I Think I'm Going Out of My Head
How much time do you spend in your head? Do you constantly replay what occurred moments, hours, or even days ago? Are you apt to mull over a dilemma, weighing multiple sides then laboring over what is right before you finally make a decision? Do you struggle from over-analysis, challenged to put your ideas into action?
No doubt thinking serves us well. It can allow us to make the decisions that best meet others’ and our needs. But sometimes we get caught up in our head. The brain cons us into believing that “it” has all of the answers - we just need to constantly churn the information around in our minds, and like a computer, it will eventually spit out the data we’ve been searching for.
Yet while our brain does a stellar job of keeping us on track, on time, and productive, it is incapable of providing us with the really big answers, you know, the important life decisions that we face throughout various stages of our lives:
- Where should I go to college?
- Where should I live?
- What should I do with my life?
- Who should I marry?
- How should I raise our kids?
- Am I on the right career path?
- Wait, is there more to life?
- What’s next?
- Isn’t there something more?
- What’s my purpose for being here on Earth?
I think you get the picture.
While analytics, flow charts, and Excel spreadsheets are wonderful tools to help us navigate certain aspects of our lives, when it comes to the major decisions, thinking alone isn’t the answer. Using our brain allows us to weigh pros and cons, conduct our research, and logically present our findings. But it misses a component – heart.
If you’ve taken the Myers-Briggs test, you’ve received a score under the “T/F – Thinker/Feeler” section. So the concept of weighing our ability to use both components – the heart and the mind – is not a new one. I believe the key is to balance the two and know when to call on which. For example, if you’re planning a major event, thinking is going to rule. But if you’re considering where to go on your twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, I’d suggest you let your heart take the reigns.
Then there is another, less discussed, component that helps guide our decision making – knowing. Knowing is entirely different from thinking and feeling. It is a higher sense, one that is difficult to describe because words can’t accurately share what it means “to know.” However, when you’re in your knowing, it will be obvious to you. That’s when life flows. When making decisions requires no effort because there does not seem to be a choice… it just is. When you are in the state of “knowing,” you will feel bliss, joy, confidence, and peace. You won’t worry about whether or not you made the best choice. Instead you’ll be confident that whatever the consequences of your decision, they are meant to be.
So how do you get into your knowing? That is the million-dollar question. It certainly doesn’t happen overnight, and there are first steps, like self-love and acceptance, that need to occur before you’re willing to trust yourself to know. Plus, knowing requires presence. When you experience the sensation of knowing, even if it doesn’t happen often in your life, you’ll never second-guess those actions. And if you require some sort of reassurance, the outcome of your decision will reinforce that your choice was wise.
One example of being in your knowing is when you meet someone and instantly sense that you are meant to have a special relationship. This could be with a future spouse of even a friend. I had this happen with a woman who was the new principal at our sons’ school. The moment I met Sheila we connected - instantly. I can’t explain what it was, but she was the reason I went back to teaching. Something inside told me that working with her would be an incredible experience – and it was. To this day, even though we don’t see each other that often, I consider her one of my dearest friends.
Knowing can impact our major decisions. We might visit a city briefly and then decide to move there because something told us it was the right thing to do. Or we could make a sudden career change based off of an indescribable intuition. But there are also the small moments, the ones that don’t seem significant at the time but that can make a big difference – either to those around you or to you. It’s deciding last minute to change plans in order to be there for someone who needs you; it’s choosing to wait to go somewhere, only to learn that there was an accident on that route; and it’s understanding when to speak up and when to hold your tongue. These are the moments, whether big or small, when we don’t doubt ourselves. Our instinct, that inner voice of wisdom, takes over and makes it clear what path we should choose.
But how can we trust that inner voice? Which voice is it speaking? Is it the ego or the higher self? This can be particularly tricky, but what helps me is when I consider the motivation, the “why” for making a decision. Is it self-serving, is it to help me grow, or is it to serve another? If it’s the first, then that’s probably my ego, and I’m pretty sure that I’m not in my knowing. However, if I’m hearing that a certain decision will benefit my higher self, not my small self, then that’s a good clue that I’m headed in the right direction. And, when a choice can positively impact another without compromising who I am, I pay close attention as well.
How often do we not have faith in ourselves, our instincts, only to be later disappointed by allowing a unique opportunity to pass by, unexplored. Perhaps we thought thatit didn’t make sense, wasn’t logical or practical. But did our thinking get in the way of our knowing? This week, try getting out of your head and go deep inside… tap into your knowing. Ask for guidance and then wait and listen for that voice, the one that helps you grow or serve another. Then trust yourself and see what happens.