Stop overthinking everything!

November 4, 2013 Sandra Dawes

Here is the next post in the book launch series for my upcoming book “Embrace Your Destiny: 12 Steps to Living the Life You Deserve!”  Constantly overthinking my decisions and choices in life has caused me to miss out on opportunities and waste a lot of time.  We often know what we ought to do, but making the decision to take that action can be a challenge.  We often want to control so much, that we don’t know how to surrender to those things that are outside our reach.  This post is written by Joanne Guidoccio.  Enjoy and feel free to leave your thoughts and comments! ♥ ~ Sandra

I’ll organize my cancer.

That’s the first thought that came to mind when Dr. McGillivray started talking about my treatments. As she spoke, my well-developed left brain itemized all the tasks that had to be completed over the next ten months. And of course, everything had to be done perfectly and by me. That’s how I had survived during the first fifty years of my life. Or more precisely, the first forty-nine years, seven months and seven days.

After I was diagnosed, I was able to stay on that linear path for several weeks. Between appointments, I cleaned and organized closets and cupboards, bought new patio furniture and comfortable clothes, and arranged for weekly cleaning. I programmed myself for success and expected to sail through cancer. I bragged about organizing my cancer, but ignored the raised eyebrows and tight smiles of my friends and colleagues.

And then cancer responded or, more accurately, reacted to my left brain control tactics.

I lost my hair.

I lost my appetite.

I couldn’t keep food down.

I couldn’t sleep.

Nothing was working. I had to regroup and figure out a new way to navigate the twists and turns of the uncertain road that lay ahead.

Affirmations. Visualization. Yoga. Meditation. New Age practices. I even called up a miracle worker in the province of Quebec and asked her to include me in her prayers. No strategy was too far out there for me. I was open and willing to try anything and everything. I stopped telling everyone I was fine and started accepting help from the wonderful friends who came forward.

Sixteen months later, I returned to teaching, first part-time and gradually assumed a full timetable. I was teaching fewer mathematics courses. My new area of expertise was co-operative education. It was a less structured environment, and there was no iron-clad curriculum that had to be covered in one hundred and ten hours. My teaching strategies also evolved, as I moved away from “Chalk and Talk” and started incorporating mind maps and collaborative learning exercises into the curriculum.

I also took the time to really listen and connect with my students, sharing my own stories with them and refraining from offering “perfect” solutions to their dilemmas and crises. My dealings with colleagues also changed. I became known as the “go-to girl” for advice about careers, cancer and life.

It would be a stretch to say that I have completely abandoned my left-directed thinking. It is impossible to change that dramatically in a short period of time. Not even cancer has that kind of power. And I have no intention of ignoring my left-brain signature strengths. Over the years, they have served me well, but now they need to occasionally take a passenger seat and sometimes even a back seat in my life.

About the author:

Guidoccio 001

In high school, I dabbled in poetry, but decided to wait until I had more life experiences before writing a novel. The original plan was to get a general arts degree and take a few years off to travel and write. Instead, I gave in to my practical Italian side and obtained degrees in mathematics and education.

While I experienced many satisfying moments during my teaching career, I never found the time and energy to write. In 2008, I took advantage of early retirement. Slowly, a writing practice emerged and my articles and book reviews started appearing in newspapers, magazines and online.

My debut novel, Between Land and Sea, a paranormal romance about a middle-aged mermaid, has just been released by Soul Mate Publishing.

Joanne lives and writes in Guelph, Ontario.

Where to find Joanne…







YouTube (Trailer #1):

YouTube (Trailer #2):


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