The Sad Fact of Being Smart and Skeptical.. HEthens HELP.
I love questioning everything around me and analyzing this awe-some world we live in. My way of thinking has lead to some fun and deep conversations as well. It has also lead me to argue with a lot of illogical people and I can never get swayed to their point of view. However, I have come to realize that my rational mind starts analyzing and then analyzing and thinking and thinking some more. When I start doing this I realize all the bad things that could happen and worst case scenarios and I freeze up. This has caused me a sense of regret for the things I didn’t do because I over-analyzed them… I wish I would have kissed that girl instead fearing that I would be rejected. I wish I would have gone sky diving instead of being paralyzed by my head. Sometimes I think life would be so much easier as a robotic “air head” floating through life doing whatever they want. Would life be easier and more enjoyable this way?
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I can relate to this so much. I feel like I’m constantly on the edge of falling into analysis paralysis. And it held me back for years. Just like you said, the vast majority of my regrets are not doing something that my gut was urging me to do, but my logic talked me out of it. People say, “Is there something you can do about your problem? Then don’t worry about it. Is there not something you can do about your problem? Then don’t worry about it.” I could never relate to this quote, because my problem stems from the fact that I probably could do something about it, and the possibilities of what I could do or how I could handle it are endless. So much material to think about, even research. HOURS OF CONTEMPLATION have been wasted when I otherwise could have just tried something, anything! So now sometimes I choose not to think about it. I give myself a short amount of time to come to a conclusion of what to do, so as to not totally waste my analytical gifts. I put a lot more value on my gut feelings now, and even though those gut feelings have led me in the wrong direction from time to time, it never turns out to be that big of a deal and it saves me a lot of anxiety loops. And I learn from direct experience that way. Some things you can just choose not to think so much about. And remember that you have a gift, just learn to identify when its holding you back and when its helping you and act accordingly. Coming to this understanding of my mental processes has made my life a lot easier and a lot more active.
@ThatGuy345, I sometimes think it would be easier as an airhead… but then I realize that means me being an airhead…
As for the seizing up thing, a bit of WD40 and you’ll be fine!
No, seriously though, start by making yourself do small things that you seize at, such as just switching your mindset slightly when you start over analysing things. Keep making yourself do it until you can. Your confidence will grow slightly, so move onto something a bit harder and so on
@ThatGuy345, I feel the same that you do. Many situations that I end up regretting something that went unsaid, or an action that didn’t happen because of my overanalysis of a given situation. I’m trained as a scientist, and so my mind has been trained to look over every situtation that I come across, and analyze it from all possible angles. This can be a great thing, however, many times it just holds you back. I feel that the key is to analyze the situation, but sometimes step away from your logic, and just go with a gut feeling.
Life would be easier sometimes, but if you don’t use your logic it can come back to bite you as well.
I agree with @beyond, and feel that easy is not always smart. If we give into every impulse, and every whim, we will cause ourselves a lot of problems, but if we rely completely on our logic, and our skeptical view of the world, we will miss out on a lot in this life.
The key is to find balance between impulse and logic.
@ThatGuy345, I know exactly what you mean. For quite a while I felt the same way as you did too – but then I realized the truth. Although I’ve thought of it as “over analyzing” for quite a while, in reality it’s much simpler: It’s nothing but being a coward, and calling it “over analyzing” is simply an excuse to oneself. If you think of this way – the nothing but having to overcome various fears. Go out there feeling invincible, you have nothing to fear!
@ThatGuy345, I agree with Hachi.
With that aside.
I believe a great step is forgetting about what other people MAY think about you. You must remember that everything you think others think about you is completely false and only a reflection of how you feel about yourself. This means you must come to genuinely love yourself completely as you are. This love brings the greatest joy and love that is contagious.
Surround yourself by good people, that is important. Oh and you are not your thoughts. You are the thinker of your thoughts. So observe them unjudgingly. I feel life is a fair balance of impulse and strategic decision making. So always follow your intuition, it is real. It is YOU before your thoughts cloud the area. Also, you will be okay no matter what happens.
@ThatGuy345, There’s interesting research – just in the past few years – that is showing that nobody makes decisions based on rationality alone. In fact, when they study people who have a lesion on the part of their brain that adds emotional content to decision making, the subjects are still great at solving puzzles and talking and writing and things like that, but when they go to make a decision, they go into analysis paralysis. They can take 30 minutes to evaluate whether they should make an appointment on a Tuesday or a Wednesday.
I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering and was a science media producer for years, so I understand your frustration with illogical people.
Still, I would learn to embrace your intuition, your gut, your emotional, subjective feelings about things. It sounds like your “reasoning brain” is off-putting to some people, or at least makes other people off-putting to you. Being more empathetic and paying attention to your feelings about things will bring you into connection with a larger circle of friends and community.
That’s not to say to lose your rigorous, skeptical, sharp ability to reason. But it’s good to open up to humor, to identify your failings and faults, and embrace that flawed side of yourself as well. Your disdain for illogical people is a sign that you are rejecting a part of yourself (your “Shadow” in Jungian terms.) By identifying and accepting this part of yourself, you will be less reactive to other people and more of a “whole” personality.