Anxiety or Overthinking

Is it Anxiety or Overthinking?

We all love to believe that we “Think a Lot”, and any one who says “you think a lot” mostly will make you agree or feel good. In my words the other person was able to break the ice with you.

But what if i say that you don’t think enough?

I have chosen very simple, common and personal examples so that all the readers may find easier to relate and understand the context.

We don’t think enough…………. rather we apply set of rules, set of Judgements, set of past experiences that we have imbibed from our parents, teachers, Elder ones, friends, society and our immediate environment. We indulge in Anxiety, a constant worry about what you do not wish to happen in future or what happened in past may repeat.

Lets look at some instances; Some of you may not like dogs or pets; In childhood you may have come across a dog for the first time, the dog barked loudly and you were shocked at such loud barking sound. This may have lead to stay away from dogs But did you experience them at their best? A Dog wagging its tail and yapping, eager to play with you, Frolicking towards you, Licking you, sitting next to you when you were sad and nudging you as if saying “it’s all right”.

Or you may have heard someone shouting and you related it to being angry and potentially harming and have chosen to stay away from them.

Some cultures have a tendency to speak loudly, and one may find them crass, rude and uncivilised.

But is this assumption true? Wait to answer…………

Are you certain if its absolutely True? Wait to answer…………

If it’s true how does it make you choose react, what have you done and what are the consequences of your reaction? Wait to answer…………


And what if it isn’t true? What is the impact of not knowing it? Wait to answer…………

Did you ever try to understand where they are coming from, what is important to them, How are they feeling, Did you Listen to them with an Intent to understand or only to react. Or did you realise that someone is not what you perceived them to be after a few interactions?

Somewhere we may have jumped to conclusions to soon; Drop dead Judgemental is what we may have become. Some of the examples are someone who is not dressed well have no sense of style, No table manners is not educated, a worn out shoe is sign of penury, who speak out their mind are rude and uncultured; Someone who isn’t good at English is not smart or unworthy.

Even the concept of Beauty is coming from our conditioned Judgements. Tall, dark and Handsome are the perfect Man (add Rich as well); Woman who is fair, have sparkling eyes, perfect set of teeth, flawless skin are gentle, cultured, fragile are perfect. But ask a mother who is the most beautiful child she’s ever seen and she may not stop talking about her own child. Is her concept of beauty different, what changed? She may even agree with herd mentality if its not about her own child and agree to all the commonalities about what beauty is.

“A Mother is the best example of “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”

Why isn’t overweight or obese beautiful to most? Why is Beauty defined only in Physical appearance? If you explore you will find beauty within a character or persona of a person and that’s what most are looking for, But it gets adulterated with asking for one or more of the aspects of what you are conditioned to believe about beauty?

Consider “You are born free” to choose whatever you wish to, What beauty means to you and there is no need to invite any challenge from others; when you learn to accept uniqueness in you.

This what we commonly have started accepting now “Each to his Own”

So are you even free in thinking?

Aren’t minds like Parachutes……… They work only when they are open!

I think enough is said to set up a base for the context, Now think and explore what real thinking is?

True thinking would only begin when you are observant enough, when you listen, are inquisitive and doing it to understand and accept the differences and not to react, But to respond at your own pace(if time allows)

What we actually are doing is not thinking or deep thinking, But using past guidelines and emotions to react and not respond, Operating out of survival and fear and need to react.

I have seen one my very good friend, whenever he used to receive a call which is not expected; he would close his eyes and think, sometimes may not even take the call immediately; But call back once he’s done with his Thinking; needless to say, he’s a very successful family person and Business tycoon.

The Judgements/ Social conditioning is to help you when it is critical in terms of time for the need to react. However when the time is not an immediate constraint, at that moment did you consider “You can just push an Imaginary Button to pause for a while, close your eyes, be with your feeling thoughts and consider all parameters before making a choice to respond.”

You would find the best thinkers who are analytical for example chess Players, They think of all about possible permutations and combinations for every move they make in the game of chess.

Life too is a game of chess, every move that you make will leave your immediate environment be impacted and react as they deem fit as a group or set of unique individuals, But in general, outcome can be predicted with some accuracy as we all are victims of our conditioning.

