The first time I was hit with a true brick wall of overthinking was back in college. More specifically, it began the moment I decided to drop out, put my degree on hold and re-center myself back home. I wasn't really even sure why I needed the break, but every fiber in my body was speaking to me, so I listened.
Until this point, I had lived care-free- positive and optimistic about the future. Now I found myself cowering in the face of unanswered questions like "when will I finish school? WILL I finish school?," and "where will my life go from here?" These are all definitely reasonable questions to be considered, but in my case, overthinking the answers led me down a path that I can only describe as a damn quarter life crisis. I seriously began questioning my decision to listen to my instincts instead of staying on the road that was so clearly paved ahead of me.
Que endless rumination. I started to overthink every single aspect of every singe day, from what to do, where to go, even what to eat. Indecisiveness became a key character trait and my only certainty, honestly, was UNcertainty. I lived in a constant state of confusion.
What did I learn from this stage of my life? There's only one word to describe overthinking and self-doubt-- unproductive.
My days were spent questioning every aspect of my future as opposed to building it. I struggled to choose ONE thing to try instead of trying everything! I put more importance on the end goal instead of the journey. In short, I wasted my time being unproductive.
This continued for some time until my underlying child-like curiosity, that until this point I was sure ran away for good, crawled out from hiding and led me to my saving grace, my yoga and wellness practice (another instinct, I suppose). Through this journey I've discovered my soul's purpose, I've discovered myself, I've discovered a whole life and the endless possibilities that I would've never found if I didn't follow my gut and veer off that perfectly paved road.
I'm here today to share the strategies that helped me listen to my gut, overcome overthinking and find harmony along the way. First thing's first-
Why should we trust our intuition?
I'm glad you asked, friends! This is something I have continuously learned to do the hard way. I have been known to have resistance towards my gut instincts and it alllllways bites me in the butt afterwards. When I finally started to give it a chance, life started to fall in place.
I know, I know. It sounds like hippy dippy magic. But if you're feeling how I was during this turning point in my life, what do you really have to lose?
Our intuition is literally built and shaped by our own past experiences and challenges, and the knowledge we gained from working through them. It's got our backs. And the more experience you have in an area, the more your gut will be able to guide you along the way.
Our intuition is actually connected to every nerve cell in our entire body. You know those butterflies you get in your tummy when you're faced with a big decision to make? That "gut" feeling is the subconscious part of your brain sending signals to those nerves. This is your entire being coming together collectively to help you make a decision, so listen to it!
I know how hard it is to put all your trust in something so seemingly mystical, especially when making a life changing decision. But I’ve also learned first hand how overthinking and self-doubt make it wayyyy too easy to fall into the bad habit of ignoring your gut instinct. So here are 3 ways to overcome overthinking and become open to trusting your gut-
1. Know the difference between Insight and Overthinking
We all have the tendency to play out scenarios in our head because we want to know the outcome and consequences that a given decision will have. And guys, we actually think we're RIGHT about it all?! Truth is, that you'll NEVER know until you experience it. I couldn't know for sure that dropping out of college wouldn't be a mistake, because I didn't have that insight, because it's impossible to have insight on a situation that hasn't happened yet. Overthinking it was futile. No matter how much you can imagine what a change will bring, you'll always be surprised when you actually take the leap.
2. Know that a decision is never final
We often overthink a decision because we believe it is THE decision. A grand finale decision that may never be reversed and MUST be the right one. When has that ever happened??? Our lives are constantly changing and evolving, you'll have plenty of decisions to make. Some will be right, some will be wrong, but they'll just keep rolling- giving you the opportunity to make more changes.
Next time you catch yourself overthinking a decision, ask yourself these questions and go from there-
-am i resisting my gut instinct?
-will this decision make or break me?
-is it permanent?
3. Keep yourself busy
You wanna know one of the main reasons you overthink? It's because you have time to.
Keep yourself physically active during the day and your mind focused. Fill your days with positive and productive activities that'll let your mind rest peacefully at bed time, when most overthinking occurs. A mind rests well at night knowing its day has been directed towards worthy goals and aspirations.
Above all else, trust the fact that you know yourself. Nobody has truly experienced all things in your life the way you and your gut have, which pretty much makes you the dream team when it comes to knowing yourself. Remember this, and remember that the universe has your back. You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. You’re a badass, resilient human and you’re on a path to magnificent things! Enjoy the ride :)
Sending love & light