For most of my life I’ve been a chronic worrier and perfectionist. I come by it honestly. My mother is the champion of worrying and she taught me well. I learned from a lifetime of being told to BE CAREFUL! that to make a mistake would be a catastrophe, so I over-think every move before I make it. A lot of us are like this, but know how dysfunctional it is and how much it limits our capacity to experience joy and richness in our lives.
The attached article asserts that analytical thinking is the primary tool of chronic worriers. It describes that worriers and perfectionists have a lack of confidence in their decision making, and use systematic processing and analysis to check and double check themselves. I’ve seen this process acted out repeatedly in many of the clients that come to me for help. They want to make changes in their lives but are frozen by fear that others will not approve and keep looking for that perfect moment or that sign of approval that’s missing.
The article poses that by using cognitive-behavioral therapy one can learn another way to manage thoughts without over-analyzing. I agree that cognitive-behavioral strategies are extremely useful. But the article starts out also talking about gut instincts, stating that chronic worriers are people who don’t listen to their gut. I had hoped that the article would say more about intuitive thinking and the value of trusting your gut instincts. Unfortunately, howeverit never got back to talking about intuition after that first statement.
Cognitive Therapy is an excellent option for the worrier. I recommend, however, balancing cognitive work with work on learning to sense and trust intuition. Listening to intuition means listening to the heart and following your internal “knowing”. This is a skill we are all born with but squash out of ourselves as we learn that over-analysis is more highly regarded. If you want to rid yourself of that pesky voice that keeps you from trying out new ways of being I recommend finding a therapist that will help you to trust your intuition as well as challenge your negative thought patterns.