Do you ever over think things? Do you put too much mental energy into something to the point where you make yourself sick? How about worry or anxiety, are they regular parts of your life?
If so, ask yourself this question….
Does the extra thought, mental energy, headspace, worry, attention, focus, etc. make a significantly positive impact on how the THING turns out?
I’m tipping – No.
Focus, attention and effort all play a significant role in helping you achieve things that are important to you, but when those things turn into obsessive or negative thoughts, behaviours or patterns, it requires you to have the discipline to stop those things and reallocate your energy.
To give you a more specific and running based example, I regularly see coaching clients, friends or people I know who have decided to aim for a specific goal race or distance. They set themselves up for success with their training, they make the required changes in their life and they move in the right direction. As they get closer to their goal, they become so obsessively focussed on it that the goal begins to lose its appeal. Before long it is like a brick sitting on their chest. The pressure can be all consuming, leading them to struggle with their training, they get sick easily, injuries start to creep in and they are no longer excited about their impending achievement, instead they are literally worried sick.
To step back from this and see it for what it is, means recognising the goal as simply a decision you made some time ago and something you chose to do for positive reasons. If the fun and excitement has gone, you have two choices – 1) Pick a new goal and move on (not the best choice as you’ll probably just repeat the same mistake) or 2) Pull back your obsessive thinking, worry, etc and redirect that energy into a wider variety of things. Keep your eye on the prize, but be strict on yourself about setting aside THE RIGHT AMOUNT of time and energy to work toward that goal and knowing when to have your head somewhere else.
Essentially, the old saying that variety is the spice of life, holds true here. If you have balance in your life, you will be healthy. That means balance in your mental/emotional life too.
As you finish reading this, I ask you to take a few minutes to sit quietly with your eyes shut. Wander through each facet of your life and the things you are doing with your time. Notice how each thing makes you feel when you focus on it. Get to know how your mind is managing each thing and what it is doing to you. When you identify the things that don’t light you up in a positive way, ask yourself how important they are to your happiness. If they rank low on the list, then let them go and don’t waste another brain minute on them. If they are important, then it is time to adjust the way you are doing them.
It’s all about knowing yourself.