Before I learned that my detailed thought process had a name, I wore it like a badge of honor. I took pride in the ability that I ensured all of my ’T’s were crossed and ‘I’s dotted or that I thought of every possible scenario for a task. I wanted my website to have all of the bells and whistles the first time around. What I didn’t realize was that it was becoming a thing where I didn’t feel like I was doing the job right unless it was dum dum dum perfect. For me, overthinking translated into making things perfect the first time around.
Perfection for an over thinker is a whole other level of madness. It can show up as becoming obsessed with taking course after course, retreat after retreat, and so forth without implementing all of the course work. To reel myself in, I have to do things like set a timer to complete certain tasks, let go of FOMO, and be conscious of distractions appearing as something valuable.
Below is a note I wrote to myself years ago in the notes section of my phone (shout out to iCloud for saving my notes and updating it to each phone upgrade!) :
To my chronic over thinkers (like moi). There is no such thing as a missed opportunity.
If it was meant for you, then there is no 🚫 way that person, thing, or event could have bypassed you.
You will make mistakes time and time again, this doesn’t make you less than a responsible adult. Some things just don’t pan out and some people are great at hiding their agendas.
Your mind is the second most powerful force within, the first is the heart. ❤️
What you think of yourself, you become. It’s said often but it’s TRUE. The greats believed they were great before anyone else agreed with them. Don’t get caught up in what you think people may say or believe. Stay true to yourself and you’ll never leave your lane.
HOW TO BE PRODUCTIVE
1. Understand that you don’t have time to waste.
Have you heard of “analysis paralysis” or “paralysis by analysis”? You’re so busy (busy can be such a set up, btw) thinking about who, what, when, where, why, and how for the 10th time that you have gotten absolutely no where. You have to get stuff done and you don’t have time to go into OT with thinking. Implement time lines and stick to them! Implement time and day blocks, see my post, How To Be Productive When You Don’t Have 24 Hours In The Day, for more information.
2. Stop overthinking.
Being straight forward here. Just stop. I know it’s not easy, but let’s work on removing ourselves from standing under the overthinking cloud. Talk to a therapist, your mastermind group, or your bestie. There could be some subconscious thoughts, like what if I make a mistake that causes me to look like I don’t know what I’m doing, that need to be addressed and cleared.
3. Think about those who have paved the way.
I’m constantly saying to learn the background stories of wildly successful people. Why? For many reasons that I can talk about for hours, but the one of the main reasons is because it puts things into perspective. Imagine if the people who you imagine were over thinkers who didn’t put that in check. They wouldn’t have produced their material. You wouldn’t have been inspired and you’re growth would have been delayed. No more delays.
4. Use visual aids.
What I have learned over the years is that over thinkers are clairvoyants. They have that vision and what they produce must be that vision. However, most of the time, we have to work up towards that vision. So, the next best thing is to have visual aids around to remind you of your progress. For example, I track the weekly increase of my email list, IG followers, and Pinterest statistics. I do that because that keeps me in my lane. As long as I can monitor MY growth, I’m not focusing on what someone else is doing and begin to over think about what I should or should not be doing.
5. You just need a starting point.
Early in my business, I build my website from scratch twice and I hired a company to create my website. I never finished creating one site because I was over thinking EVERYTHING and so I decided to hire a company. I knew that by hiring people I wouldn’t overthink as much because somethings were being delegated and money was involved. I could only do certain things within my budget, so it was this or that decision.
What I have learned is that you can always, always, upgrade. Just because you start at ‘Point A’ doesn’t meant you’ll be there forever. Just get started. Also, I’m never fully satisfied with my website. I find that to be true with other entrepreneurs. I believe it’s because we are creators and we are constantly looking for ways to be even more creative.
6. Delegate + grant authority.
Let people help you and give them some authority to just get it done, no micromanaging. For example, I listen to the suggestions my virtual assistant makes because she’s actually right. When she sets up landing pages or something else, I don’t look at it until it’s done. She knows my brand and what I like. I trust that she can execute some tasks without me and others just require my final approval.
7. Don’t be so rigid.
Be flexible. Sometimes you just need to let go and go with the flow. In other words, you don’t have to complete everything in one day. Make time for a break to rest your mind, recharge, and come back. No one is judging you. You are your harshest critic.
Don’t let your pride or need to be picture perfect hold you back. Don’t let your desire to keep up with all the social media madness cause a delay in your growth. Be flexible and remember that you don’t have to do it all. Develop a team and don’t take things too seriously.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- It’ll be a life-long process. I’m much better than I was in the past, but I still have to reel myself back to reality and cut out the overthinking that creeps up. Be conscious of your thoughts.
- Have an accountability partner will help you. Set up bi-weekly calls. This will prompt you to get ‘er done. No time to overthink you have to brief your accountability partner next week.
- Overthinking can lead to other things if left unchecked. Our imaginations can take over and a new wave of thoughts emerge. Talk about your thoughts and feelings as you embark on a project, etc.
- Practice self-care. A great way to clear the mind is to take care of self. Do things like meditation, yoga, or even change your diet to raise your vibration
How do you handle your overthinking? What will you implement to help you with your overthinking?
Let me know in the comments below!
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