The One Danger of Overthinking
Overthinking comes with one major danger – you risk overthinking yourself into inaction.
Inaction is not what you want when there is something you would like to accomplish, right?
This blog post will help you get past overthinking so that it does not lead to inaction.
In this blog we will cover what overthinking looks like, provide a guide to handle overthinking, and show the usefulness of that guide.
Are You an Over-thinker?
Raise your hand. Are you prone to overthinking?
If you are not quite sure about whether or not you are an over-thinker, I will use myself as an example.
When you are done reading what follows, let me know if you are prone to overthinking and the methods you use to handle overthinking.
The Over-thinker Test
Starting in October of 2015 I started writing a book after getting a nudge from Holly Reid. She's my accountability partner, a CPA, and now an author of the book, Teach Your Child to Fish: Five Money Habits Every Child Should Master.
During the mind-mapping phase of writing my own book, I spent a few weeks pondering where to start, what to include, and what not to include. That is so not the mind-mapping process. I should have been simply writing what came to mind.
Mind-mapping was not happening because I was overthinking.
I had not finished mind-mapping and I was thinking about the end – that point when the book was available in the Kindle Store.
I thought about and worried about reviews. The thought of someone giving me a bad review upset me and I had yet to even have a book to get a bad review.
I thought about not knowing who the people were who would want to buy my book.
That thought led to thoughts of believing that my book would possibly be one of those books that sat available on Amazon with only four reviews after having been released for two to three years.
I thought about not knowing how to effectively market my book.
I thought about how I am not famous. That made me believe the likelihood of anyone remotely caring about my book was slim to none.
That was a lot of thinking – a great deal of overthinking, wouldn't you agree?
What Does Overthinking Get You?
While I was living my life overthinking, Holly was off writing her draft.
My overthinking was filling my thoughts with so much noise, the thoughts I needed to progress with the task at hand were struggling to surface.
Eventually I concluded the mind-mapping process and started writing and writing and writing some more.
While I was writing, do you know what happened?
I started overthinking again.
Some of the thoughts were the same as before.
New forms of overthinking did pop up, however.
I thought about reviews where people would question my knowledge.
I thought about whether or not the content I was sharing would really be helpful to others.
I wondered if my not being a nutritionist, dietician, or fitness professional would make people discount me.
During those times I noticed a slowing in my progress. If I continued to overthink I was going to run the risk of overthinking's greatest risk – inaction.
I could not let that happen, but is it possible to quit overthinking?
Can You Quit Overthinking?
As you were reading through my various thoughts – besides my thoughts also being a demonstration of self-doubt – what did you relate to?
Do you think you can stop overthinking?
Listen, I do not believe I will ever stop overthinking.
I am a born thinker. I think about the well-being of others. I think about how I can improve processes as part of my full-time job. I think about how can I get rid of all those dang plants the previous owner of my house has in our backyard.
So yeah, the idea of me never again overthinking is highly unlikely. And if you are and have always been an over-thinker the same is likely for you too.
How to Quit Overthinking?
We are not to give up hope. Here is how you handle overthinking.
Acknowledge that you are an over-thinker. A great way to curtail or keep your overthinking from overcoming you and your progress is to know and admit that you are indeed an over-thinker. The mere admittance of your tendencies will help you from overthinking your way out of opportunities.
Know that mistakes are not that bad. I think some of my forms of overthinking come out of not wanting to mess up. Making the wrong decision that turns out to be a mistake is not bad. As long as you learn something from the experience it is all good.
Listen to those who care about you. Sometimes we need to be talked off the ledge. The best people to do that for you are the ones who not only know you the best, but that will be truthful with you. Listen to the people who care about you and will keep it real with you.
Accomplish More by Thinking Less
As I stated above, I know I will probably never conquer overthinking. I, however, have been able to put a hold on my overthinking before it prevents me from opportunities.
I have a goal to accomplish. If I were to get caught up in my overthinking, I would not be able to accomplish that goal.
Therefore, using those guidelines is helping me to get past my overthinking.
You may not be able to conquer overthinking, but you can certainly move past it.
As of the writing of this blog post, my book has been edited, is close to going to a formatter, and I will have chosen a book cover design.
The latter was giving me fits. I was struggling to articulate what I wanted. I received some pretty good proposals, which made it hard for me to choose a design. I then started overthinking. Acknowledgment.
I talked it over with Kelly, my sweetness, via text. She always keeps it real with me. She offered this advice,
Don't stress out about it. The ones you've narrowed it down to are all really good so you can't make a bad decision.
She was right. I felt better.
There is still much to be done to get the book published. I am sure along the way I will start overthinking, but I am not worried. I have a guide to live by that will make it certain that I do not risk inaction and that the book WILL get published.
Now to you. I ask again. Are you an over-thinker? If so, use this guideline to help you accomplish more by thinking less and putting the brakes on your overthinking.