OVERCOMING OVERTHINKING

 

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Ever get absorbed in overthinking?

“Overthinking is thinking too much in a manner that is negative and ultimately unhelpful.”  Overthinking also contains a great deal of ‘what-if’ thinking. When faced with having to make decisions, over-thinking typically kicks into high gear, thus paralyzing the decision-making process.

There comes a time in all our lives when we must make significant decisions.  Whether it be decisions about our jobs, relationships, or where we live.  For many people their “fork in the road” go without a hitch and much of it flows.  But for others their incessant thinking causes them to become frozen.  It’s as though the brain is on overload with thoughts that can’t be controlled. Overthinking will do that, you know!

Oftentimes we resist change because we want our future perfectly laid out for us.  A blueprint to follow with step by step instructions. But since we know there is no such thing, and we have minimal control, we begin to over-think becoming trapped by our mind. This causes a great deal of uncertainty and doubt.

In order to understand why we overthink, we must first understand why we do it. Allow me to share a few undeniable reasons why you overthink when having to make decisions, and a few tips on how to break this habit.

Lack of confidence.  We often allow self-doubt to enter our minds and live there. But we are only as smart, capable, worthy as we believe we are. Don’t rely on getting someone else’s approval and certainly don’t compare yourself to anyone else, you’re not them and they are not you! You never know where your decision may lead you, that’s why you need to take risks without torturing yourself with overthinking.  When you start taking decisions, you will automatically boost your self- confidence. Go for it!

Seeking answers outside yourself.  When we discover over-thinking is not working, we turn to outside influences. We ask not one, but multiple friends things like “What do you think I should do?” or “Where do you think I should live?” When truthfully they’re not even sure what they should be doing themselves?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying not to seek advice from one or two trusted friends, but know that the best answer to what YOU need lies within. Don’t continue to ask your friends to help you make important decisions for you, they are not you! Instead trust that you will have all the answers you need, and in time those answers will clearly reveal themselves to you.

Following instead of leading. Oftentimes the desire to “fit in” supersedes the need for change. We feel uncomfortable doing different things or making alternative choices, so once again we overthink. We fight change for fear of not fitting in.  But remember that you are unique with individual talents and gifts that only you possess. Be confident in who God made you to be!  Undoubtedly, you will shine your brightest when you follow your own path, and not someone else’s.

Allowing past experiences to dictate your future.  This causes the ultimate overthinking scenario. We become so afraid of our past mistakes, that it paralyzes our future.  Remember however, just because things didn’t work out in the past, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try again.  If you want to move forward, don’t allow negative past experiences to dictate your future. Living your life in the past is like a car stuck in reverse, it cannot move forward. Keep in mind that your past disappointments or circumstances have served as teachable moments and are not meant to hold you hostage. Take those lessons and run. And leave your past in the past!

Thinking is an inevitable part of your life that helps you reach goals and avoid troubles, but you should know the difference between thinking and overthinking.

Don’t continue to allow the habit of overthinking to direct your life!

Instead, the next time you need to make decisions, ponder these 3 questions.

WHAT do I want?  WHY do I want it?  And, HOW will I achieve it?

Oh, and one more thing . . .

Don’t Overthink!

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