Do you constantly catch yourself overthinking?
“Should I do this”… or “should I do that”, “what if I do that and this happens…” or “what if I do this and that happens…”, “what if they both fail”… what if, what if, what if.
The only thing I’ve learned from being in that headspace is that it’s really easy to spiral out of control. When I get like this, I can’t make a decision if my life depended on it. I start to question myself with everything… I lose trust in myself, I no longer feel confident to make ANY decision and I stay stuck in this vicious cycle.
So often we tend to confuse overthinking as a way of problem-solving. We justify our overthinking because we think that our answers will gradually become clearer. Often, it is the opposite. Our answers become muddled and unfocused.
Often, people get caught up in overthinking from a lack of:
- self-trust and worth,
- time management skills,
- knowing what their core values are,
Most often, past experiences or learned experiences influence these thought patterns.
When you overthink, you start to create problems that aren’t even there.
They build up in your head and start to morph into this bigger-than-life worry that creates so much anxiety.
You think that if you don’t make the RIGHT decision, there is no other and there is no turning back.
You start to think that it’s do-or-die, which can really limit the way you think about … everything.
You stop being creative…. You stop taking risks and you stop trying to reach higher out of sheer fear and lack of trust. In walks procrastination, and nothing gets done… nothing gets decided and you’re left feeling overwhelmed, stressed and doubtful. This creates an unfulfilled and unhappy life and business people!
Trish Blackwell says that we either tend to ruminate on the past or worry about the future.
Both will lead you to a place of misery, so let’s dive into what you can do when you catch yourself in analysis paralysis.
1. Try to implement 5 seconds of courage.
Now normally I coach on the 20-seconds of courage tool, but in this case, I think 20 seconds is just long enough to change your mind again.
All it takes is 5 seconds to make a micro snap decision and make it so.
2. Make a ‘thinking’ date with yourself.
Thinking and re-thinking take a lot of energy away from other things. Sometimes what I will do when I am stuck on something that requires more of my focus, is to dedicate time afterward to think about the decision I need to make. I don’t allow myself time to worry, or stress, or sabotage my other work right now… instead, I decided to take about 10 minutes at a later time to come back to it and make a decision. That gets it out of my head because I now know that I will have more focus afterward to think through this, and that gives me the opportunity to focus in the areas needed right now.
3. Reframe your words.
By changing a “what if” worry to an “even if” solution you allow yourself to see all sides… Your “What if’s” keep you in a fixed state of mind whereas ‘even if’s’ put you into a growth state of mind.
4. Trust in your decisions.
Commit to not worrying about them afterward. When we still allow ourselves to worry after making decisions, it becomes detrimental to who we are as business leaders. Be good with the decisions you make (even if they aren’t perfect) and move ahead full steam knowing that if you need to make allowances, or tweaks, or even change course halfway through, that’s ok.
5. Identify what’s getting in the way.
Is it something that’s happened in your past that you are trying to stay clear of, or is it something you want to prevent from happening in the future? By knowing where the indecision is coming from, you have a better scope in how to deal with it. I always say to my clients: If you want to grow and learn and become better than you were yesterday, you need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
When we only recognize a black and white world, we don’t see all the beautiful greys and colors in between. You need to take leaps of faith sometimes and commit to the decision that is even 1% stronger than the other. Take that leap and make that decision to stick by. Give yourself a pat on the back, celebrate and move on. You’re ok, and the house didn’t burn down.
If you’d like to talk about how overthinking affects you and your business, book a free call with me – I’d love to chat with you more about that. Until next time, I am rooting for your success and am your biggest cheerleader.