Disclosure: I never share personally identifying information about confidential meetings, and I reserve the right to change the details in these stories to maintain privacy. To that end, this post may be about a specific person, but could also be a composite of several different people instead. Reminder, I am neither a mental health counselor nor a medical doctor, but a Life Coach working with people who voluntarily embark on journeys of awakening and personal growth, and who take responsibility for choosing this method to reach desired goals and states of being.
When Mary (not her real name) contacted me, she expressed her continual state of worry and “thinking too much” about the people and situations in her life — from her health to her children’s lives to her relationships with her friends, and more. During our first conversation, Mary ran through a long mental list of issues and situations that comprised most of her waking thoughts.
Mary spent all of her free time doing research and learning all she could about issues in her life. When I probed her about how she felt most of the time, she said she was always exhausted with no time for anything satisfying or fun. She said while she had tried to exercise and had attempted meditation, she couldn’t seem to quiet her thoughts no matter what she tried.
While the are certainly other reasons for over-thinking, one common characteristic of perfectionists and high-achievers is a need to know everything to feel in control. This turned out to be the case with Mary, who exemplified this personality type by allowing herself to perseverate on situations throughout the day, focusing intense periods of time to make sure she’d covered every situation to the best of her ability, leaving nothing to chance.
Something Mary and I uncovered during our time together was a belief she held — which involved Mary needing to continually think about things for fear that she might become reckless or ignore something important if she did not. We tried on many different statements, and these are only a few that felt true to her:
- If I don’t think about things that bother me, I’m afraid they might get worse
- If I don’t think everything thru, something could happen that I’m not prepared for
- I’d rather know about things, even if they’re negative, than be kept in the dark
- I have to learn everything I can about things, so I don’t forget anything important
In a nutshell, Mary lived with the belief that “perfectionism keeps me safe”. Simply put, if she didn’t give her full attention to issues, something terrible might happen.
It didn’t take long for Mary to understand what she had been doing to herself, for she quickly saw how much time and attention she was devoting to things for which she had little or no control (or even needed to control). Mary was also able to recognize within her body the sensations that resulted from her need to be perfect.
Together, we worked to replace Mary’s old paradigm with a healthier one. She calmed her responses to emotions that caused them, and decided to choose a brand new way to show up, one where she wasn’t fully responsible for everything and allowed life to unfold just for her.
There is more to this story, but you’ve gotten a glimpse of the kinds of things that are possible with just the right coaching partner. If you’d like to explore this possibility for yourself, feel free to submit a confidential, no-obligation request.
To finding clarity,
As a coach, writer, recovered over-doer and busyness addict, I understand the challenges of creating a balanced, healthy lifestyle while the mind tries to sabotage your success. In my journey to vibrant health, I created a personalized health system of nutrition and supplementation, lifestyle changes, and I retrained my mind and the energy of my body. I view my success as the formula to my happy, healthy life. I now empower other women to create their own personalized formulas, including the tools and strategies just right for them! Amazing life shifts come from our relationships. I look forward to helping you, too!