Why We Love to Overthinking

If you were a prehistoric Neanderthal or a Sub-Saharan bushman, the best weapon you had in your arsenal was overthinking. To remain vigilant throughout your entire hunt while mentally preparing for all the worst case scenarios was essential in 20,000 BC. In this Tesla driving, Chipotle eating modern world, however, overthinking is the curse that keeps on cursing.

When I speak of overthinking, I am not alluding to the strategizing or problem solving powers of  mind. You know the sort of witt or genius that has been displayed throughout history by men and women whose names are echoed in chambers of greatness. The sort of overthinking I am referring to is the type that petrifies the majority of us into non-action.

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We live in an ever increasingly busy world, an environment where the overthinking mind can, and often does, become an affliction. A plague that stops us from living a life of fulfillment, deterring us from necessary actions, all the while killing the dormant dreams of everyday men and women.

Overthinking can be attributed to everything from the restless nights of insomnia to the deepest depths of depression. When fears, worries and doubts take a hold of our minds with no jurisdiction, we tend to find ourselves in a bottomless abyss that seems to have the gravitational hold of the “sunken place.”

The main reason we hold onto our overthinking with such a tight grasp is due to our belief in its purpose. We feel as if overthinking may solve our problems or serve to protect us from the fear of taking action. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Overthinking is the enemy of all actions and brings along more animosity than resolve. This is why the greatest defense for our overthinking is action itself. Tony Robbins, master of the mental shift, is known for his “physical change” to “mental change” approach to habit formation. He speaks on how the simple change of physiology can make the difference between a mind in the state of depression and one that is freed from strife.

Though this may seem contradictory, it is essential for us to step into “massive action,” as Tony refers to it, in order to get out of our heads. Whether this means visiting your local gym to hit the ol’ weight rack or finally sitting down to work on that novel, taking action will show itself as the resolution to the constant mental bombardment.

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This does not mean you will never have an overactive mind again, it just means you will have the ability to chip away at the overthinking by acting upon those things that are truly at the root of your fears and anxieties. Overthinking comes from underdoing. Change your mind, change your life.

 

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Tinashe Hwande

(Edited by. Tayla Hasselbach)

 

 

Childhood Conditioning

Childhood

Every single human being goes through infancy, childhood, adolescence… Literally each and every one of had to go through it to get where we are today. What a vulnerable, impressionable time of life. We are 100% dependent on our caretakers to teach us about this ginormous, new world we just entered… It’s easy to see how things can go awry.

Naturally, a child is born to two parents, a mother and a father, both offering different teachings, traits, experiences, etc. Now we must take a step back for a moment to remember that parents are not simply acting as teachers, for example as we see in school: carefully constructing lessons and presenting them orally with pictures, planned activities etc. Unfortunately, parents don’t go to school to be parents… they often just get handed a baby (essentially) without a clue in the world what to do.

Children are sponges! They absorb everything, every new sensation, sight, sound, feeling, taste, smell, etc. Thus, parents unconsciously teach their children everything that they do and say in front of them. When parenthood was not by choice, when one parent leaves and the other is left to raise the child on their own, when other burdens take away from time spent with the child… when the parent does not, for whatever reason, take an active, responsible role in raising and teaching the child… problems arise.

Children become scared, they don’t know who or what to trust, they don’t know how to communicate or express themselves because no one ever gave them the space to do that, they don’t know how to take an active role in their lives or make decisions for themselves, they don’t know how to trust and love themselves…

When children are not actively taught, loved, encouraged, admired, developed, etc. they create defense mechanisms, they become blocked in certain areas of life, conditioned to be the way their parents were (which obviously wasn’t therapeutic), they grow up with trauma, pain, anger, sadness, anxiety that can often paralyze them and stagnate their growth and progress as adults in the world.

Adults often face childhood traumas for the rest of their lives if they don’t awaken to their conditionings and make conscious efforts to heal their ingrained traumas, reactions, defense mechanisms, etc. This can impede relationships, academia, work, every area of life.

