How Being Smart Gets in Your Way: And 3 Ways to Break the Cycle


You are smart. You are savvy. You have a lot of potential and talents and you feel it bursting within you, wanting to be released. You want to make a difference, to be helpful in some way. And sometimes, you are able to utilize your talents…but sometimes, you get stuck.

You may be “too smart for you own good.”

You see the possibilities not everyone sees and you see two handfuls of solutions to every problem. So, instead of just being able to roll with things (oh, how you wish you could just let go and flow!), you over-think them. You get stuck analyzing and ruminating and you retreat into the place that is safest for you – your mind. It’s like you’re on a coo-coo train, pretending to go forward, but sneakily going in fancy circle. And sometimes, you wonder if you will ever get out.

Being smart is awesome. But in moments like this, your over-powerful mind seems to take charge of you and well, basically, it sucks. You want to put that good mind to use, but you want to be the one in control, not your mind who seems to be trying to trick you.

Luckily, there is a way out.

To get out of your head, here are three ways I have found useful, powerful and effective:

3 Ways to get out of your mind and off the coo-coo train:

  1. Get into your body. Why? The best way to get out of your mind is to get into your body. It gives your mind a new thing to focus on – your body sensations. How? Take a yoga class, a dance class, martial arts, play sports, take a walk, or just sit on the sofa and feel the texture of the cushions underneath you. Your mind will zone in and it will be like a burst of fresh air. You will be off the coo-coo train and in the present moment. Ahh…
  2. Practice mindfulness. Why? The point of practicing mindfulness is building that muscle of being able to direct your mind where you want it to go. You will see and experience the world in a whole new way. A way in which you get to point your mind in the direction you want it to go, not the other way around. How? Meditate. This is a discipline and at first, you will likely try it and say you can’t do it (I did that, too). It takes time and commitment, but let me tell you, it’s majorly worth it. So, sign up for a class, buy a CD to listen to, or just sit still for five minutes a day in the morning and practice. You can also do walking meditation if the sitting thing isn’t your cup of tea.
  3. Take imperfect action (we talked about this last time, remember? :)) Why? The more you stay in your mind, the more you will stay in your mind. Taking imperfect action instantly breaks that cycle. How? Likely, this one will be hard for you, especially if you are a perfectionist (another sign you are riding the coo-coo train, staying in your mind, btw). So, create supportive structures to help you in taking imperfect action. Line up 1-3 accountability buddies you can call anytime to say, “hey, I am stuck, I am wanting to do this thing, and I am freaking out.” They can talk it out with you and then be there for you to report back in with to say, “hey! I did it!”

Being a smart woman is a wonderful thing. My intention is to help you own your brilliance, get out of your own way, and fully use the gifts you were born with – and that the world needs. You need to use them, too. This isn’t just about helping the world be the best place it can be. It’s about helping you be your best self you can be.

You deserve to feel fully  alive, too.

Until next time…

With love and light,

Nicole Justine Cavanaugh