From the feedback from my teleseminar last week, it seems like I'm not the only one who gets stuck in her head, though people are starting to say I'm that person who talks about it.
Ok, I knew I wasn't alone, because I've worked with a lot of coaching clients with similar experiences. That's part of what motivates me to write about it; it seems like this is something more people go through. But it is awfully hard to know that by the very nature of this experience, isn't it?
Feeling like you're "in your head" and can't get out of it- and connect to what's going on around you- is isolating. It's lonely. And the trouble is that when you talk to someone who doesn't know what it's like, that feels in some sense even more lonely. Especially when they say winning things like:
- "You're overthinking this."
- "You think too much."
- "Stop worrying."
The last is a favorite of mine, because people say it even when you're not actually worrying, you're just thinking something out. My guess is, that the sheer volume of thought involved makes non-inattentive people think it's all concern or anxiety or worry. Funny thing is, having someone say this makes me a lot more anxious; partly because it really makes it seem like they just do not get what is going on with me. So much so, that it became part of my birth plan before I had my son. (The birth plan actually said something like this: "Do not tell me not to worry. I do not respond well to this. I respond well when you provide information about what's going on." I knew that sometimes I need a conceptual framework in which to rest my understanding, so I can stop - or avoid- worrying. And that if someone tells me to "stop worrying" when I'm trying to put that framework together, I'll get really annoyed and frustrated.
Which is an improvement. I think that up until several years ago, instead of getting annoyed and frustrated, I would actually get worried when people said this to me. I would think the other person was right, I was worrying about nothing, my head should just shut up already, and clearly there was something wrong with me. Now there's a way to feel more stressed out. Nowadays I just know that's not how I work, and "reassuring" me by telling me I need not worry just isn't so helpful for me, even if it helps other people.