Overcoming

With every dark cloud there is a silver lining, a sliver of hope, a showing of light within the darkness.

There was a time in which neurologists believed that our capacity to learn was limited by age. We were taught that the grey matter within the brain stopped creating new links and pathways somewhere between our twenties and early thirties. This theory was refuted time and time again, however, as researchers saw “old dogs learning new tricks”.

From therapy sessions to addiction centers, those who were placed in positions to help others overcome lifelong habits began to notice how even the most coniditioned individuals had a capacity for change. These deep habitual changes did not come as a result of some sort of special gene that these people had, but due to the nature of the human being as a whole.

We are creatures of habit, and creating patterns for ourselves has always been the way in which we navigated these terrains that we call planet earth. Whether we formed habits of foraging for our survival, or nursing our young; the place where each habit formed was and still remains the same

Many of us have been conditioned into certain modems of thought and action, therefore forming habits that do not serve our higher purpose. For anybody who’s seen a child go from being a flunking student to a straight A pupil, you have witnessed the capacity of a human to form new connections within the brain.

Whether you’re five or ninety there is always hope. So long as there is breathe in your lungs and a beat to your heart, there is a chance for you to reestablish your position on this planet through the diligent efforts of retraining your mind.

Much like teaching an infant to walk is not an easy feat, reinventing oneself through the formulation of new habits is no simple task. But just like anything else in life, once we make the decision to fully commit ourselves to change we can rewrite our story, and become the alchemist of our childhood experiences turning them into lessons for our future selves instead of anchors to our pasts.

Tayla M. Hasselbach & Tinashe P. Hwande

Living on the Edge of Time

What a crazy, wonderful blessing it is… the camera. We literally have the ability to capture the ever fleeting moment. One second in time that has never happened before, that will never happen again; the camera allows us to capture it, preserve it for the future. We can look back, remember experiences, monitor growth and changes. It’s truly mind boggling.

Millions upon millions of moments we get to experience in this life… we literally live on the edge of time! We can’t possibly remember every single one. The camera helps with this. There’s a balance to find here, however. We’ve come to take the camera for granted! We take photos of every moment as if we would never be able to remember without it. Dependency?

Tell me though… how often do we really go back and review these? I do this from time to time and always have realizations, feel emotions, make connections, etc. I am so thankful I took the photos. Again, there is a balance to find here… living in the moment and capturing the crazy, amazing, beautiful ones to be able to look back on later. It it a gift to our future selves. I cry. Seeing how far I’ve come. Remembering things that aren’t at the forefront of my memory on the daily basis. We live on the edge of time.

-Tayla M. Hasselbach

 

Keys to the Heart

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “communication”? A 12th grader nervously standing in front of her peers, giving a speech on a subject she just read up on last night? Or maybe you envision a college student typing up a persuasive essay the night before class at a pace fast enough to tear the keyboard in half.

School taught us how to talk and be persuasive both orally and textually, but often neglected the most important part of communication: Listening.

Since I was a youngin’, I’ve heard the phrase “communication is key” thrown around. This cliche made sense in my young mind; if you want to get your point across, you have to speak up. I was never shy of such an act. What took me two decades to learn, however, was the pivotal part of communication.

It was Stephen Covey’s book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” that opened up an entirely new world for me. He spoke of the importance of listening not for response, but for understanding. Right after I read this, I had an experience which solidified this notion. I felt as if I had been freed from a self-induced, ego-controlled cage and opened up to an entirely new paradigm. Until that day, I was a product of my conditioning, a conditioning that said “communication is key and getting your point across is communication… therefore, DON’T STOP TALKING.” That very day, I found the true key, the essence of communication; listening.

It wasn’t long until I fell back into my default habits of listening to reply. What changed, however, was my new found conscious intention to seek understanding within each conversation. From that point forward, I was able to diligently practice listening to others in order to truly hear what they were saying. The hardest form of this was when disagreements arose. Listening to understand literally meant that I had to sit there and take the verbal abuse of another as they uttered all the things that I had “done to them.” When an argument flared up, something very interesting happened. Instead of being defensive and striking back, I began to see where the other persons pain points were. There were no personal attacks or threats actually made towards me but more so cries for help that had taken the form of angry words.