I am not saying that all of us need to lead life as if life is a giant chessboard. There is also a need for Balance with Emotions; you are not dealing with chess pieces but Humans, They are made of much more than just logic, there is appearances, behaviour, Cultural influences, Aspirations, expectations and your own personal equation(relationship) with them.

Here it gets more complicated then mere chess pieces; Even if they are your own people (chess piece) you have no control on them, their actions, reactions, responses and they are run by their own programming; But that doesn’t stop you from frustrating yourself by doing your best in changing them.

Now you probably may have just started thinking and some of you may hate it to think that much, But that’s what analytical mind is about.

The true Balance is when you are clear on what you want and you are observant of the facts, possible outcomes and Balance it with the possible outcome from your emotive mind as well.

How many times you have been successful in giving excellent advice to someone for a situation; however when you yourself are in that situation, you felt helpless? A doctor doesn’t treat himself

According the Opinion 8.19 of the AMA Code of Medical Ethics, “physicians generally should not treat themselves or members of their immediate families.” The AMA cites the following reasons:

(a) Professional objectivity may be compromised when an immediate family member or the physician is the patient; the physician’s personal feelings may unduly influence his or her professional medical judgment. to read more click here

So what I am inviting is to identify your emotions and see if you have really thought through or are you in reaction mode.

An Obvious question is how will doing this help?

It will help you in your own Growth, the supreme quality of decisions and the confidence with which you take the decisions for your future. These decisions will not be under a conflict but clarity; They will help you move past hurdles and not be at a standstill or a stuck up situation.

Probably you may need to explore your free self or even better get to be who you are deep down, You would be digging Gold deep inside you that you never thought for it to exist and that would be a True lesson of Self-Worth

An example from my recent interaction with a 27-year-old girl; She was very frustrated in looking for a right marriage proposal; After almost meeting 40 potential matches she felt like giving up. I asked her to put aside her thoughts for a while and did the Future pacing exercise with her and asked; You are married and are living happily few years from now and asked her to paint a picture on what is it that you are doing then? what parts of your life are you enjoying? what are you feeling blessed about? And what is one thing that your future self is asking you on not to compromise on?

“And when we started talking about what she is looking for, She came back with a long list she had imposed on herself like Earning minimum 30 lakhs a month, age below 30 years, must be minimum 180 cms tall, should be a Rajput, must be athletic and love classical music and rock climbing and should not be from other than Gujarat or Rajasthan.”

none of these parameters was aligned with how her future should be or what may give her happiness. She have not thought about it, But imbibed from her environment (comparing from the groom her best friend got) and took them to be non-negotiable and measuring each potential match on this yards scale. As of now she has paused her search and is in no hurry to take an immediate jump for her marriage.The answers she came were astonishing for her; because

As a Coach, when i work with people, I help them think deeply and to simple questions like What do you want? What would you do now? How do you feel about this situation? How important is this aspect for you? the usual answer is i don’t know. This is where past conditioning and judgements have gotten them and is not helping them move forward and by saying “i Don’t know” they are refusing to even think.

Eventually, all these clients learn to think deeply and that is where their life Blooms; Unless someone is willing to think deeply to uncover their unconscious biases and Blind spots, the or she is being a victim of his/ her own Emotions and conditioning which replaced deep thinking.

I am quoting Dr. Marshall Goldsmith here “What got you here won’t get you there”; The journey is still on, You have reached here but to go beyond and move forward you may need to do more than what you have done so far and it isn’t the same thing that you have mastered till now.

So now I invite you to ask a question to yourself ” Do you really think?”

I’m tired of being what you want me to be

Feeling so faithless, lost under the surface

I don’t know what you’re expecting of me

Put under the pressure of walking in your shoes

Caught in the undertow, just caught in the undertow

Every step that I take is another mistake to you

Caught in the undertow, just caught in the undertow

I’ve become so numb, I can’t feel you there

Become so tired, so much more aware

By becoming this all I want to do

Is be more like me and be less like you

– Numb by Linkin park

Life is Good, Cheers!

Geet Batra


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