Overthinking is a Killer: The Guide to Action Instead of Thought

Ché O'Donnell-Gibson
October 2, 2018

It can be a challenge for many people to effectively balance time and thought.

If you struggle with finding the motivation to get started on a new project, a new hobby, a new career move, or even a household chore, you may be overthinking it. While you may have the inspiration to get something done, you might be worrying about when to get started, what might go wrong, how to do it, or whether you even should. These thoughts are setting you back and hindering your personal and professional growth. You will never be able to achieve your goals with this type of thinking, so it’s time to do away with it and just start.

While planning everything may be your initial response to setting a goal, it may not be the best choice. Sometimes, possibly against your better judgement, just getting to work without a specific plan in mind can be the key to reaching your goals. However, it may take some conditioning to get yourself out of the habit of overthinking. Here are a few ways that you can train yourself to do rather than think:

1. Have a broad direction in mind.

It is important to have goals, but you shouldn’t think so hard about them that you aren’t taking action. Know what you want to accomplish, and keep that in mind as you move forward, but don’t worry so much about the rigid details. Instead, your goal should be a loose idea that is not too specific to allow for some extra wiggle room for growth and adaptation.

2. Accept that you don’t always have the answers.

It is entirely normal to not have all the answers to life, but it can be easy to fall into the train of thought that you should know everything. To be able to quit overthinking, you must get used to not having answers and to be open to possibilities that you may have not even considered yet. Life is made interesting by the unknown, and overthinking prevents you from being able to fully enjoy the process of achieving something.

3. Take small steps

Our goals can be intimidating, but overthinking isn’t the way to conquer them. Instead of focusing on planning everything now, take small steps at a pace that suits you. You may be in a hurry to reach your goals now, which is causing you to overthink about how to do it, but know that you will grow along the way as you learn and adapt, so just take it one step at a time and see what happens. Concentrate your focus on the next step, go with the flow, and don’t worry so much about each individual step that you need to take in the future.

4. Don’t be afraid to jump.

In order to quit overthinking, you need to be quick to make decisions that will bring you closer to your goal. If they end up being mistakes, you will learn from them and only get better from there. Decide what you want to accomplish and just go for it without too much planning. Keep moving forward, and don’t be afraid to fail.

5. Expect everything to work out fine.

One of the roots of overthinking is the worry that something will go wrong. In order to start living and stop overthinking, you need to have faith that everything will work out and that you will achieve your goals. Eliminating the assumption that you will fail is half the battle to getting where you want to be.

While it is often suggested that people plan every step to achieve their goals, this simply does not work for most people. Doing is easier than thinking about doing, and it also allows you to check something off your to-do list, giving you a sense of accomplishment and progress while providing room for adaptation and learning. Action is the only way to achieve your goals, so just get started.

At Alike, we provide all the tools that you need to achieve your personal and professional goals. Our coworking space is a great place for Auckland-based professionals to network and be inspired. Browse our website for more information on what we offer, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about how our coworking space can help you succeed in your career – we’re here to help!

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