I’m a thinker. Can’t deny it and won’t apologize. It’s who I am.
I’m guessing I came into this world with a thinking predisposition.
But to make matters worse, an event occurred 35+ years ago that subconsciously forced me to double down on thinking. That event shook my confidence in trusting my feelings. Consequently, I’ve spent the majority of my productive, adulthood trying to think my way through every moment and every situation.
Now there is nothing wrong with thinking. Thinking is a good thing.
The problem is I stopped trusting my gut. I stopped trusting my feelings. I effectively put my 6th sense on inactive duty. My innate radar system functioned but was mostly ignored.
To prove how lopsided I became, I tested 26-1 on my first Myers-Briggs assessment in the early 90s. Twenty-Six for Thinking. One for Feeling. Talk about being unbalanced.
Up until about 4 years ago, I was still mostly a thinker. My Feeling number on subsequent M-B’s assessments showed that I did have a small capacity to feel. The test numbers weren’t nearly as skewed. Thus proving I wasn’t a Vulcan – barely.
I believe I was born a thinker. Genetically hard-wired towards thinking.
But a story I created 35+ years ago was it isn’t safe to feel. I decided that my instincts had betrayed me – ‘my instincts were NOT to be trusted’. I decided that I was never going to make that mistake again. From that day forward, I would always cross my t’s and dot my i’s before going out on a limb.
Here is what is ironic. During all of those 35+ years, I still had good instincts. I actually would pay attention to my instincts. But rather than trust them, I would use my gut reaction as a data point and proceed with thinking of all the pros and cons.
I now recognize that all that thinking was exhausting.
And counterproductive. It helped kill every romantic relationship I ever entered into. It kept me from acting when I could have acted. It kept me from leaping when I could have leapt. It did prevent making big mistakes but at the price of not living big – I lived small. I sealed myself into a play-it-safe cocoon. I stopped playing offense and adopted a defensive mindset.
To be fair, I’ve been exaggerating a bit to make a point. I actually did exit my cocoon during my lifetime and I did have my fair share of exciting and daring moments. Looking back, all my biggest joys have been when my gut overrode my brain and I said, ‘I don’t care, I’m going to do this anyway. … ‘Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!’ Those times – retrospectively – have been the most fun and yielded the biggest rewards. And yet, afterwards, I’d always think my way back to safety – I never really learned.
Three-plus years ago I uncovered the Delusions of Grandeur story.
Delusions of Grandeur was the moment all those years ago when I doubled-down on thinking. That is when I said, ‘I won’t trust my feelings any longer.’ That is when I said, ‘Every ‘i’ will be dotted and every ‘t’ will be crossed before I take action!’ What a waste of time all of that ‘i’ dotting and ‘t’ crossing turned out to be.
So like anyone in a 12-step program, I now awake every day, look in the mirror and say, ‘Hi, My name is Steve. I’m an over-thinker’. I then surrender to Higher Power and ask for help. Please help me feel. Please help me trust. Please help me live big.
I choose to feel – every moment.
I choose to trust my instincts – always.