Although I’m not a carpenter, I have heard some carpenters say this phrase a few times, and most even used it as a hard-fast rule. If I were a carpenter, I can imagine I would definitely apply this rule. In fact, knowing me, I’d measure multiple times before cutting once. Yes, I CAN tend to overthink very often myself!
A person with an amplitude of ambition tends to pursue many things at once. This could lead to feeling overwhelmed and ultimately result in overthinking. Don’t fall victim to “Analysis Paralysis.”
By overthinking ANYTHING we can fall too easily into the trap of procrastination. Spending way too much time in the planning stages trying to fix every perceived problem that may present itself.
Before you know it, we start finding fault in our business plans; second-guessing them, and often abandoning them as “bad” ideas. Overthinking can easily change any great intention to something negative. This robs us of productivity and the ability to move forward. Overthinking exasperates us because we become too careful and unsure of ourselves and our futures.
How then can we avoid this mental quagmire?
Overthinking doesn’t lead to insight.
Most of us don’t own a crystal ball, so we can’t “see” our decision’s results. Typically, we search for insight – trying to judge what our decisions will give us ahead of time. However, if we apply pragmatic philosophy, we’d know the results are better seen by doing than thinking until we live the process out; we really never know how a decisive action will affect our lives. A life-changing event such as a marriage, a divorce, a career change, or moving to a new home will not lead to insight no matter how much we overthink. Only action will do that.
Be Brave; Take that Leap of faith!
Overthinking that actions taken could be the wrong ones that cause worry and stress. We become so fixated on not making an error in planning out every minute detail that taking a step forward causes fear and doubt. This whole process wastes time and does nothing but cause us stress. Instead of putting yourself through this, trust your judgment and take that giant leap of faith! Go for it. Accept that it may be good or bad, but you will learn from it and carry on either way. The lack of knowing what the future holds should inspire us to action, not motivate our overthinking!
Your decision is never final!
Making that great, correct, final decision that will set our lives on a permanent path of ease causes us to overthink. Realistically, this is not likely to be the case because seldom are our choices final. Things change in our lives that cause US to adapt. Most life-long decisions that create a forever path are non-existent. Overthinking is pointless. Critical thinking should be done; however, before deciding on life-changing events. Take caution that this does not become overthinking! Remember, life is a process of learning and growing from our mistakes as well as our successes.
Idleness is the Devil’s workshop!
There is probably not much more that contributes to overthinking than idleness. In fact, isn’t it a vicious circle? Idleness leads to overthinking, which leads to idleness, which leads to overthinking. STOP the world and let me off!! In a rush to create a solution BEFORE we (gulp) expose our errors, we sit on our ideas for fear of being criticized? OK, I get the survival mechanism, but please, get over this and go for it!! Get busy!! And even more important STAY busy!! Practice makes perfect, right? Perfection is the perfect goal. WHY? Because we will never reach it! But it’s a HECK of a goal to shoot for because it pretty much assures we keep busy trying.
Even a Half-Step is Good if it Moves us Forward.
Having goals, dreams, and ambitions could be incredibly intimidating, especially if you dare to dream BIG. Besides the negative rhetoric we are bombarded with from outsiders, we often get even worse from the very ones who should be our biggest supporters! Because of this, do we tuck our tails and overthink, not willing to risk that close friend or family member’s scorn?? YIKES! Please wake up and realize, we do not have to be perfect or command every single skill. Step out of the norm, stop overthinking, and take that leap forward even if that leap is a half-step! Your rhythm will increase, and your steps will expand larger as long as you continue forward. Stick to it!
Stay in the NOW!
Spending our energy worrying about that exam, that interview, that deadline, that bill that is due, that insult, or even what we will eat for dinner ALL will start the process of overthinking! We want to be as prepared as possible, right? We want to thwart boo-boo’s before they happen, correct? Heaven forbid we take a spill and open our egos up to more criticism! WRONG! Getting caught in the trap of “what could happen in the future” actually robs us of the NOW. Realize, if you will, that every productive thing anyone accomplishes happens in the NOW. Yes, prepare for the unavoidable, but keep your main focus in the present moment and remain fixated on the NOW. This will ensure you are on the path to success.
Overthinking, I believe we can all agree, has the unsavory effect of slowing if not completely stopping forward progress, whether this is your personal life, your business life, or your family life. This cascades into negative emotions, short tempers, and depression. WE are left with a lack of desire even to put forth the effort to succeed. I will even go as far as to say; this will give those lazy and unmotivated an excuse they seem to seek, NOT even to try.
Thankfully, for those who DO aspire for greater meaning in life, the issue can be identified, managed, and eliminated. Overthinking is a problem that can be identified, managed, and eliminated. Stay on guard with your attitude, think about the topics above, then decide which direction you want your life to progress. Your business, your family, and your community will reflect your mindset.