I wring my hands thinking, “Should I? What if I make a mistake? It might end well but I’m not sure? Why do I keep doing this to myself?” and every other thought I overanalyse whenever something significant happens or there is a decision looms over my head.
Such are the perks of having neurotic tendencies.
Having a certain level of contemplation and being occasionally neurotic is a totally acceptable part of being human, but often the problem arises once that level of contemplation or neuroticism becomes excessive and even affects our daily lives.
Once I had a conversation with my friend about is the fact that we’re both over-thinkers:
Her: “Do you ever wonder what your life would be like if you were never at war with your mind? I think about it all the time... How I'd be such a different person if I wasn't so involved in my own mind."
Me: “All the time! I think life would be so much more engaging and effortless without the emotionally taxing baggage that comes with battling with my own mind! Like decisions would never be analysed to the nth degree.”
Her: “Right? I get so resentful sometimes because some people have it so easy... And we didn't ask to have overactive brains, they just happened. I wonder how neurotic people get into normal relationships with normal people. It seems sort of impossible. It’s like an evolutionary block put in place to help lower the amount of humans in the world.”
It can be the most frustrating thing to want to do something, but then thinking about it to such a degree that you ended up doing nothing or doing something about it too late.
Having neurotic tendencies often leads to so much time being wasted when thinking about a situation instead of actually making a decision about it; this becomes problematic especially if you allow opportunities to pass you by because you were thinking about the ramifications too much.
We’ve all been there in that situation- either romantic, academic or professional – where we’ve been presented with a opportunity that could have such a vast impact on our lives but instead of making a decision about the opportunity, we choose to obsess over it and think about in every single way through different perspectives for so long that by the time we reach a conclusion, the opportunity is gone.
When you realise that you have feelings for your friend but you spend so much time thinking about how they would react that you may miss your chance to say something allowing them to date someone else, or you are contemplating making a professional change to something you love but scared of the repercussions it might have so you do nothing.
I recently graduated and this fact has been looming largely over me because all I’m thinking about is “I need to get a job” or “what if I get nothing and become a bum, I’d be such a failure” or “Why is everyone else succeeding and I’m wasting my life”; these are just an example of the daily thoughts I experience.
I had to tell myself to stop and that it’s okay to take a moment to reflect on the situation. I told myself that as long as I keep putting in the hard work then everything will work out the way it is supposed to. It’s okay to go through the occasional dry patch.
Don’t let being neurotic stop you from living your life. Try to be present in the moment and take a risk on something that might or might not work out, instead of not doing anything at all. Sometimes making an impromptu decision you haven’t overanalysed could lead to unexpected and great things.