The ‘Overthinking’ Mind

Worrying, for some (especially over-thinkers like me), has the potential to become a full-time occupation. The brain chunters away below the surface of whatever else is going on in life, taking in the view, and coming up with the worst possible situation at any given moment.

At any given moment, the brain might choose to fixate on something, gets it teeth stuck in, gnaw away at a previous innocuous circumstance, inflaming it, turning it wild. At this point, the thinker had better have the nous to step smartly away, take the brain in hand, and stop making things worse.

The advanced over-thinker can even worry about worrying, is this you?

Worrying (I think) stems from a sense of self-preservation. If we can imagine the worst possible outcomes, we can prepare to manage them, or better, avoid them completely. If we can envisage catastrophe, we can hopefully see a way to extricate ourselves before it happens, or at least with as little damage as possible. Worrying might well be ingrained in our systems precisely because it is such an effective protector of life. Without it, we wouldn’t be here.

Our early years are fraught with the contagious concerns of our parents, regarding what we might touch, trip, or choke on. We learn to be cautious, even fearful. We learn to internalise a cycle of worrying in hope it might prevent disaster. At some point, this vicious cycle has to be stopped, or consume the thinker entirely.

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Maslow’s base concerns aside, it’s easy to get lost in the back and forth of whether or not one’s other needs are being adequately met.

From a safety point of view, worries can appear like pop-ups in the day to day life; do you have enough money to last the month? Am I going to make it on time?  Should I find an alternative route to this dark alleyway?

Worries about the next tier up (love and belonging) are less a pop-up, and more of a series of tangling threads weaving through the everyday. In spite of the luxury of some of those threads remaining consistent and strong, there’s always a trail of loose ends and snaggling thoughts regarding belonging, the deserving (or not) of love, and whether or not I think enough of myself to feel I ought to belong in the first place.

Here, the tangling thoughts grow seeds and roots, tapping deep into the next level up – esteem. Worries in this area are sown early, childhood experiences proving fertile ground for those demon seeds to set root, forcing their tendrils through the psyche, cracking it beyond all knowledge of repair. When life waters those seeds ( and it does, often), the hell-plants take on vigour, bearing stinking blossoms, fast-falling fruit, and a further smattering of demon seeds to start the cycle once more, with feeling. The thicket of worries rooted in esteem has only proven susceptible to machetes wielded carefully by those who care deeply, and the blazing sunshine of their love, from which is recoils, screaming.

Conversely, the worries surrounding self-actualisation, I have found consistently encouraging, as though finding new things to concern myself with mean additional stepping stones along the way, with the implication that each stepping stone stepped is one less stone that needs stepping in the future. As though I am something which can ever be finished. However distant that goal, I am content in discovering new ways to become my best self, and part of the joy is in the journey – seeing how far I’ve come, as well as how far I think I can go. In the meantime, I am determined to value the small successes, and reap their rewards, even if my status never goes beyond ‘Becoming’, I am certain it will only be in response to the shifting sands of time and circumstance, and half the fun is in navigating the changes in life.

In all cases, counting my blessings and being thankful has always proven suitable recourse from worrying, with the added advantage that once I realise how relatively little I have to worry about, and element of freedom creeps in, lifting my spirits.

 

Thank you for reading, there will be a follow up post to this with top tips on how to stop overthinking. Keep your eyes peeled lovelies.

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10 Powerful Ways to Overcome Self-Doubt

Self-doubt can be troubling and somewhat a persuasive voice that holds you back. It holds you back from seizing your opportunities. It makes getting started or finishing things harder than they need to be.
Sure, it can sometimes be useful as it helps you to soberly see your current limitations or simply recognise a half-baked or bad idea. But mostly, it holds you back in life.
So how can you get around that, how can you overcome those times of self-doubt so that you can move forward once again?
In this post, I’ll be exploring some tips and habits that have helped me to decrease that destructive inner voice.

1. Say stop

First, when your inner doubts bubble up, be quick. Don’t let them spin out of control or grow from a whisper to a scream of discouraging words. Instead, talk back to that doubtful part of yourself.
In your mind, say or shout something like: No, no, no, we are not going down that road again. By doing so you can disrupt the thought pattern and stop that inner self-doubter from taking over.

2. Look to the past and awash yourself in the memories

Be real with yourself and ask yourself:
How many times when I doubted myself or feared something would happen did that negative thing come into reality after I still took action?
The answer for me — and probably for you too — is not very often at all.
Self-doubts are most often just monsters in your head that your mind may use to keep you from making changes and to keep you within the comfort zone.
If you look to the past and see how well things have gone many times despite those self-doubts then it becomes easier to let go of them or to ignore them and to focus on the more likely positive outcome and to take action.

3. Talk to someone about it

When you keep your thoughts on the inside they can become distorted, exaggerated and not very much in line with reality or reasonable expectations. This is very much true when it comes to self-doubting thoughts.
So let them out into the light. Talk to someone close to you about your self-doubts. Just letting them out and saying them out loud can often help you to hear how exaggerated these thoughts have become. And by talk about those doubts with someone that is supportive you can get a change in perspective.