It was not during a normal conversation that I saw how true communication was key but during a disagreement with a very close family member. As she began to project her fears, insecurities and pain onto me, I sat there and listened instead of responding with even more angst. That day, I learned more about her than I had in my entire life. I was so moved by the experience that I was brought to tears of joy; even though she might not have realized it, we experienced a breakthrough.

“Communication is key” is not some cute Pinterest quote or overused cliche, but a deep truth that we often times overlook. Think about it, what exactly is a keys purpose? And knowing the purpose of a key, why would communication be the key?

In my eyes, communication is a key to the heart. When we can listen to another with the intention to understand, we open ourselves to the possibility of seeing what is truly in their heart. With that very same key, we can open up the doors to our own hearts as well the hearts of others.

Tinashe Hwande

(edited by Tayla M. Hasselbach)

https://photos.icons8.com

A Culture of Complaining

My fitness mentor, Coach Bobby Bluford, one of the most brutally honest men that I know, once said “nobody cares if you win or lose.” Though I am a fan of truth served with no sugar, this statement caused me to cringe. Not because of its “harshness,” but due to its unrelenting truth. We all see the crowd cheer for the winner and cry for the second place in a two person competition, but in day-to-day reality nobody cares if you follow your dreams or not. The irony of this idea runs deep because it is almost necessary for some to live out their visions in order to inspire the other potential dream chasers, however whether or not you have the faith necessary to take actions towards your goals is something that nobody cares about until you do.

Those who dream but do not do, seldom have an impact on those around them, let alone the world as a whole. Einstein, Joan of Arc, Picasso, Oprah, these individuals changed the course of history profoundly, however if they chose to live in their doubt and ego-driven fear, they would have had no impact on our society. As much as it now seems like the world would have never been the same if these people had not existed, if they had not pursued the unseen, the world would still go on. Nobody cares until you do.

If you are somebody who now leads a team of employees or is working towards growth then you understand the former statement. The fact that you cared enough to bring your vision into reality is the reason why people not only care, but have become invested in you and your vision for a better world; some because they rely on you for a paycheck and others because they have fallen in love with your offerings.

Whether you’re a one person business or have a fully staffed company, nobody cares whether you grow or not so long as you don’t. Your employees would love promotions and to say they work for an organization that is doing big things, but then again they could just move on to the next company who’s not afraid to scale themselves and provide their services to the world abroad.

I did not create this chapter as a way to hurt your feelings or even as a form of tough love, I wrote this to inspire you to care whether or not your company grows. Until this point you might not have cared, because if you did you would have been taking those actions that you wrote out in your business plan five years ago.

There is no secret recipe for giving a damn about growth, but there is a way in which you can practice seeing the bigger picture of what the growth of your organization will do. As I mentioned in the opening statement of this chapter, growth does not just affect you, but all those around you. As you probably know the more companies of value that open up within a certain region, the more the value of the region goes up.  Granted the question of value is subjective, however the reality is that development spawns development.

When you make a decision to care more about people and look to serve them before all else, it is not just you who feels better but every single human being that you come into contact with thereafter. Your decision to be a better person or as one of my earliest clients stated “just not be an asshole,” has ripple effects throughout your community. Your kids, parents, friends, customers, employees, and all others who are in your circle of influence will be affected by your character growth and in turn those they come in contact with will have the same happen for them. Exponential growth.

So just image what can happen if you’re able to supply a thousand more customers with the freshest produce within the marketplace or create a law firm with a thousand lawyers that are dedicated to true justice for the innocent. It does not matter what industry you are in, caring is caring and it is felt when it is shown. Caring is contagious and everybody benefits from it. We’ve become a culture obsessed with “IDGAF.” If you do not know what this abbreviation means, I dare you to look it up. The phrase “I don’t care” has become more popular than it should be, though its use is in vain; humans by default were crafted to care, if not about one thing then at least another.

