In our 21st century world, we revere the mind. We love smart people. We give them Nobel Prizes, fame and fortune. We think that the world will be saved by technology and faster computers. We push our kids to study so that they will get into the best colleges and learn more and more. We reason that reason will win the day over all.
Yet every day, I see where thinking fails people.
Because they need to do more than think.
What do I mean by that?
The other day I had another client whose mind was racing off to uncertain futures, trying to prepare for the worst. Every scenario was thought of over and over again, and their potential solutions.
His supercomputer of a mind was running through all possibilities just to be ready for anything.
He was ready. But also anxious, fearful, overwhelmed. Way overthunk!
Another recent client I had talked about how they tried some cognitive techniques given to them by a psychologist. But still their distress remained in how she perceived what others expected of her at work. She could intellectually go through all the evidence that reality was far from what she was experiencing inside, but yet could not break through to change despite what her brain could see so clearly over and over again.
Her supercomputer of a mind, even when presented with clear evidence to the contrary, still could not change her internal perceptions of herself and how she was not enough just doing the work that she did and that she did not need to stress about work even during non-working hours.
What gives here?
Don’t get me wrong. Thought based techniques CAN work. However it may not be what is needed.
In coaching I usually start there. It can set the mental processing stage when working holistically with a client.
And in some clients, it does move them.
For others, it’s not enough.
So we go for something else usually something somatic, body-based.
In these two cases, I asked them to ask their hearts and guts what they thought about what was going on upstairs. And in both cases, they got exactly the resolution they needed.
In our thinking heavy world, we live way too much in our heads. We assign too much energy and effort to our thoughts and how they will solve the world’s problems.
When we connect to our hearts and who we truly are, the resolution is usually simple and quickly found.
Are you a thinker? Do you feel a daily overwhelm of thoughts? Has the courtroom of your mind, with judge, lawyers, and jury, failed in delivering a verdict even when presented with convincing evidence? Try connecting instead with your heart and gut and see what happens to you. You might be amazed.