I’ve been taking time to observe my own work and lifestyle habits to improve productivity as an artist and entrepreneur, which led me to notice the pros and cons of my greatest blessing and curse: overthinking. Overanalyzing past events is my comfort zone to an obsessive point. I review my behavior and the behaviors of others in social settings, I’ll reevaluate my work schedule repeatedly (especially when random changes occur), and I can become far too immersed in hypothetical “what if’s” regarding past events believing that even though what I suspect could hypothetically happen didn’t happen at all, I should prepare for the likelihood that it does happen anyway. It’s strange that as a artist, my inspiration and work appear as bursts of energy which is a present consumption, but with almost everything else, I always need a plan and lacking a plan in anyway makes me feel incredibly lost.
The greatest pro of thinking like this is building resilience and maturity. I really value being introspective because it provides many opportunities to learn. However, the greatest con is rarely being in the present moment. This habit combined with intrusive thoughts and dissociation really isn’t fun; it’s time consuming self-torture on bad days. So, this week I practiced mindfulness techniques more frequently as an attempt to rewire my brain in a way. I get hit with intrusive thoughts on a daily basis, so addressing the truthfulness of those thoughts, as in understanding why the thought came up, how it makes me feel, and how practical it is to stew over the thought, is a struggle and conscious effort every damn time.
Redirecting my overthinking for more productive means is also a conscious effort and doing so keeps me in a present state of mind, which is a great pro. In the past, my overthinking would simply lead to spiraling and catastrophizing. Now my critical nature works more in my favor when self-care and dignity are kept in mind.
Just wanted to share this because I know I’m not alone in this. My fellow artists, autodidacts, nerds, and the like will perceive their analytical nature as a burden all too often and to be honest it really can become this powerful and reckless force disguised as meticulousness. Acknowledging how overanalyzing is a comfort zone we need to step out of helps change our self-perception into something more fulfilling without any radical change. If we naturally are critical and creative thinkers, then we can’t help that, but the least we can do is apply our great minds to tasks that help us embrace our potential. I’m just so tired of falling victim to the coulds/shoulds I’ve internalized. Let’s just be.