4. Don’t get stuck in the comparison trap

If you compare yourself to other people all too often, to their successes and especially to their highlight reels that they share on social media then self-doubt can quickly creep up.
A better way to go about things is to compare yourself to yourself. To see how far you’ve come. To see what you’ve overcome. And to see how you’ve kept going, succeeded and grown as a human being.

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5. Start keeping a journal

Keeping a journal can be a helpful habit for many reasons. When it comes to self-doubt it can help you to:

  • Keep a realistic record of your life as this helps you to remember the positive things, the successes you have had and how you have overcome obstacles if you are prone to remembering things with a negative slant.
  • Gain clarity more easily. It is often easier to alleviate fears and doubts and to gain clarity if you have an issue laid out on paper or in a computer document rather than if you try to go through it all in your mind. By making lists of pros and cons, going through your thoughts and emotions and similar events from the past and by writing down different perspectives on the issue it becomes easier to find solutions and to see your challenge in a clearer and more level-headed way.

6. Remember: people don’t care that much about what you do or say

When you worry about what others may think or say if you do something then the self-doubt can quickly become stronger and you get stuck in inaction and in fear.
When that happens remind yourself that the truth is that people don’t really care that much about what you do or not do. They have their hands full with thinking about themselves, their kids and pets, jobs and upcoming sports matches and with worrying about what people may think of them.

7. What someone said or did might not be about you (or about what you think it is)

When someone criticises you then it’s easy to start doubting yourself. When someone rejects you and you don’t get the job after an interview you think went pretty well then it’s not so strange to get down on yourself.
But what if what he or she said or did really isn’t about you at all?
Perhaps your co-worker that verbally lashed out at you is having a bad day, month or time outside of work. And you might not have gotten that job because the managers mum got sick and they had to focus on that and were then unable to employ as there was nobody to train new starters.
You don’t know everything that is going on in another person’s life. And the world doesn’t revolve around you so be cautious not to misinterpret and build blame and doubt without any reason.

8. See a setback as temporary

When you have a setback then you might start to see things through a negative and dark lens. You might see this current setback as something that will simply be your new normal.
This way of looking at things can trap you in thinking that there’s no point in continuing to take action.
So instead:

  • Remember: You are not a failure just because you failed. Setbacks happen to everyone who take chances. It is simply a part of living life fully. Sometimes things go well and sometimes they don’t. So don’t make a failure into this huge thing or into your identity.
  • Ask yourself: what is one thing I can learn from this setback? Use the mistake or failure to your advantage and to move forward once again in a smarter way.

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9. Celebrate that small step and win

When you’ve taken one small step forward — for example, set up your own website or gone for the first 5 minute run in months or years — and you’re done with it then you have a win. It may be a small one but it’s still a win. So celebrate it.
Have a tasty snack or your favourite food for dinner, spend some time on your favourite hobby or by yourself something you’ve wanted for a long time. This will renew and recharge your motivation and make taking action feel more exciting and fun. And that will push self-doubts aside so that you can keep moving and get more small and bigger wins.

10. Remember: You can course-correct along the way

Trying to plan every move you will make on a journey towards a goal or dream can become draining and lead to quite a bit of self-doubt. And it usually won’t work that well anyway since the best laid plans often start to fall apart a bit or need some change when they are confronted with reality. Acceptance of this is key.
So do a bit of rough planning and then start your journey, it’s all trial and error. Remember that you can always course-correct along the way towards what you want. Empowered by the new knowledge, experience and feedback you will get as you keep going on that path.
To round this all up, I definitely feel that self-doubt is something that many of us do naturally and somewhat don’t realise we do. I hope that these 10 tips help you all on the road to overcoming self-doubt.
Please feel free to drop any questions or queries below.
Thank you for reading x

February Goals

So after what feels like centuries later we have finallyyyyy reached February! And that means it’s time for some GOAL SETTING.

This month for me is going to be a month revolving around productivity and self development. To achieve this, I have decided to have 4 key goals to help me get to a better place emotionally, physically and mentally. They are as follows:

Daily Tasks Sheet

A lot of it for me can change day to day so with this I am trying to get into a healthy routine with my self development and interaction with others. I feel this will motivate me to get things done even on the hardest days. As you guys can see, a lot of the daily tasks are social media related so yes that means that you guys are going to be seeing more of me. 

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*Just how cute is this?*

For example, I want to be supporting you guys just as much as you lovelies support me. I want to be posting as many Instagram stories as possible. Retweeting tweets, reading and liking blogs #INTERACTION.

I feel that this will keep me busy and also help with my mental health. Keeping busy and doing what I love always helps keep the negative thoughts to one side so we could say that this is going to be incredibly positive for my progression.

