When Thinking About the Future Becomes Overwhelming

By Denelle ‘Elle’ Justine Ramos



Have you ever found yourself disregarding your present because you are thrilled with the endless possibilities the future can offer? But at the same time worried, and frantic if you will ever achieve these goals. When did we start overthinking? When did we become ahead of ourselves? Can we ever stop this?


Let me share one of my favorite quotes in Patrick Rothfuss’ book, ‘The Name of the Wind’. It says: “When we are children, we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our innocence behind.” We are no longer children. Now, we are adults trying to figure out everything. Once we become aware of the societal issues, experiences, and hurdles we are about to face in life, the ‘tendency to overthink’ is inevitable. Why? Because our survival instinct (self-preservation) starts to emanate. 


It is terrifying to be left behind, right? To seemingly feel that everyone around you has it all figured out. Well, let me tell you this. We are all trying to figure out life. No one has it all figured out. Every day we learn, witness, discover, and experience new things. What we want today might not be what we want tomorrow. Often, life can be puzzling and complicated.


Besides, I applaud you for the fear you have within you. That is normal and healthy because it means you want to succeed. Fear can both; be considered as the driving factor to your success or failure. But who desires failure? No one. We always want the best for ourselves. There are things simply more favorable to some. That’s what we call ‘privilege.’ But that doesn’t mean you will not achieve your goals in this life. How you measure your success and happiness depends on you and only you. Do not let societal standards dictate how you should live your life. Each of us moves at a different pace. You are not in a hurry; you will never be too late. Remember that. And if you feel overwhelmed with your future, below are three things you may do. 


Focus on Yourself. 

When you know what you want in life, you will feel happier. Thus, it lessens the tendency to get insecure, bitter, or intimidated by others’ success. Instead, you will let the success of others serve as an inspiration to better yourself. The tendency to compare lessens when you are firm with your goals. You will be supportive and happier for them. 


Enjoy the Present. 

Today is your day. To ponder your future is completely fine but to let it control your present is wrong and unhealthy. Keep in mind, that you would never experience your present the second time around. Make the most of it and focus on what you can control. Your future depends on how you live your present. Stop thinking that your present is not your day. Because every present is a blessing which you must treasure and enjoy. 


Trust the Process. 

A tiny voice in your head might suddenly pop up at unexpected times wondering: ‘Am I doing this right?’ ‘Was this the right decision?’ ‘Should I have picked the other decision, would I have felt better?’ You are skeptical about life decisions. You are doubting yourself and the process. Thus, you attract negative energy. If you are firm with your values, principles, and beliefs in life, you would know that you have made the right decision. There is nothing to be worried about. If it does not work, another door would open for you. Accept, and move on. Stop letting your past drag you around.


See if these work for you. Remember that everyone is busy with their own lives. Focus on yourself. You are far more capable than you think. Success starts with believing in yourself. 


Guess what? 


You can do this… now.

The opinions expressed here by Communicare contributors are their own, not those of Communicare Training and Development.


About the Contributor

Denelle ‘Elle’ Justine Ramos, 22, is an incoming fourth-year student majoring in writing at the University of the Philippines Los Baños. One of her dreams is to be part of a Broadway musical. During her pastime, she tries to write some songs that she someday wishes to share with the world. Today, she is focusing on her education, volunteer work, and self-development.