I’m an over thinker by nature (and possibly nurture via my mother and grandmother). In some areas of my life, it works to my advantage – like in business development and planning, and in managing complex, multi-faceted book projects where the failure to think ahead and anticipate can cost my clients big bucks.
In other areas – okay in ALL the other areas of my life – what is usually a wise, proactive business strategy becomes my Achilles heel.
Unfortunately overthinking doesn’t come with an on/off switch.
As a result, here’s what rampant overthinking looks like where it absolutely does not belong – in Lyra class.
There I am sitting in my hoop suspended in the air from the towering ceiling of our circus studio, my face scrunched up in deep concentration with brow furrowed and biting my lip as I try to mentally break down the new move the instructor is patiently trying to walk me through.
Wrap left arm around the top of the hoop, drop right leg down and behind, roll hip away from hoop, hook left knee…
When my teacher finishes her spiel she looks at me expectantly, apparently waiting for me to spring into action. But my brain is back somewhere around “drop right leg down.” My overthinking mind has gone rogue at this point, desperately trying to make sense of every part of the new move. The “circus” part that’s telling me “stop overthinking and just do it” has absolutely no shot. It’s overpowered before the arm wrestling match even starts.
But recently I had a mini-breakthrough….
I was pestering one of my teachers Andy, also the studio’s owner, for some sort of mental magic solution to a move that has been plaguing me. His answer was blunt as usual (and I’m paraphrasing): “There is no magic pill. It hurts, and the only solution is to just keep doing it over and over until your body becomes used to it and it doesn’t hurt anymore.”
Hmmm… so…. Just keep doing it even though it’s not fun at first?
One of my book coaching clients confirmed that the same was true for her when she first started learning from me how to write a book. She reflected on how frustrating it was early on in the process, when she was neck deep in learning the craft of book writing. Just like the learning of any other skill, it was hard work which isn’t always deliriously fun. Talent and passion can only get you so far before things like discipline, practice, and elbow grease are required to finish the job. Sometimes it hurts before you get good and it’s up to you to make the decision to fight through to the fun.
So I’ve decided to combat my chronic circus overthinking with this philosophy – fight through to the fun. To attempt to quiet my hyperactive cerebral cortex through sheer brute force and repetition of the same action over and over, day in and day out. To work toward the excitement and ultimately rewarding experience of learning something new!