Put the same care that you put into the less important things in life into your business and you will see it grow into something that serves many and not just your own day-to-day needs.

Tinashe Hwande

(edited by Tayla M. Hasselbach)

https://photos.icons8.com (Original Picture Source)

Why I Cut Myself Off

The idea of cutting people off has become something of a cultural mantra. Everybody and their grandmother now speaks on who they cut off for being a fake, toxic and negative influence within their lives. I, too, was one of these individuals always looking outward for the toxicity in my life, heck sometimes I even catch myself in that same place now.

The mecca of all realizations came to me not too long ago; my decision to step away from certain relationships that no longer served the highest version of myself had nothing to do with cutting anybody off. At least not anybody external. The person I was truly cutting all ties with was the version of myself I was no longer happy with.

Life is a process of continual development and when we choose to be on life’s side, we are guided in the direction of growth which often comes in the form of testing times and tough sacrifices.

We usually look at the purging process of our own toxicity as this romanticized scene right out of a Ryan Gosling ROCO in which we find our true selves within a minute and a half long montage. 

The true “cutting off” process is painful, daunting and often comes in the form of pretty much losing our sh**. From those long nights crying over old memories, to the sacrifices of pizza and soda for a kale smoothie and a spinach salad, cutting off the old version of ourselves is truly a mourning process.

In most cases, our old friends and sometimes family where never truly the problem since we were the ones who let them continuously treat us the way they did. The old version of ourselves had some sort of attachment to the negativity that came from abusive and manipulative situations. I have a saying that goes “the first time it happens, you are a victim, the second time it happens, you are a participant.”

Most of the time we are participants within our own torment, but the moment we finally say enough is enough is usually when the greater version of ourselves kicks in and begins to engage in a full on purge of our past selves. The self that is to be cut off.

((Tayla’s Chapter ))

When we actually start to acknowledge and honor our deepest self, we find that we are naturally guided to exit certain relationships and stop participating in activities that never really made us feel good. We realize that all the anxiety and worry we used to have was due to the fact that we were not living authentically.

We feel like the whole world is on our shoulders, everyone is depending on our presence and participation at the party. Let me be completely frank… the world does not revolve around you. People don’t care as much as you think, if at all, whether you are in attendance. They are far too worried about their own appearance and compliance with the social pressures. Sure, they might hear that you didn’t make it and say “awh I miss Tina or what happened to Bobby?” but the thought is fleeting and they move onto “enjoy” (hopefully) the party. Even better, people may hear that you didn’t make it and think “damn, look at Stacy go, do you boo!”

Even when it comes to family members. I used to feel so horrible for missing a family function, trying to formulate the best, most reasonable excuse for why I flat out just wanted to do something else or spend time with someone else that day. Once I realized that the party didn’t stop, people didn’t mourn my absence, the world didn’t revolve around me… a huge weight was lifted. I could breathe again.

By forcing ourselves into situations because we feel obligated, we think we will hurt someone or let them down, or any other excuse we are so good at formulating, we not only hurt ourselves by way of distancing ourselves from our goals and aspirations, we unknowingly hurt others through our lack of authenticity and presence during our interactions. If you go to an event, party, gathering, etc. out of obligation, put on a facade, act like you’re having a good time, yet really wish you were somewhere else doing anything else, you are lying to yourself as well as those you love.

Fake, inauthentic interactions truly serve no one involved, especially yourself. Hate to break it to you, but at the end of the day, you are stuck by yourself, with yourself. I am a firm practitioner of loving others. However, loving yourself is the most important practice of your life. Period. In fact, you will never be able to truly love others without first loving and honoring yourself. So, LISTEN. Follow that little voice telling you that you don’t really want to go out tonight or have people over, something inside you needs some alone time… HONOR this. You are being guided every moment by your intuition. Tuning into this takes practice and discernment. Being able to tell the difference between choosing to allocate your time to things you actually care about and plain old laziness takes practice as well…. (to be continued…?)

Tayla M. Hasselbach & Tinashe Hwande

(edited by Tayla M. Hasselbach)