“I Can’t Stop Overthinking”
You keep having spinning thoughts about something and you aren’t getting anywhere new. The problem with overthinking is that:
It keeps you from taking action or making a decision.
It stops you from being present in the moment.
It’s calcifying assumptions or beliefs that might be working against you (which blinds you to new perspectives or solutions).
It’s a waste of time and energy and it becomes a habit.
Overthinking keeps you stuck and it’s one of the top 10 ways that women get in their own way. Itcan get in the way for big life decisions, but it can also show up for seemingly inconsequential stuff (it always shows up for me when I’m packing for a trip).
Why We Overthink
The spinning thoughts happen when you’re desperate to find a different outcome to the thought loops that you keep replaying in your head because you want to feel differently than you do.
You’re resisting the negative feelings that the thoughts keep bringing up.
Overthinking is like watching the movie Titanic repeatedly, hoping that the ending will be different this time because you don’t want to be sad. After all, Jack dies and you know that the iceberg could have been avoided or Rose could have made room on her raft.
How to Stop Overthinking
If you’re an overthinker, the idea of shutting down the thought loops feels reckless because part of you believes that it’s a productive activity. There’s a sense that if you keep it up you will suddenly come up with a perfect solution. But overthinking just leads to stress and more overthinking.
To break the bad habit of overthinking you need to learn to trust yourself. Be aware: If you’re an overthinker you will have a whole lot of thoughts about why you can’t do this or why this won’t apply to your situation. That’s normal, because the habit of overthinking has been programmed into your brain as your go-to.
1. Accepting What Is
The (often unconscious) resistance boils down to one of two things:
- You don’t want to accept something that you cannot change.
- You don’t want to accept that some things are impossible to predict or control (including other people, annoying I know).
Zoom out and look at the big picture. List everything you know and don’t know about this situation and then separate out the facts (what is 100% non-debatable from everyone’s perspective) from your thoughts and assumptions. The unknown and imperfections are a part of life, and learning to accept them will help you focus on the things you can control. Separating the facts of a situation from our thoughts and feelings sounds easy but it takes practice because we default to believing our own thoughts and assumptions.
2. Feel Your Feelings
The resistance is ultimately about avoiding a feeling. How will you feel if you accept the situation as is? What feeling are you resisting? Some of the common ones that people use overthinking to escape are:
- Fear (of uncertainty or failure)
The good news is that feelings pass, and the fastest way to stop feeling a certain feeling is to allow yourself feel it (without indulging or wallowing in the thoughts causing it).
3. Do Something New
To get to NEW thoughts you need to do something different. You can start small. Even if it feels awkward or uncomfortable, even if you’re not sure if you are starting with the right thing or if you can’t guarantee the outcome. This is the “Now What?” stage where you remember who you are, who you want to be, and how you want to show up in the world.
Overthinking Coach Tips:
Overthinking feels like driving around a roundabout again and again looking for a new exit ramp as you slowly run out of gas. An overthinking coach helps you learn the skill of finding the turn-offs that you didn’t even notice were there. Once you find the off-ramp you can reprogram your GPS and get on the road toward wherever you want to go.
In the Kickstartology Coaching Program, you learn the most straightforward tools to stop getting in your own way with overthinking. You get support, guidance, and accountability as you learn how to master your own mind and create habits that work for you and who you want to be. Stop wasting time and energy on the things keeping you stuck and spend more time on the things that really matter to you.
Stop missing out on your life because you’re overthinking everything and start living.
Making things easier for yourself is easier than you think, let’s have a conversation.