Use my new weekly planner

Again, this month is all about being organised and using my time efficiently to get things done. Planning forms stability right? And I guess that’s what I’m missing right now. I don’t know whether I’m coming or going half the time which is also a huge hindrance on my health. With this in mind, I was doing a little cheeky B&M shopping trip when I came across this little beauty …

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*£3.99… BARGAIN!*

Honestly, I didn’t even think I just picked it up and went home and put it on the wall. I didn’t even consult my partner. He came home and just giggled and congratulated me on getting a job interview as you can see from the picture. Which leads me to my next goal…

Find a job 

This is a really big thing for me. From being in a job I absolutely adored to then going through homelessness and losing my job and literally everything. Now is the time to pick myself back up and get my ass back in the working world. After all, the bills have got to be paid and that stress is far too heavy at the moment and time is running out to be perfectly honest.

I want to tell myself that my health couldn’t be better but as I’m writing this with a box of tissues next to me and a banging headache that doesn’t really cut it. Being honest with you guys, I’m struggling. And it’s okay to say that I’m struggling. For a few months, I have been under investigation due to me having seizure like fits which really do have no explanation. I totally lose consciousness and am totally unresponsive. It’s quite scary really, nobody knows what’s wrong with me. So as you guys can probably imagine, going back into work is very daunting but something I’m going to overcome.

#HUSTLEBABY

Eat more consistently 

Something I’ve been struggling with lately is eating, like at all. I can hand on heart say that this isn’t because I’m suffering with any form of eating disorder. I feel it’s truly because I just don’t even think to eat, it doesn’t cross my mind. I don’t feel hungry so I don’t eat. It’s so unusual for me because before this I battled really hard to form a good relationship with food and understand that food is needed to keep healthy and it’s my fuel to do the things I need to do. But these past few months I’ve found it really hard to incorporate eating into my daily routine.

Moving forward, I’m wanting to grow that relationship with food even more so that I’m eating not just healthily but consistently. By this I mean like having 3 meals a day even if they’re small. What I won’t be doing anymore is not eating all day and then sitting down at 10pm and snacking on crisps and little things.

Healthy body = Healthy Mind

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*So this is what I ate for my evening meal last night and I must admit… I actually really enjoyed it* 

That now brings me to the end of my February goals. I hope you all enjoyed reading and will check back at the end of the month when I reflect on how I’ve done. If any of you guys have any advice then feel free to leave comments below.

Until next time lovelies,

Mollie x

Body Positivity

How do YOU see your body? Is it a comfortable place to be or is it a shell of who you really are? Deep. I know. But this is something I think of often, how do I see my body.

For years, I spent almost all of my time thinking about my body. What I’m feeding it, what I can do to make it better – more lean, stronger, BETTER. I had an obsession with changing everything about my body. I truly hated the way it was.

This is not a before and after story. I’m not going to tell you that I had a magical metanoia and managed to turn into a lean, fit, fighting machine or a beautiful, delicate Audrey Hepburn type. Nope. Not even close.Related image

So what is body positivity? For me, it is about learning to accept and appreciate all body parts and others too. It is about loving what you look like and what your body can actually do. This really does sound like the most difficult thing ever. After all, we have been spending years of our lives yearning for that ‘bikini body’, that perfect body that will someday be ours whether we’re 16, 18, 25, 30…and so on. The dream really does never die. But really, when was the last time you actually looked at your body with true acceptance? Not just…it’s fine apart from my legs, arms, stomach ect. But true, unswerving acceptance. I know I personally have never done this. But I have decided to learn.

So what do the critics say?

  • But how can you be positive about your body when you are fat/obese?
  • You can’t be healthy and fat!
  • But what about the diets that aren’t actually diets – they are lifestyle changes?

Firstly, the body positive movement is about being happy with yourself and loving yourself even if you are fat, thin, old, young whatever. At any stage simply accepting yourself.

Secondly, I believe that body positivity does not promote or encourage obesity or fatness but simply encourages people to have self-worth no matter what size you are. What about flipping the coin to being unhealthy and thin? That means that I could work out and eat healthy foods but be technically overweight. BMI LIES!

And seriously, diets that claim to be just ‘lifestyle changes’ are still …diets. If you are eating by a certain plan to lose weight then YES you are dieting. I have tried every diet under the sun, have been drawn in to ‘lifestyle changes’ that claim to fix your relationship with food but every time I have gained the weight back because I was unable to keep up the ‘lifestyle’. I blamed that on myself for years… thought I was simply weak. But in reality, every company that claims to fix your weight is actually to blame, because they would never make money without you needing to KEEP fixing your weight.

In conclusion, this may be one of my most opinionated blog posts to date, but it is simply what I’ve been learning over the last year. The body positive movement has worked as a motivator for me to recover and to learn how to accept myself. It’s still taking time, but I am slowly gaining confidence and am more comfortable in my skin than I ever used to be. I’m not claiming to be perfect but that’s exactly the point, I am not perfect. I am just me.

So yeah, thanks to family and friends for helping me think outside the box. Body positivity is a functional lifestyle and I guess I am living proof.

Much love x