As an introverted creative, my life as of now falters between feelings of not being “creative” enough and daydreaming of becoming a self-sustained business owner, who has creative juices pouring out of every orifice. This turns into a spiral of internal dialogues that lasts for hours, I end up ruminating about events that have simply never happened, and the whole sequence finally ends with a self-loathing sigh and me saying to myself, “I can’t wait to get there.” It’s an ongoing struggle to say the least.
Far too often I find myself living in my head, afraid to get out and truly accept life in its current state. I’ll fantasize about the life I want and get infatuated with my own thoughts, rather than consciously working towards building a foundation to achieve my goals. I’ll have moments where I obsess over my goals garnered by an overwhelming sensation that I’m not doing enough, pushing myself enough, or working out my kinks fast enough in order to actualize this life I seek to live. I’d get into these in-depth conversations with myself, pondering about the past mistakes, or future goals I’ve yet to fulfill which leads down to a road of overanalyzing everything.
Living life in my head had drawn me further from the people around me and caused me to check-out of whatever I was doing at the moment. I had shut myself off from others because I felt like they wouldn’t understand what I was going through and I refused to let them in or get out of my comfort zone. At times I’d find myself watching a movie or reading a book or article and notice my mind had wandered off, leaving me with no clue as to what just happened.
“Life is not what you think it is; it’s what you create”
Once I noticed my life was being spent more often in fantasy than reality, I started to comprehend that this had been causing more harm than good. Conscious awareness only exists in the here and now. No matter how much I wish it, think it, or talk to myself about my future plans, none of these neurotic behaviors will lead to fruition.
It’s great to have a strong sense of self and be capable of resolving problems on our own, but life is meant to be lived and experienced with others and should consist of dialogue and engagement with others. In my personal experience, falling into a habit of solely having dialogue with ourselves it leads to:
- Feelings of Loneliness
- Unrealistic views of current circumstances
- Withdrawal from people in the present
- A heightened sense of being incapable of expressing ourselves or relating to other
- Creating illusions that things are worse than they really are
At times our perception of the life we want to live and what we constitute as the factors which will lead to happiness can be completely skewed and unfathomable. It becomes impossible to see exactly how skewed things are when the only exchange of information, both negative and positive, comes from us and when there’s no one around to challenge or contradict our way of thinking.
“The past doesn’t exist except in our memories and the future doesn’t exist except in our imagination.”
Getting out of our head and living in the present allows us to enjoy all the ins and outs that life has to offer. Life is not what you think it is; it’s what you create. It’s what is actually happening right now in the present moment, not what has happened or what is yet to come. Reframing your thoughts and getting out of your head allows you to be present, mindful, and rationally cope with whatever you may be experiencing by drawing others into the conversation. This insight allows us to see thoughts about the past and the future for what they really are: thoughts. The past doesn’t exist except in our memories and the future doesn’t exist except in our imagination. We shouldn’t let the thoughts of what has happened or what has yet to happen hold us captive.
It’s important to foster a habit of actively engaging with others, and I don’t mean by sending a tweet or hitting a like/heart button on your favorite social media platform. It requires getting out the house and meeting a friend for a quick tea/coffee break. It means picking up the phone and calling someone whether its friends, a family member or even a co-worker. Call someone rather than sending a text since a text doesn’t allow for you to hear the tone and voice of someone else. Open up and invite others in and start having real conversations instead of reminiscing about the past or pondering about the future.
If you’re like me who doesn’t have a gang of people to readily spend time with, getting out the house to experience something new and possibly meeting someone new will suffice. The idea is to actively try to overcome the need to stay in your neatly crafted shell. This is essential for the creative mind to blossom. There’s nothing wrong with being an introvert and not playing well with others, however, don’t let that become an excuse or your reasoning for not interacting with people. There needs to be a transfer of ideas outside of your own in order for the mind to grow. So, today I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone. Think about the new experiences or insight that will be found once you do so! Don’t just imagine it, get out and live it!