The Client-centred Blog

Is over-thinking your barrier to a more wonderful life?

My good friend Alex Manzi created a popular podcast called Dreamers Disease where he interviews inspirational guests about what they do, why they do it and their motivations.

A few weeks ago we met up for a coffee and came up with idea of sending his subscribers a couple of questions and then using their replies as subjects for a series of podcasts.

Alex is far more social media savvy than me, so he just did it there and then on the spot! The questions he sent out to his subscribers were…

What is your biggest barrier in life?
What gets in the way of you living the life you want?

By the way, these are great questions to ask yours clients as a financial planner. After all, the plans most likely to succeed anticipate obstacles in advance and before they become a problem, don’t they?

So, over the next few days people’s answers streamed in and last week we recorded podcasts about four of them – time (lack of), no sense of purpose, trust and over-thinking – and these will be coming out on Dreamers Disease over the next few weeks.

The one I want to speak about in this post is over-thinking because it is a problem of epidemic proportions.

For instance, I can think of several clients I worked with who already had super successful businesses, wealth and everything you could possibly want, and yet their minds were so busy it was taking a serious toll on their well-being.

I can relate to anyone who finds over-thinking an issue because it was such a problem for me at one time.

It wasn’t that it just felt bad to be in my head so much but, like Alex’s subscribers, I knew all this thinking was getting in the way.

My particular over-thinking habit tended to be far too much negative thinking about the future and I used to procrastinate as a result.

Perhaps most common of all is how critical and judgemental people are of themselves. Having high standards is one thing but constantly putting yourself down just kills your self-esteem.

Although the conventional approach to over-thinking is some form of trying to think differently or better, this is doomed to failure. Only for the reason that you can’t experience a quieter mind by giving it more to do, can you?

What helps most of all is understanding the nature of the system.

Beyond all of the habitual thinking we do is a quiet, still space. People describe it as deep feelings of ease, comfort, ok-ness, freedom or being home.

This is how you arrived in to the world – none of us came in with a busy, over-active mind.

We all have these moments when our thinking goes quiet. For some people it is when they exercise, for some it is when they get into nature, for others it is when absorbed in a hobby. I have a client who loves to water ski and he used to say it was the only time he ever felt truly present in life.

But the potential we all have is moving from the occasional visit to this space verses a place you live from.

Where to begin is clearing up the misunderstanding that circumstances cause feelings (good or bad ones).

There is no cause and effect relationship between our circumstances and how we feel. Water skiing (or whatever your particular activity is) does not make your mind go quiet.

The truth is that your mind can let go and relax at any time whatsoever.

A great example is how some people report that the most alive they have ever felt is in the midst of a crisis.

Why does this happen?

Because it was the only time they were fully present and stopped churning over stuff in their mind – they literally had no time to think.

The space inside is your true self. It is beyond the content of your thinking.

The more you live from this space the more your life will transform. And the more you will effortlessly transform the lives of others.

If you want to have deeper impact with your clients then you won’t do it by talking about what the markets are doing or the latest tax break.

You will impact them and touch them more deeply when they can see and feel you are someone completely at ease with yourself and deeply in your own well-being.


John Dashfield spent 14 years as a self-employed adviser. Since 2006 he has been a coach, mentor and author helping advisers create transformations in their business and personal lives.



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