Are you a thinker or a doer?


EQUILIBRIUM MATTERS If you’re too busy to think or too busy thinking to act, you’re out of balance.

It’s best to be both

Mental Health
Jannah Walshe

“Creating abundance is an inside-out job — that’s the secret … I believe that it’s the marriage between doing (‘yang’) and the being (‘yin’) that makes for a relaxed, abundant life” – Ezzie Spencer.
I get many e-mails into my inbox each morning from signing up to way too many e-mail lists. Many of them I don’t get the time to read properly, but one in particular caught my attention this morning. Some of its first lines were those above. The words stuck with me all morning. They resonated so much with what I have experienced myself and also what I see in my psychotherapy work with clients.
I tend to find that we are usually stronger on one side or the other, either the being or the doing. We can be people that take action every day. We keep going, going, going, rarely stopping to catch a breath to see if it is really what we want to be doing.
On the other hand, we can be people who think a lot about what we want to do or could do, or what actions would benefit us, but we rarely take action to make any of it happen. Life in our heads and hearts is great, but on the outside the reality doesn’t live up to this.
Finding a balance between the two sides – between thinking about something and doing something about it – is so hard. I see many people (myself included) trying, failing and then feeling terrible about it. They beat themselves up and feel that there is something wrong with them because everyone else is flying ahead doing things left right and centre. Of course, what we see in others is often not their reality at all, but never the less we compare ourselves negatively against them.
The link between thinking about doing something and actually doing it is not clear cut. There are often many unconscious blocks along the way.
Old habits that are there for a reason get in the way of what we imagine to be our perfect life. Psychotherapy can help to clear away some of these blocks. Talking something out clears space for an ‘invisible energy’ in us that allows something new to happen. We can feel supported enough to start to take on challenges that require putting some of what we are thinking about into action.
And when we see some changes happening we feel energised to make more changes. It becomes a positive loop of thinking, doing, result and thinking, doing, result.
The result doesn’t matter. It’s the feeling of being able to move something forward in some way that’s important. We become sustained, energised and motivated.
Even though bad days still come, we know we can make something happen another day. Stuck doesn’t mean stuck forever. And that’s the power of action. The power of balancing and combining thought (or belief) and action is one of the most important things we can learn in order to make actual real changes in our day to day lives.

Jannah Walshe is a counsellor and psychotherapist based in Castlebar and Westport. A fully accredited member of The Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, she can be contacted via, or at or 085 1372528.