I have heard people say this plenty: thinking too much isn’t good for you.
As a deep thinker, I have always had a problem with that statement, and this week, I have finally understood why (I think!).
I had an interesting little situation happen to me this week.
Following on from my previous post where I wrote of my joy to have found what feels like the perfect job for me, I resigned on Wednesday, 11/11/2015 and all felt perfect. My boss was gutted to see me go “you are my best one” was his first comment with a very sad face, then, as I excitedly told him about my new job and why it felt so right to me, he became very happy for me and agreed it was the best choice. (he knew I was looking by the way)
He then sent quite a heartfelt email to the whole IT department announcing the news which started with:
“It is with a mixture of pride and sadness that I have to inform you of the departure of two of the Service Desk team – xxx and [Me]. Both have secured good roles to progress their careers elsewhere.”
Then a few people messaged or came to speak to me about this news and it was all in all quite a high day – I was glad when the day ended mind as I try to keep clear of emotionally charged events these days, at least the ones that involve other people. (emotionally charged events happening within me, myself and I are perfectly acceptable however)
Thursday was a very different story.
They had still wanted to see me for my consultation meeting (apparently they were interested in my input) and there I found out should I have stayed, I would have had a £5k pay increase – near enough what I will be getting in my new job. (they have an interesting way to save costs via a restructure I tell you – our salary, on the Service Desk, have all been increased by £5 or £6k!).
I got this real uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach and spent the following couple of hours trying to get over this feeling.
Suddenly, from being absolutely certain I was doing the right thing, I wasn’t so sure anymore.
For the rest of the day, I focussed on the reasons why I had made that decision, which wasn’t financially based, to be able to put it at the back of my mind and get on with the day.
When I got home though, it was clear I had some thinking to do. And so thinking I did. That’s all I did. I laid on my sofa, in silence, and just concentrated on the event of the day and my reaction to it.
Then my mum phoned, and I told her what had happened, more thinking as I was bouncing stuff off her (although she completely got the problem, she has never really had more than one job so she couldn’t advise anything as she hadn’t experienced what I was going through. Which was just what I needed then. Someone to listen, not someone to tell me what to do)
Eventually, I realised exactly what had happened. Fear had taken hold of me.
Fear of the unknown, fear of leaving the known, which suddenly seemed very appealing as it came with a financial reward with no extra cost for me (ie still doing the same job but being paid so much more for it).
What bugged me too was that I always say I am more concerned about job satisfaction than money. And there, faced with this news, clearly all I could think about was getting all this money for doing nothing different.
I realised that it was a case of the comfort of “better the devil you know” against the challenge of doing something new, with unknown consequences. Of course I could try and imagine, be positive about it etc, but ultimately, I wouldn’t know until I did it. All I knew for sure was that it was going to be a challenge – easy or difficult I can’t know.
Once I realised this little episode was fear driven, I could see it more clearly. Especially since I have recently realised that worrying about the future is pointless as it will never happen, as you imagine it to be anyway.
So then, I decided to go to bed early. I hadn’t slept more than 4 hours a night the previous days and I keep a tight eye on my sleep, having suffered sleep deprivation before, I know the effect it has on my psyche.
I fell asleep dead early, woke up at 4 am as I usually do these days and went back to sleep for an extra 2 hours before getting up.
And I got up completely free from all the crap that had happened the previous day and back on track to knowing, through gut feel above all, that I had made the right decision. And I hear gut feel is a real good thing to listen to.
I don’t believe I would have got to that stage without, 1, having a good old think about the situation to try and be clearer why I had had that reaction, 2, sleeping on it.
When I woke up Friday, I was back on track, totally happy about my decision, totally excited about what the future might bring, totally focussed back on work again, totally looking forward to picking up my new car on Saturday (which I bought last Sunday to celebrate the good news – some people get champagne, I get a car ;-)), totally excited about my upcoming trip to Amsterdam in two weeks, my trip to Fuerteventura for Xmas, and meeting up with a friend who lives quite far (a good excuse to drive my new car) in a couple of weeks. Totally excited that I was leaving my work and totally excited that I was going to start my new job on the 1st January.
I was living my life to the full again – phew!
The other chap who had resigned a week before me (and was xxx in the email quote above), is still weighing all the options and unsure whether to retract his resignation – you can see the strain this is putting on him on his face (and inability to focus at work). I feel for him. He should stop listening to whatever everyone is telling him he should do, take a long hard time to think properly about it, decide and move on. But no, apparently, thinking too much is bad for you.
I’m so glad I think “too much” 😉