• Michael Dahdal

The Zeigarnik Effect

The Zeigarnik effect is a psychological phenomenal that can teach you a little something about how to settle your unsettled mind.

How to break those thought loops, cut the chord, so you can start thinking forward again

In essence, the Zeigarnik effect suggests that there is a tendency for your brain to remember and prioritise, interrupted or incomplete tasks.

The implication is, if you’ve got something that’s unresolved, your brain just won’t let it go.

That’s the relationship status that’s complicated

The job search that’s waning

The new project you started but never finished

The lifestyle changes you set out to make but didn’t follow through on

The conversation you know needs to be had, but you’ve been avoiding

It’s also hesitation,

Delaying or procrastinating

Not making a decision or delivering on a promise

It could be an idea or opinion that hasn’t been fully formed, or properly thought through

And so it goes on.

The point is that your mind craves certainty;

The need for certainty is a survival mechanism that’s ingrained in all of us.

Uncertainty, ambiguity or lack of clarity is processed as a potential threat; because you just don’t know what could be lurking around the corner.

With our caveman ancestors, this could have been a saber-toothed tiger!

So your brain has evolved to keep you alive, and part of that process is to resolve the unresolved to create that sense of safety and security.

And sometimes finding resolution is as simple as making a decision and following it through with a firm commitment.

At that point, all other options are off the table and you find the way to make things work.

But the underlying enemy here is fear and the victim is you.

Thankfully you’re not just a make up of biological processes, you've been gifted with a rational mind and a spiritual center.

So you can transcend your conditions in ways only humans can.

You can start making a move towards resolving things by simply deciding to.

You can choose to confront and conquer your fears

You can learn to discern what lies in the realm of fantasy and what is actual reality.

So if you want to stop overthinking, then start doing!

Get a sense of what you’ve been avoiding and stop avoiding it

Make a firm decision, be intentional and build towards living with strong convictions.

Don’t make promises you can’t keep

Don’t keep yourself or others waiting

And just start taking control of your life back.

Understanding the Zeigarnik effect and how your brain works will go a long way to finally setting you free.

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