Overthinking is essentially worrying about steps two to 100 without even taking the first step. We’ve all at one point experienced this before. It may come from nervousness or anxiety for an upcoming event that thrusts us into an unfamiliar environment, or it may come from situations as simple as meeting new people.
Regardless of the cause, overthinking happens to the best of us. Most of the time, it comes in the form of countless intrusive thoughts such as:
“What if I’m not good enough?”
“What if they’re just being polite and don’t actually like me?”
“What if I stutter in this presentation?”
“What will happen if they don’t like my product pitch?”
…and countless other What if questions.
This clouds our vision for the future and makes us always assume the worst out of every situation. While it can be good to prepare yourself for the worst, you shouldn’t go in everywhere assuming that the worst will already happen and that there’s nothing you can do about it!
Don’t imprison yourself withing these thoughts! No matter if you make a mistake or not, simply taking the opportunity already puts you in a much better position than if you hadn’t done so. Nobody can control every aspect of the situation so being a control freak will only add to your list of worries!
Imagine spending every waking minute coming up with every emergency plan that you can think of for a certain event. You plan how you’re going to talk to a specific person, plan how you’re going to answer specific questions and other tiny details. However, when you’re actually there, the event wasn’t so bad and everything went far smoother than what you were originally expecting. Now all those wasted anxiety and thoughts will go down the drain. The same is true if the event happened to derail into unknown territories that you weren’t expecting.
In short, all it does is make you hate the process of making things better for yourself.
Having plans and preparing for future situations is essential indeed. However, if you’re just going to pump your nerves up by thinking of scenarios from hundreds of parallel universes, then you’re setting yourself back. So before you go through steps two to 100, remember to take the initial step first before anything else. Remember that you wouldn’t want to spend your entire time at the sidelines wondering just what would happen. You need to start and experiencing things to set everything in motion. Only then will you experience true growth and develop what it takes for you to achieve more of your goals!