While almost everyone overthinks from time to time, a study conducted by the University of Michigan suggested that over 57% of women overthink and that over 43% of men do. That’s a pretty significant amount of folks. Overthinking can often have a negative connotation, so I propose that we put a positive spin on it. Let’s turn it into more of a superpower, shall we?
Step 1: Own It
Yes, you tend to overthink things. No, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Take control. Recognize that it is something you do, and then figure out how to make it an asset instead of a hindrance. Acknowledge at the forefront that over-worrying will be futile and will end up with a less-than-positive result. Honestly, where has extensive overthinking ever gotten you? I’d be willing to bet that it usually ended up in missed opportunities or inadvertently hurting someone else’s feelings (which is exactly what you were trying to avoid with all of your overthinking-ness!) Don’t wait days to respond to that text because you want to say things exactly right, don’t hold off on getting that gift until the last minute because you are so worried about it being PERFECT, don’t put off that task because you are worried something will go wrong. Set boundaries with your thoughts and make a game plan. As Erma Bombeck said, “Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere”.
Step 2: Wield It
This is the fun part. As an overthinker, you possess some very extraordinary gifts. You are extremely perceptive, thoughtful, empathetic and wise. You have probably found by now that people often come to you for advice and want to hear your thoughts on whatever they are going through. This opens you up to being able to do a lot of good! You also take a lot of information in as you observe the world around you. You are constantly analyzing everything, including the pros and cons/rights and wrongs of every situation. This can allow for a much more thorough examination of things that are often skipped right over. It can also prevent some really rash decisions.
Step 3: Excecute It
Believe it or not, your constant sorting through the rights and wrongs of things can make big decisions easier. You most likely have a sense of contentment once it comes to the crucial deciding moment, because you know you have already thought through every scenario and weighed the options. Now that it’s time to commit to the chosen course of action, you can feel confident that you’re doing what should be done.
Step 4: Think Outside The Box
Being prone to overthinking isn’t just an “outside-of-work-hours” situation, so now that we know it’s there and that it doesn’t have to be considered a cloud looming over us, it’s time to make a basic blueprint for the day. Do simple things like being intentional about starting your day off right. No, I don’t mean just superficially saying or thinking,“I have to make this a good day” but finding a happy thought or quote that really resonates with you. You need to truly believe that you possess the power to make this day great. Try doing one thing, no matter how small, that helps you feel good and accomplished. One thing. This honestly does set the tone for your day. Focus on the first task that you know you can confidently accomplish in your work day and go from there. Remind yourself of what you know to be true so you don’t get distracted by the “what ifs”, use the organizational tools at your disposal to set yourself up for success, and get to it!
You have a gift, now make it go to work for you!
What are some ways that you have found to work through your overthinking/what are some tips on what you have found to be helpful?