I am an overthinker.
Overthinking is one of the most vicious demons, because it is my own brain bombarding me with things I can’t change, or things that have not yet come to pass. Just noise that isn’t conducive with anything I am trying to accomplish, and majority of the time the noise revolves around negative thoughts about myself. I don’t like to think of it as being selfish, as if all I think about is myself, because it’s not even an enjoyable feeling. The self-loathing only perpetuates the low self-esteem, and causes me to drown in all the worst things I could possibly conjure up about myself.
I am healthy enough NOW to recognize that I am feeling sorry for myself though, and which self limiting beliefs it stems from.
That much I know. So the question being then, how do I fix this?
“How Are You Feeling?”
This one sentence is an overthinker’s life saver, and one of THE EASIEST ways I have found to pull myself outside of the never-ending thought void.
When you ask someone else how they are doing, it forces you to listen to that person, and focus on something other than whatever is ruminating in your mind at that given point. (If you have a tendency to drift inward like I do it helps me tremendously).
I worked at a grocery store for most of 2019 in Massachusetts (I do not currently live there anymore), and when I was feeling pretty down in the dumps, I would ask customers this question while ringing up their items.
It helped keep me distracted long enough that I could catch a break from self sabotaging torture.
I learned through observation, and practicing this method that when I asked someone this, if there was a long pause before they answered, it was a safe guess that they weren’t having the best day ever. I consider myself to be fairly intuitive (one of few positive skills I will acknowledge having), and I am understanding of others. I have the strong capability to show empathy for others even if I have not personally experienced what they may be going through. This can be considered a skill at this point in life, because this characteristic is becoming even rarer.
I say all this to point out how even just genuinely listening to someone else is a form of empathy. To listen, make eye contact, and be attentive to what they have to say. For me, if I can extend a small piece of kindness to another person to where they feel understood, then I can feel better about myself.
So when all I can think about is everything wrong with me, having this chance to make someone else’s life a little brighter tells me, maybe I’m not the lousiest person on the planet after all. Maybe, just maybe, I have something to add to this world. Maybe.
“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”
~ Dalai Lama
I have found that through showing compassion, and understanding for others, I am able to feel more confident in myself, and about my place in life. I can see how I have the ability to bring positivity to the world, and the power to make a difference.
It has taken years to gather the strength to type this, and even more so to post it online for millions of other people to see, so I say this with a few tears in my eyes;
We are capable of incomprehensible feats. We can dream “the impossible”, and make it a reality. We will achieve our dreams, and if I am able to achieve my goal to build the career of my dreams as a writer, then I will never again doubt my abilities to achieve anything I truly want.