A big part of what seizing your passion is about is your own personal development and growth. And, a big part of what personal development is about is self-awareness and self-reflection. In order to achieve any of that, you have to get inside of your head and think about how and why you process things – which is great.
I’ve always been a huge proponent of having self-awareness and being self-reflective; I think it’s a tremendous quality, skill and tool in life generally, and specifically to truly seize your passion and live a life of purpose, growth and fulfillment, and ultimately become the best version of yourself.
But, like anything else in life, if we take that quality, skill and tool too far – if we get too stuck inside of our own head – it ceases to serve us well, and can become destructive rather than productive. In a recent Medium article of his, Jon Westenberg wrote about the danger of getting too attached to our digital screens and technology. While he loves technology for all it’s capabilities and efficiency, he also realizes that too much of one thing is never a good thing. He analogized this concept to drinking wine.
He likes wine, he said. He likes drinking wine. It tastes good, it feels good; it’s all good. But, if he were to start drinking too much wine every single day, he would be an alcoholic – which would not be good. It would become self-destructive. So too it goes for getting stuck inside your head too much.
Here’s why. First, studies and science shows that our brains are naturally inclined to go towards negative thoughts – worrisome thoughts and fearful thoughts. Whether we realize it or not, and whether we admit it or not, we naturally tend to worry about what might happen or what might not happen, what others will think of us, and how we will be judged.
So, when you are inside your head and your own thoughts, you start to perpetuate these negative thoughts which defeats the whole purpose of self-awareness towards growth and fulfillment. Instead of moving towards growth and fulfillment, these perpetuated negative thoughts produce feelings like insecurity, lack of confidence, and fear. Those thoughts and feelings then go round and round inside your head- stuck inside a closed circle and vicious cycle.
If you happen to be in a negative space or place in your life or on your journey, it’s that much more important to get out of your head! When you’re feeling discouraged about something and you go into your own head to ponder it, you will inevitably enter that closed circle and vicious cycle of perpetuating negative thoughts. It will not serve you well, and you will not solve the problem or achieve the growth and fulfillment you’re looking for.
The second reason it’s so important to get out of your head sometimes is because it’s really hard for us, as humans, to take our own advice. Think about it. There are so many coaches, mentors, thought leaders, and therapists that are incredibly insightful and helpful when it comes to doling out advice to others. But, how many of those actually practice what they preach to others on themselves? It’s way harder to take your own advice, to be insightful and objective about yourself – especially when you’re inside that closed circle and that vicious cycle.
When you get outside of your head, you get perspective the same way you do when you listen to others, give others advice, coach, mentor or inspire them. By doing so, it will help you have a fresh and objective mindset about yourself and what you’re going through so you can actually take your own advice and apply it to yourself and not just to others.
The third reason you need to get out of your head once in a while is- analysis paralysis. Plain and simple. When you get stuck inside your own head, you’re so busy thinking about and analyzing what you want to do, why you want to do it, how you should do it, whether you should do it, and when you should do it – that you never actually do it. You have analysis paralysis. So stop thinking so much, get outside of your head, and take Nike’s advice – just do it.
I find there are two easy and simple ways to get out of your head when you need to. One is to simply go do something you enjoy. Be active with your body and not with your head. Be in the moment, enjoy the moment and just be. Whatever works for you – go for a run, go play some basketball, take a walk, practice yoga, whatever. By focusing on your physical body and activity, and by enjoying whatever moment you are in, you can turn your thoughts and that closed circle off.
Another great and easy way to get out of your head is to simply listen to others. But, truly listen. When you put yourself in someone else’s bubble, when you engage their thoughts, and hear about their struggles, challenges, and wins – it forces you to become a better listener in general, but it also opens up your own head to new thoughts and ideas that you would not otherwise have thought of had you stayed stuck inside your own head.
They say in business that you can’t solve a problem with the same thinking that created the problem. That applies here too. By listening to someone else, and getting out of your head and inside someone else’s, your mind naturally opens up to new ways of thinking and that closed circle begins to open up.
The greatest truths in life, and the most insightful ones are often the most simple ones. We often take them for granted or glide right past them because they’re so simple and right there in front of us that we don’t even see them. The key then is to start seeing those simple truths for all their radiance and brilliance. Remembering to sometimes get out of your head is one of those simple truths for me.
Rachel Ellner Lebensohn, Proud Creator & Founder of Seyopa
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