I have learned over the years that I am an over-thinker.
I analyze everything in my head before I go forward with it. I think, “What is the worst case scenario, and am I prepared for it?”
This trait has probably saved me from a few bad choices. It’s probably prevented me from moving forward with a few good ones, too.
I’ll give you a few simple scenarios of little things that I have been guilty of completely getting too analytical about:
- I always think my husband is going to crash the car because he waits longer to brake than I do. He’s a safe driver, yet I freak myself out every time.
- I didn’t want to stand up on a paddle board for the first time a couple weeks ago because I thought I would fall in the water. I was at least 30 minutes behind Hadassah Wood who went for it way sooner.
- I tried doing a box jump that was taller than my usual height, and psyched myself out so much that I made 10 attempts and continued to freeze every time before my feet would come up off the floor. I eventually did it, but not until my husband found it hilarious when my arms kept jumping but my feet were not LOL.
So, is it fear, or over-analyzing everything? Probably a little bit of both, and it’s still something I deal with on a regular basis. My practical brain has a reason or excuse for everything I do or don’t do in life. My husband often reminds me, “You don’t need to have an excuse for everything.” I always have a reason, and in my head, it’s usually a practical one that makes total sense to me.
The question is: how does one have a balance between being smart and sensible, and still being able to take risks and try things that may not always work out the first time? Here are a few things that have helped me, and maybe they’ll help you too.
1. Think less, do more.
Some people need to think MORE and do LESS, ha…but not those of us that overthink everything. Be smart about your move, then just go for it and be committed to seeing it through. Worrying too much about the journey or the end result can often keep us from doing something amazing.
2. Believe in yourself.
This is a big one for me. I need to believe I can do something before I can actually do it. I have looked back on many of my attempted ventures and accomplishments and noticed one thing in particular…when I was completely determined to do something, it would happen and I would succeed. When I questioned myself and didn’t believe I could do it, I failed or didn’t do as well as I know I could have, looking back at it. And you know WHY I believed in myself? Because I pushed all of the extra thoughts out of the way and just focused on doing what I set out to do.
3. Spend time with positive people who inspire you.
You know the people who drain you because they always assume the worst and complain all the time? Stop giving them all of your time. If you aren’t serving any purpose in each others’ lives, it might be time to move on. Spend time with people who are excited about life and can encourage you do to the same in your own life. That’s not to say we don’t all have our down days, but there should be more positivity than negativity emitting from those you spend most of your time with.
4. Choose new activities that challenge you.
A great way to challenge your over-thinker personality is to do thinks that make you uncomfortable. Maybe that’s going to the gym by yourself without a buddy. Maybe it’s going skydiving. Or maybe it’s even going on a first date. Whatever you choose, don’t think about it too much – just go for it. †
Brain Image Credit: FreeImages.com/Julia Freeman-Woolpert