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  • Writer's pictureBrooklynne Webster

Over-thinking & Creating problems

"It isn't a problem if it isn't a problem." A simple statement carrying a truth that is a very important reminder. I know I'm not alone in the way that I can fabric problems for myself when they aren't legitimate problems. Why do we fixate on non-issues?

A few years back I was working with a therapist -- shout out Dr. Oo! -- who helped me to see the way I was 1) "should-ing" all over myself and 2) potentially creating problems where there aren't any - out of overthinking or over-analyzing. In this simple reflection, I've been able to zoom out a bit on my life and the perspective I have of my life in the day to day. I have made a habit of analyzing, fixating, and potentially over-thinking my life and the decisions I make. With awareness, I'm often able to catch myself as I'm doing this and make a shift.

Once I became aware of this tendency, it empowered me to choose to see my decisions through another lens. That lens isn't always available to me, however -- sometimes it's further back in my brain as I sort through my choices (often out loud to my sister or therapist, who I'm sure are both well aware of my tendencies). I am creating the life I want to be living, and I don't have to be so critical of the "imperfect" decisions. I am human just humaning.

Insert the balance of growth and personal development, and contentment and happiness.

An example of creating a problem: Doing too many things by myself. Is this a problem?? According to my friend, I have "the opposite problem of most people." I am more than happy to go on a solo adventure, try new restaurants, and explore by myself. I've gotten to be very comfy with spending time with myself and connecting with the world around me. Not a problem - more of a strength, when it's put that way. The problem I've fabricated is that because I'm likely to do things alone, I feel like my extroversion is shrinking or my willingness to go out of my way to invite others along for the journey is smaller. It is true that when we do not heede the desire to connect with others, often circumstantially, our tendencies may shift.

So, I will ask myself, is this a problem or am I making something out of nothing?

An example of overthinking: Should I go back to school or expand with what I already have from my certifications, education, and my past experiences? Is going back to school just a form of avoiding and putting off hard work? What do I want to do with my time while I'm here? How can I help? How can I help others to help themselves? How do I better help myself? Therapy has helped me to see that I don't need to be different, but to hone on the things that I do naturally and with more organization and consistency.

There is room for improvement, of course, but to remember that as we are now is not only acceptable but enough.

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