Got a Problem? Try Not Thinking About It

Got a Problem? Try Not Thinking About It

When faced with a decision or a situation that looks like it needs a solution, or it seems we need to do something about…well, anything…us humans really like to chew it over don’t we? 

We think, think, think, ask friends, ask the internet, ask our dog, make a list, then think, think, think some more. ⁣⁠

If we haven’t found the solution or made the decision after the arbitrary time period we have assigned ourselves to do so, we reason that we just haven’t thought about it enough! 

We think we need more time to think. ⁣⁠

⁣⁠You don’t need more time to think

I would kindly suggest you need more time to NOT think. ⁣⁠

When you are busy thinking, it’s like shaking a bottle of a fizzy drink (‘soda’ to my friends in North America). The bottle gets full of bubble and there’s no extra space in there. If you open the bottle right now, it’s going to make a very big mess. ⁣⁠

Our thoughts – like the little carbonated bubbles in the drink – need to settle. 

When our thoughts settle – which they do on their own, – there’ll be ‘room in the bottle’ for the answer to reveal itself and you can pour yourself a nice refreshing beverage of solutions, metaphorically speaking. 

⁣⁠Thinking about something is shaking the bottle. ⁣⁠Thinking about something is keeping your mind full of little bubbles. There’s no space for fresh thinking. 

⁣⁠Set the bottle down. ⁣⁠

⁣⁠Set your thinking down

The reason we don’t ‘let’ our mind settle in this way is because we don’t know this is how it works. Or we don’t trust it and think we’ll ‘waste precious thinking time’ if we try it. ⁣⁠

But consider that this IS how it works. Wouldn’t that be cool? 

You don’t need to do anything. Just hang out until the solution comes to you. ⁣⁠

This is why ideas occur to you in the shower, when drifting off to sleep, while walking the dog you were feverishly chatting to earlier about your problem ( I talk to dogs too, it’s all good). ⁣⁠

It makes sense that ideas and solutions come to us in a quieter state, but when we are all caught up in the middle of the ‘problem’, we forget that. ⁣⁠

We think it’s up to us to figure out the thing, whatever it is. Oftentimes, the ‘thing’ that ‘needs figuring out’ is a made-up, not-even-happening-yet scenario. 

⁣⁠Try it – you have nothing to lose

If you are sceptical, why not try this out with something ‘low risk’?⁣⁠

I recently had a voucher for a hair treatment and I knew it was coming up to expiry. My brain wanted to fuss over when we were going to fit it in, how could I reconcile my schedule with their opening times and I wouldn’t want to do it before a workout (and mess up my newly nice hair) and what would that mean and depending on the time of day it might be harder to park the car etc etc etc. All over a hair treatment ⁣⁠

(Quick aside – it doesn’t matter if it’s a hair treatment or buying a new house, which hot sauce to choose or whether to break up with your girlfriend. The brain doesn’t discriminate. Its JOB is to think a fuck ton, about anything and everything) ⁣

⁣Knowing what I know about how my brain works, I noticed I was having a lot of speedy thinking about this silly appointment, trying to find the right solution. Then I ‘set it down’, just trusting that the right answer will come to me. And it did. ⁣

⁣The appointment is next week, by the way. I’m going to look great.

⁣Go ahead and try it with something ‘lite’ and notice you don’t need more time to think, you need time to NOT think. ⁣

Then once you feel that you can trust this awesome design, you can ‘use it’ to help you navigate life with more ease and calm.

That would be nice, wouldn’t it?

But what about…?

At this point my clients, at the start of our explorations, are like: “But what about when I really DO need to figure something out and what about when something really enormous is at stake and what if I have a deadline and I don’t have TIME to let my mind settle and what about…”

Sheeesh. Perfect example of shaking up the bottle right there, but totally valid and very, very human. And this was me, too, at first! If these questions are bothering you, email me and we’ll chat.