Mastering the power of overthinking
Four letters F-E-A-R which stands for false evidence appearing real, something we’ve all felt but what is it and does it really exist? I’d like to think it isn’t real, but instead it’s just an imagination created by the mind, almost like an illusion. The question is why does fear make an appearance mainly when the mind begins to overthink or build up with tension?
If there’s one thing, I’d like to master... it’s overthinking. We tend to overthink and therefore over-complicate every small detail, especially when we are around people. For example; instead of thinking of a conversation starter, why don’t we just say something as simple as “hello”?
Another example is when I receive an invitation to go somewhere with friends, instead of contemplating... just say yes! We end up creating scenarios in our head of the worst possible outcomes, in order to protect ourselves. But when we get there, we realise it’s not as bad as we thought it would be.
Is there a way to overcome fear completely? That’s something I am still trying to figure out. In the meantime, here are two techniques which have worked for me:
1. Analyse your current feelings and ask yourself whether it’s worth holding onto and if not… let it go.
2. Use that negative feeling as a driving force to tackle whatever you set out to achieve.
We have to remember that letting go of our spiralling thoughts is not the easiest thing to do at times. We tend to over analyse and find faults with our mind. The key is to be patient with yourself, the road to recovery is not linear.
Handling the discomfort
We’re all different and what may work for some, may not work for others.
There are some questions to ask yourself if you are ever feeling uncomfortable during or after a social event.
Before the event:
- Step one: What’s the worst that could happen?
- Step two: What could go well?
After the event:
- Step three: What went well?
- Step four: What went wrong?
- Step five: What have you learnt from the situation?
The first step involves self-evaluation; in terms of digging deep into your thought process past the feeling of doubt to see where it stems from.
The second step encourages you to look for the positive in the scenario, followed by analysing what went wrong, and seeing the severity of the situation.
Lastly; step five encourages you to reflect on everything you have learnt as a whole, from this situation. See what you observed by going through the questions, and also apply them for future reference.
If you want to achieve a goal, but you’re afraid… do it afraid, because it’s better than not doing anything at all and wondering “what if?”. Because many times fear has paralyzed me from confidently stepping into new environments, which may involve me having to socialise or network. Sometimes; it’s just a matter of giving yourself a pep talk and being your own biggest motivator.
The steps you take may be small, but remember that’s what you’ve got to do in order to move forward. I went from turning down outings with friends, to being the one making the suggestions, to that I say don’t let fear control you... you control fear!
Written By Jessica