In my last session with my coach, I was in a funk and came to the realization that the problem was I was spending too much time analyzing it.
I am introspective by nature, so I spend a lot of time in my head. Most of the time it’s not a problem. I plan, dream, get ideas, find solutions, learn things and gain new insight but sometimes when I’m chugging along just fine – WHAM! – I hit a brick wall.
I feel like a pinball – my mind mentally bouncing around. I’m unfocused, antsy and agitated. I fall into Funkville (which is just the opposite of Funky Town). Once I rule out some obvious factors like hunger or need for sleep, I do what I normally do. I go inside my head.
This usually works. Sitting down with a pen and paper (or banging away on my laptop) and doing some stream of consciousness writing, I can often pinpoint what’s bothering me.
But sometimes my mind takes me into a dark place and the inner critic/demon/crazy lady, whatever you want to call it, comes out to play with a vengeance.
I happened to be in the middle of such an episode when I was talking to my coach. I was whining about how I was a fraud and a fake, comparing myself to others and generally whipping myself up into a full-blown tizzy.
I was suffering from a lack of belief in myself and I was trying to think my way out of it. But then it dawned on me, the way out wasn’t by thinking, but by doing!
When you suffer from a lack of faith/belief/confidence in yourself and your abilities, thinking only tends to exacerbate the problem. As I was talking to my coach, intellectually, I knew I wasn’t a fraud or a fake. I’ve accomplished a lot but I was having a problem shaking those damn little gremlins in my head telling me otherwise. Thinking wasn’t going to make them go away, in fact it had the opposite effect, it fed them. I had that “Aha!” moment when I realized I had to DO something. Anything.
I didn’t need motivation, I didn’t need confidence, I didn’t have to convince myself I wasn’t a fraud. I just had to ACT. So I looked at where my time would be best spent based on what I wanted to achieve and took the most logical small step to move me in that direction.
And the little voice in my head faded away as I concentrated on the next task at hand.