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  • Writer's pictureKaren Thrall

Ruminating: Reflecting or Worrying?

Great wisdom from Adam Grant.

Sigh, easier said than done.

I’m no stranger to that balancing act. What a wonderful thing it is to feel and think passionately, isn’t it? It’s what makes us human, what gives our experiences substance and meaning.

But there are times when my thinking slips into over-thinking, and I end up dwelling on something that wasn’t meant to occupy so much of my mental bandwidth!

And suddenly my mind is ruminating. Ruminating, (sigh), what a paradox.

In one sense, it’s a space for reflection, a chance to explore my emotions and thoughts; to grow and evolve. But on the other hand, it can morph into worry, trapping me in a cycle of over-thinking and over-feeling.

There have been moments when I’ve been swept up in a whirlwind of worry, replaying scenarios in my mind, questioning my value, and fearing the worst. It’s exhausting, isn’t it? That tug-of-war between what was done or said and my own sense of identity.

Adam Grant welcomes us to think again. We don’t have to believe every thought nor internalize every feeling that enters our consciousness. It’s a mark of emotional intelligence, recognizing that distinction, knowing when to let go of the worry and when to reflect for personal growth.

Transformation begins, like all journeys, as soon as we choose to step onto the path. We may not get to our desired destination quickly, but as long as we stay the course, our progress will continue.

For me, it’s about embracing the process of reflection — exploring new perspectives, challenging my beliefs, and envisioning positive change. Finding that distinction, when is it overthinking and when is it introspection, and reshifting my mindset.

There’s a sense of belonging knowing we’re all stumbling along this path together, learning, expanding, and finding our way. Maybe that’s the most beautiful thing about it all — our shared humanity.

Karen Thrall | Executive Coach | Business Consultant

Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist, professor at Wharton School and NYT bestselling author. A respected thought leader and an empowering communicator. Highly recommend his books!

📸: Jamey Stillings via Wikimedia Commons

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