OR DISCOVERING A NEW INNER COMPASS
It’s stressful when our mind just won’t stop. It’s not productive, but we seem to be in “a loop”, repeating the same thoughts and worries over and over again. We can even know that the thinking, analyzing, understanding, investigating and reasoning doesn’t help us to find a solution. But nevertheless, the mental chatter doesn’t stop.
Then we can distract ourselves, watch a movie, talk to a friend, sleep, do some sports, or search for the activities that help us be in the moment and enjoy. For me, it has always been singing – when I sing, I am feeling my body, listening to the pitch and the sound, and trying to convey a certain feeling – and that keeps me so pleasure-fully busy that my mind has no room for worrying and repetitive thoughts.
The problem is, even though distraction works for a while, as soon as we relax and stop being active, and face the aspect of our life that was the cause for worry in the first place, the worrying and mental chatter resumes. And it would be oh-so-nice to enjoy some peace and inner quiet.
So what can we do? Before we look at the alternative, let’s look at why and how our mental approach to problem solving and the intent to find a solution or answer through reasoning are not working! Don’t get me wrong: The rational approach to our life has many many benefits, and helps us solve many different issues just fine. I am talking about those situations where there seem to be no solutions. We do all the analyzing and reasoning, but it’s just not enough to solve a certain situation. (I have in mind certain aspects of the process of my divorce – where I could rationally see the only logical solution, but the emotions and needs that were part of the process made that solution impossible).
How Our Thinking Hold Us Back
So, let’s look at some of the limitations or rational mind has.
1. It stops us from processing information.
Our thinking is based on many processes that have to do with eliminating information from our conscious awareness. When you think about buying a certain car, you start seeing that car everywhere. Or when you want to become pregnant, you see pregnant women everywhere, or hear lots of stories of people trying to get pregnant. Another person may be exposed to the same information but will not give it importance, and therefore, not notice it.
When you think that a certain situation is dangerous, you can consciously decide to avoid it – and will never have the chance to experience that it really wasn’t as dangerous as you thought. Can you see my point? Our reasoning makes us choose which information is important to us – and deny us exactly the kind of facts and experiences that would help us grow and resolve our current challenge. That’s when our mind keeps going in circles.
2. It is based on (sometimes) false assumptions and biases.
There is a lot of investigation about how certain biases influence our perception: We think that beautiful people are happier than those less attractive. And we will confirm that bias by collecting the information that goes with this bias.
Or, we have certain assumptions about how men (or women) are generally, and we operate based on these assumptions. If we think that men are stronger and more powerful, we may not give women the same chances in our society – because their more subtle strength and power is not perceived by us as such.
Generally, biases and assumptions make processing easier and faster for us, and they help us navigate a very complex world and life. But they can fail us terribly and make us go with the rule, when we are facing an exception.
What I am saying is, that the actions we can take, or the solutions we can see are limited by what we assume to be true.
3. It tends to confirm what we already know.
This becomes clear when we look at our own belief systems: If you think that work is hard, you will always experience it to be that way, and thereby reinforce the original belief. And then it may seem unfair that there are people for whom work is fun and easy. And your mind will create a sub-category and say that, those people are just different from you because of whatever reason you can come up with, thereby maintaining your inner truth, that work (for you, for most) is hard.
If you believe that you have to be better, that others are better, that you have to be perfect, that you are never good enough… your mind will never let you value your successes and be happy with your progress. It will present you with the information that shows you that you have to get better and now, it’s not enough. Do you see my point? Our mind confirms what we already know and think, rather than showing us that there are a million different was of thinking, feeling or acting that could also be an option.
4. It may be right, but not relevant.
The mind always tries to figure out what’s right and what’s real. That’s the whole purpose of science. If I understand the reason and see the real reality, I can change the effect and make decisions based on facts. That’s an assumption we operate on. But what, if we see a certain reality, and know the facts, but everything we know then doesn’t leave us with a solution?
I give you an example: When I first started my business in 2008, the Spanish market had just collapsed, and it faced a crisis that affected the whole society very strongly and was in everyone’s mouth and mind. When I looked at the prognostics of that situation, it was absolutely crazy for me to try to work self-employed, not speaking all the local languages, and with a therapy service that was not considered to be essential enough for people to be willing to pay. When I looked at probabilities and numbers, I knew I should not go ahead. But all that knowledge was not relevant for me. And even though it was right, business is about finding your niche, and connecting with the people who need and want and value what you have to give. That was the challenge that was relevant for me – and against all better factual knowledge, I knew without doubt that I had to follow my heart and go ahead with my dream. And I did find the way – and was never affected by the “crisis”.
What’s the Alternative Way of Getting Ahead?
So, when we find ourselves in a situation where we just can’t overcome a certain challenge with the solutions our mind proposes, or where we cannot even find a possible solution, it may be time to search out different resources than our rational thinking.
In my personal and professional experience, the alternative to our mental strategies is our intuition. Intuition is a knowingness we have inside. It may not seem to be based on facts, but on faith and trust. We all have it, but it is more or less accessible. It can be a feeling we have in the pit of our stomach that something just doesn’t feel right, that we mistrust, or that something is suuuper-interesting for us at a certain moment.
That’s scary, you say? Yes, in the beginning, it can be.
Trust Your Intuition
Why would you trust your instinct, or even try to find it and uncover it in yourself? Trusting your instinct means operating not on facts, but sensations, hunches, inner impressions – and that may feel like a total loss of control. How do you trust your instinct? By opening up to experiences that you don’t understand, and exploring how they make you feel, rather than taking your old assumptions and inner rules for granted. By choosing to believe that that inner sensation or hunch is valuable TO YOU, often more so than a whole lot of information. And by accepting that it doesn’t matter if other people cannot understand your choice or reason for action – (because you may not know a rational reason for it, either!). But if it feels right for you, it is right for you – and when you trust that, your mind can calm down.
And again, I tell you, that once you’re stuck in your mind and burdened by mental chatter and worries – your rational thinking will not get you a solution. So what have you got to loose? If you embark on a journey of discovery of yourself, and the discovery of something more, it will make you expand, have more experiences, more resources – and discover a different way of figuring out how to get to a solution or overcome a challenge. This way will use your feelings, use your intuition, and transform hinderances inside of you. And when the inside changes, your outside life does, too. Let me tell you, there is so much more to discover! There are levels of life and perception out there for you to explore, integrate and be enriched by, that go beyond everything you can imagine. There are resources your mind would never come up with. But your intuition may draw you to them, and uncover them for you, in you, at your own pace, and in just the right moment!
I would love to help you discover and use your intuition. Book in a free call with me and broaden the world of your possibilities.