Updated: Apr 2, 2020
Our last post was about how to move from the comfort zone to growth zone. Let’s talk a bit more about the fear zone. There are holding patterns that keep us stuck in the fear zone. For me, overthinking was definitely one of them.
I used to overthink everything. For me, it stemmed from a place of worrying too much about what others may think about me, who I am, what I do, etc. That gave me terrible anxiety. This particularly affected my creative performance. I used to second guess every single decision I made and it was very debilitating. It crippled me. I wanted things to be “perfect” and the sense of perfection was built entirely on what I thought others may want to see or what I needed to be in order to be accepted or liked.
There were several things that helped me overcome this:
Support System: Therapy with a professional. Mental health is as important as physical health. My therapist helped me identify where my perfectionism was stemming from. This was the first step. I sought out a great support system (friends and loved ones) to open up to. I asked for help and I let people in. When I was going through a low point, I had a bad habit of not reaching out to people who deeply cared about me. I used to make excuses inside my head (like “they are all busy,” “they don't have time for me,” “they have problems that they are also dealing with,” etc). However, the thing with people who love you is that, despite what they might have going on in their lives, they still want to be there for you. You don't have to go through it alone. Find people who can listen to you, who can offer you a hug, ask powerful questions, or just be with you when you are going through tough moments.
Finding the courage to follow my path. This liberated me. It boosted my self confidence. I was not trying to live up to some standard that I thought someone else wanted me to be. I had to decide what was more important to me: my happiness and well-being or fretting about what I thought others thought of me. Breaking from the flow of societal pressures is often not easy, but the rewards are very much worth it.
Worrying about the opinion of others: Honestly, now I don't think other people have all that much time to sit and judge me. They have their own lives they are busy with. Accepting that the universe doesn't revolve around me was a huge step in overcoming the "overthinking" paradox.
Take action. Just do it. Take small steps until you are ready to take bigger steps. Make incremental, small changes. With some careful planning and plenty of support, I was able to step out of my comfort zone. Unable to find the satisfaction in following my career at a conventional architecture firm, I took a break and started my own new kind of a design firm that ultimately lead to founding Neuma Being. As a result, I am happier and I am accomplishing more as a result. What about those things I worried I wouldn’t be great at? Well, guess what?! I am actually becoming better at those because I allowed myself to get all the practice I can get, with all the failing and unapologetic imperfections.
I stopped trying to be perfect. I reached a point of not trying to prove myself to anyone or even myself. I became good enough. I am enough. Enough for me, even when I am not enough for someone else and it’s ok. Everything is always work in progress with Neuma Being, just as it should be. And I have stopped trying to make everything perfect and just deliver the best I can. But always, always, keep it moving and make continual progress, sometimes tiny steps, sometimes considerable.
I became comfortable with making mistakes and failing. I learned how to make mistakes and be OK with not having the outcome be perfect. One of my mentors, Wagner Alegretti advised me to “make a new mistake everyday.”
Self-care and Mindfulness. All of these other steps were supplemented by mindfulness practices. These practices gave me more self-awareness. I realized my overthinking was often guided by unbalanced emotional states. The trick was to catch myself right before I go down the rabbit hole of overthinking. Instead of trying to be perfect, this empowered me to just do things. Various mindfulness techniques help me stay in the present without over-analyzing past actions or events. It helps me realize when I pass judgement on myself in te present. It helps me not worry about the future unnecessarily, and instead plan and prepare the best I can.
I was able to start Neuma Being with Nelson because I stopped overthinking and decided to take action. For years, we have been looking for an ecosystem designed specifically for creatives and professionals such as ourselves to deal with the stresses of our career, to live and achieve our lives' goals, to deal with the busy urban lifestyle and to be able find balance. Often, having to turn to several different platforms to find what we were looking for was not very efficient. So, we decided to create our own ecosystem of tools, techniques and a community that can help others like us so that we can all grow together.
We all react to different things in different ways. Maybe you are overthinking because of other reasons. Whatever reason it may be, cut yourself some slack. There is a fine line between overthinking and thinking through something. Identify what those boundaries are for you and what it means to you. Don’t let overthinking paralyze you and hold you back. You got this!
**If you are interested in finding out how Neuma Being can help you get out of your comfort zone and / or successfully address the fear zone, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (323) 723.2328. We have developed neuro-bio technologies inspired by various mindfulness practices that can supplement your personal development process. We also have monthly activities that brings together our community and we will soon start our monthly membership programming both online and in person. Join our growing community or one of our events!
If you are in the greater Los Angeles area, visit Neuma Mind Spa + Showroom and book an experience that can help you reach a heightened state in just 25 minutes.