Overthinking can be one of your worst enemies when it comes to productivity. At first, overthinking does not sound so bad, but it can be an endless vicious cycle that ends with you getting nothing done. Overthinking is definitely one of the most common self-destructing habits that can come in the way of your success. Overthinking has many causes and it’s most common these days because of the nature of our lives. There are also many solutions that can help you keep overthinking at bay, but it all depends on your determination.
What is overthinking and how to identify it:
Overthinking is the act of repetitive thinking for too long. Overthinking happens because of complexity and the diversity of choice. Life back in the day was very simple, food, shelter, and protection were our number one priority and anything else was trivial. However, as technology progressed, the horizon of options is only expanding, this coupled with the fact that our brains are very powerful processors that can think about many things during the day is a recipe for overthinking.
Overthinking usually happens to individuals who are smart and can process many thoughts at the same time. After all, the fact that we can effectively process thought is what led us to create the civilization we live in today. However, overthinking can easily be turned against you where it can cripple your actions and make you unable to act. Most of what overthinking is doubt, it can cloud your judgment, make you overthink what can happen, and it usually presents itself in overthinking thoughts that did not even happen.
The way that you identify overthinking is very simple, it’s when you are unproductive regardless of the fact that you overthink everything in a particular situation. There is a difference between having a careful and well-detailed thought process and overthinking.
Causes of overthinking:
- Fear of failure: One of the most common causes of overthinking is fear. Most people end up overthinking every little thing because they fear that whatever they are about to embark on is going to fail.
- What people think: Another cause of overthinking is wanting to impress or maintain the image people have of you in mind. It’s a form of fear, but this time it’s social fear driven by thoughts of being embarrassed or coming off in an odd way in front of your family and friends.
- Lack of thought control: Controlling your actions is an easy thought process, but controlling what you think about is very difficult.
How to overcome overthinking:
Stop thinking and just act:
Sometimes the best thing you can do to overcome overthinking is to just act no matter what. Failing can be a very humbling experience that leads to you becoming more courageous and a better decision maker. After all, it’s all about actions.
This requires a state of mind that sees things from a broad perspective. Both failure and success can be a good thing, failure can be an answer to what you were thinking, it can help you make the right decision. It is often failure that teaches you the most valuable lessons and not success. As good as success sounds, it can blind you and make you unaware of the situation.
Avoid analysis paralysis:
This is a term that describes the stagnating state of mind caused by over analyzing every little detail. It’s a self-destructive that can cause you to not get anything done for hours and even days.
Think about the master plan:
Overthinking is usually something that relates to a relatively small thing in your life. If you happen to run into that problem, it might be a good idea to link it with your master plan and see if it’s really worth overthinking.
Start with small steps:
If you happen to fall in the trap of analysis paralysis or overthinking, plan out what you want to do and see what the first step is to achieve the end goal. It all starts with a small step whether it be reading a book about starting a business or opening your book and reading the first lines. The first step is the hardest step because it’s the beginning of the snowball effect. The first step creates momentum for the next steps.
Give a limit to how long you overthink:
Sometimes the best thing to do is to just give it sometime until you get a better picture. If you happen to be overthinking for more than 30 minutes, it’s best to put aside what you were thinking about and just do something else. A conscious break that makes you forget about what you’re overthinking about can help your subconscious mind analyze the situation in the background.
Give your best:
In whatever you do, always do your best and remember that often times deciding factors are outside of our reach. Overthinking can just waste time that is better spent on actually doing the best you can.
Overthinking is a serious problem that can be the culprit to the lack of success in your life. Many people face this problem every day and it cripples their decision making. You must act as soon as you identify that you are overthinking by just acting and learning from the process no matter the outcome.