of attracting a desirable condition, it stops it from arising. Instead of dissolving an undesirable one, it keeps it in place. Its only “useful” function is that it strengthens the ego, and that is why the ego loves it.” – Eckhart Tolle

Our minds are wired for survival and so will naturally look for problems to solve and things to change but try not let yourself go down that dark road of overthinking. Remove yourself from those worrisome thoughts and take away their power by accepting that they’ll occur. Befriend those thoughts and your mind by giving them thanks for caring about you and your life so much! Then leave it at that and remind yourself as much as possible that you are already an amazing human being who doesn’t need to strive so hard to be happy or work so hard to prove yourself.

-end-

Image credit:
Xavier Sotomayor

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“We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.” – Carl Sagan

I just came across this quote and it really sparked up something inside of me,

“We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.” – Carl Sagan

My interpretation of this quote resonates with something I have witnessed happen with my feelings and emotions all of the time. I interpret this quote as saying that when we have those moments of great happiness, immense feelings of love and joy; we feel so elated and on top the world and in result feel indestructible. We assume those positive feelings and highs will never end once we have attained it. However, they do.

The fact that we come down from that place of bliss is natural. However I have now come to understand that that feeling of bliss, is temporary pleasure. It is a feeling mistaken for what we’re really meant to attain which is inner peace,

“Pain is inevitable, Suffering is optional” – Buddhist Proverb

It’s very easy to get into a trap of justifying and putting a label on where you are in life. This could be due to maybe feeling stagnant and without realising, looking outside of yourself to find a reason to feel happy, successful and loved. Another thing that gets brought into this mixture is beating yourself up about feeling bad. You know how to be happy and positive yet here you are feeling low. It’s as if you’ve let yourself down as you are not appreciating everything you have or you’ve somehow not used your abilities to their best potential. Those thoughts only make the situation worse, they are not beneficial and are useless. We have the power to change things and the first step is to focus solely on what you wish to see, feel and accomplish rather than looking back or at your current situation and not feeling good about it.

Online, individuals have suggested that the meaning of the Carl Sagan quote is about time. The universe is timeless and limitless however we are in a time-space reality. Time is all an illusion as we only truly have this NOW moment. Our ego will think about the past and future and we rarely become mindful and bask in the current moment.

“The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.” – Marcel Pagnol

The ego deviates us from our true state of bliss, freedom and relaxation. It makes us worry, overthink and become ungrateful. I find it hard to accept that I have moments of great appreciation and happiness and yet find myself still having moments of frustration and lack at times therefore we must remember,

“Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.” – Ekhart Tolle

Being unemployed for the past few months has resulted in negative thoughts creeping in such as “how will I explain employment gaps?”, “I’ve wasted time”, “There’ll be new graduates graduating this year, what have I done with myself?” I have forgotten my accomplishments and that life is fun and a journey. I have so much going for me and an amazing future ahead of me! Everyone has their own individual path and we are all destined for different things. Such feelings and thoughts of negativity can arise through comparison of yourself with others. It’s also a result of worrying what others think about you. This is your life, you don’t need to justify yourself to anyone and whoever is worth your time will recognise you. I am so blessed to have family and friends who always support me and love me, I must return that love to myself. I have let time discourage me.

We don’t have to have a very busy and active life to be grateful for times of peace and relaxation. Boredom can get the better of us, I know it gets the better of me and so it results in me feeling demotivated and useless. We must know that life happens the way it’s meant to and this time out is just a part of the process. The best thing to do is not label it as anything such as “unemployed” or “trying to figure out my life.” Life happens and is always moving, stay positive and do not let circumstances outside of you rob you of your peace. Nothing lasts forever and everything is temporary including outside situations and inner emotions. This too shall pass.

It’s normal to have good days and bad days, that’s life. The best thing to do is to just work on feeling better. Relax in the thought and knowledge that everything works our perfectly for us, life happens FOR us, we are life! We are always connected to source and we feel bad when we disconnect ourselves through letting our ego get the better of us. We are humans and we will experience a variety in emotions and feelings, we are learning and expanding. We need to let ourselves of the hook. To finish off, I will quote something that I said to a close friend of mine last night,

“We are human and we’re not perfect but we’re also more powerful than we think.”

Never dis-empower or belittle yourself with feelings of “failure.” Know you are important and expect success.

“You can’t get it wrong and you never get it done” – Abraham Hicks