Overcoming overthinking

Overcoming overthinking
Photo by Joel Lee / Unsplash

Overcoming overthinking

If gold stars were awarded for thinking, my overthinking brain would have stacked up boatloads of stars by now. It’d be an entire galaxy.

I started reading a book on social anxiety because I don’t know much about it: where/how does it start? What are the signs? How do you manage it?? The book began by listing six common situations—like using the phone and meeting people in authority—and asking the reader to rate their fear on a scale of 0 (not at all) to 10 (very much). I already knew that I had it, but putting numbers on it made it more…real, somehow. Like it wasn’t all in my head. It’s severe, but not debilitating, and up until several years ago, I didn’t know other people had a different, lower baseline. 

It explains a lot of things: me constantly worrying about what other people think, overexamining social details, writing down scripts when I have to call someone, procrastinating anything that remotely resembles an “ask.” Or announcement. Or well, anything that puts me or my work in front of someone else. As you may see, it can get exhausting. But I’m so used to it that I don’t see it as exhausting. It was only when I started on an anxiety med that worked that I realized how much my brain was holding me back. And maybe the updose is helping this, too.

I am hoping that the more I do things that are scary, the more I get used to the feeling, the less anxiety will be created. Does this work? Have you tried this? I am trying to put less perfect things out into the world. And I am aiming to tell more people about these imperfect, scary things.

Since I announced the change in this newsletter mid-summer last year and shared a one-liner that I hoped would encompass my dreams, I have not achieved what I wanted. The steps I was taking were too small and imperceptible to anyone besides me. I worried so much about readers that it held me back (well, and burnout happened). So, I sat down and thought about what I really wanted out of this and what would drive me to create. Brainstorming story ideas led to identifying common themes, which led to researching what other publications have done with seasons. 

I ended up with several dozen article ideas centered on three themes. Coffee underpins the stories for each theme, but I am not an expert in every angle, so I’ll be learning about these right along with you. 

Season 1: Community 

The first theme will be around the idea of “community.” While I do have experience in building community, I am most excited to see where these tangents go: how do you sell and still be community-oriented, how can one use coffee to build community equity, and more. 

Depending on how my interviews pan out, the next free issue in two weeks may mark the start of season 1. Here—I promise I’m not overthinking—I’d much rather have several articles or essays done before I begin the season. It gives me more room to work ahead, and if you’ve ever planned content out before, it is a logical decision. 

I hope my excitement for this new iteration of tanjennts comes through your screen. A good sign that I’m going in the right direction is that this adds LOADS more work to my plate, and yet, I still feel excited! And hopeful! I hope you’re excited, too! (How many exclamation marks accurately convey my level of excitement?)


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