Overthinking could secretly be hurting your plans and dreams

As much as we would like to deny it, we all do overthink more often than we like. You might be thinking, “How could overthinking possibly be a bad thing?” Giving some thoughts to what you’re doing or want to do is definitely a good thing right? Well, maybe not. Here’s why.

Of course, we’re not saying to not give any thoughts to what you want to do. What we’re saying, is when and where do you draw the line? The line is between checking your parachutes (both main and reserve) before you skydive out of a plane, and wearing 2 parachutes.

You might be guilty of overthinking if your mind looks like this on a regularly.
Photo by Amanda Kern

How could overthinking hurt you?

You may not be aware of it, but overthinking could be hurting you more than you think. We’re saying this from experience because we overthink too.

Overthinking is not necessarily bad most of the time. However, when you do it excessively you’ll be surprised how it could become counterproductive. Excessive overthinking could even create problems that are not there or may not even happen, paralyzing our decision making process.

What do we mean by this? Let us share with you our experience.

Back when we were starting out with MisterBitterSweet, we were filled with the burning desire to perfect everything. This is probably something that everyone goes through especially when starting out their ideas.

We constantly wanted to perfect things, obsessing with “perfection” was part of our daily routine. Pretty soon, this obsession became quite crippling as we started twiddling with every single little details and spending hours on it.

It became more than just with how the website looks, but with every post that we were writing. There seemed to be something wrong with every little thing. “The post is not descriptive enough.” “The language seems weird.” “The writing is not as professional as we wanted.”

The end result, we couldn’t get anything done as we kept going back to the drawing board. We soon realized our problem. We were overthinking too much, and it became counterproductive for us. We forgot the main objective which was to get good content out and distributed.

This leads us to our next point with this post.

Recognizing the signs and knowing where to draw the line

You might be thinking, “Well, obsessing over these details are important for producing high quality work right?” We completely agree!

The question is not whether to overthink or not. It is to know where to draw the line and understanding when it starts becoming excessive.

Remember our example of checking your parachutes (both main and reserve) before you skydive out of a plane, and wearing 2 parachutes? This is a straightforward example, and it often may not be that simple.

Learning how to recognize signs of overthinking, when and where to draw the line is something that takes time to figure out. Here are some of our suggestions on how you could recognize when you’re starting to overthink.

  • More than half your time is spent on worrying if your effort is enough
  • You overanalyze every situations, coming up with scenarios with the least likely possibility
  • Insomnia; you have difficulty getting good rest from constant worrying
  • You second guess all your decisions, and often are paralyzed when trying to make decisions

These are just some of the things that could mean that you’re trapped in the overthinking cycle.

Dealing with excessive overthinking

It might be tough in the beginning to identify when you’re starting to overthink, or even admit that you are doing so. Remember that refusal to recognize something doesn’t mean that its not happening.

After learning to recognize when you’re overthinking excessively, the step is to learn how to deal with it. Dealing with your tendency to overthink excessively is your key to get the progress you always wanted.

Taking note of your priorities and objectives

Writing down your priorities and objectives identifies what’s important to you and the project you’re working on. You can then use these priorities and objectives as guidance to identify when you start straying from them.

For example, our objective and priorities was to create good contents and distributing them out. When we failed to do that, we missed out on why we started out to do this in the first place. We lost sight of the bigger picture.

Understanding that you can always change things

Another reason we overthink is fear. We fear making the wrong decision could affect us in ways we never even thought of. That’s why we conjure multiple scenarios where we might fail, and we try to resolve every scenario before moving forward.

This becomes a cycle that we repeat, believing that we are protecting and helping ourselves. Where in actuality, nothing gets done because we are paralyzed by this cycle.

Understand that its alright to make the wrong decisions. People do them all the time. The key is that most of the time, you have the ability to make changes when necessary. Even if you can change the decision, there is always something you can do to remedy the situations.

Do your research

Before making decisions, we recommend doing some research on the things you’re about to do. With the Internet, you can easily do some quick searches on various topics. A fairly good research takes no more than half hour of your time, and it definitely helps alleviate some worries. Trust us on this, we do some fair research for every post we make.

The key of doing research is not only focused on making sure you’re doing all the right things. It is more focused on letting you know that you have somewhat done your preparations. If something unfortunate happens, its because of factors beyond your control.

You may find it hard to believe, but not everything is under our control.

Focus on the positive things

We talked about having a positive mind in one of our earlier posts on developing ideas with a positive mindset. We cannot stress enough, the importance of having a positive mindset.

It is easy to focus on the negativity that’s happening to you right in the moment. Unfortunately, focusing on the negativity only brings about more negativity. More importantly, it doesn’t solve anything at all.

Understand that nothing lasts forever. This includes any bad things that might happen. They are only temporary. They only last for as long as you allow them to stay in your mind.

You have to ability to control the way you feel about things. Try to focus on the positive side of things instead of dwelling on why unfortunate things happen to you. Could things have been worse than it is right now? Certainly!

We believe that there are possibilities in life. Essentially, this means life has endless possibilities, and anything is possible as long as you are alive. Failing today doesn’t mean you will fail tomorrow.

Final Note

We know the pain of not getting as much done as you’d like to. There may be many reasons to why that happens, and excessive overthinking is simply one of the reasons. The sooner you start recognizing the signs, the sooner you can deal with it.

Dealing with overthinking might not be the immediate solution you’re looking for, and it might not even help you with what you’re doing now. What it can certainly do is alleviate your worries and stress.

Less worries and stress is a key ingredient to having a happier life. If there’s anything that you can take away from this post, it is this. This is what MisterBitterSweet is all about, helping you become a better and happier you.

If there’s any feedback you would like to share with us or have questions for what we talk about, you can reach us through our contact page.

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