Pause And Reflect… And Let Go: 3 Ways To Stop Over-Thinking
There is a fine line between strategic thinking and over-thinking.
As happens so often, we cross that line and let ourselves submerge in a sea of indecisiveness and distress.
That being said, here is how you can determine the difference between the two. Strategic thinking is when you reach conclusions toward better decisions promptly. It is when you make a plan and revisit it only when necessary.
Over-thinking is when you start wallowing in too many “what-ifs.” It is when you doubt every step and never seem to be able to finish a thought before you have a new one. You may not even realize you are over-thinking; to you, the damaging process seems normal, and you attribute it to gaining perfection.
By over-thinking, you do not only waste time and possibly resources, but also lay waste to your mental health. A study of more than 30,000 people showed that negative meditation is a chief factor in several mental health issues.
It is time for you to let go. These three simple steps will help you break that cycle of self-induced negativity and free your mind:
1. Not every problem has a solution
Accept that you may not be able to get to the bottom of a certain issue. Sometimes there is no answer, no underlying cause. We live in a complex world, where both personal and professional lives demand too much of our analytical powers.
Once you realize that you cannot solve a problem and it is time to either let someone else take over or let it go entirely, you will be much more content.
2. Have clarity and a sense of direction
The expression having “thoughts all over the place” comes from the fact that people often get distracted and focus on too many things in too little time. It is as if their thoughts are derailed, spread around and attacking from all sides.
This can be avoided by limiting the number of things you focus on in a given time. Taking on a job assignment, learning that new skill, trying to renovate your home, trying to support your friend—if you take on all of these at the same time, you will likely become disoriented and start over-thinking.
Take on just a few things at a time; that should be your strategy to keep your sanity intact.
3. Big decisions have small steps
Small decisions lead to the big picture. If you worry too much about 10-year plans, you may not realize that you are actually damaging your present.
Start small. If you are aiming for that big promotion, list weekly or monthly milestones and check them off as you go. Even a single great idea you contribute during that one meeting can play its part in your great vision.
Steve Rizzo, a former national headline comedian and now a professional motivational speaker and a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame, has come to learn that the simplest way to lead a successful life is to let go of unnecessary thoughts. If you want a daily dose of inspiration to help you move forward, check out some of his funny motivational keynotes.