If you are someone who tends to overthink, overanalyze and worry a lot in your everyday life, then this article is for you. I’m going to be talking to you about why it is that you tend to do overanalyze everything and how to stop doing this, because it’s actually hurting rather than helping you in your career as well as in your everyday life.
Overthinking and overanalyzing is something that I have seen time and time again, and also experienced myself at different phases of my life. I used to be guilty of overthinking and overanalyzing things, but I’ve become much better at it and much more aware now.
Many a times, we tend to think of the worst case scenario and love to ask ‘what if’ scenario questions for situations that likely will never even happen. And if you’re reading this article, you have likely felt the same way at some point in life. For example, maybe you have a job interview coming up and you love to not only think about what questions they’re potentially going to ask you, but then you also worry about random other situations that might come up. You might start thinking what would happen if you get the job, and then another job interview comes up at the same time. Or you might think what would happen if you take this job and then you don’t even like it later on.
You know that these are questions that you really don’t have any real solid answers to, because they haven’t happened yet and they’re only possible scenarios. So let’s discuss the three reasons why you tend to overanalyze and overthink, and then the four steps on how to overcome it.
You think it’s productive
The first reason why you tend to overanalyze is that you think worrying is productive. This is the most common reason why most people tend to over analyze and over think. Deep down inside of you, you have this belief that over thinking and over analyzing is actually productive and is going to help you. You believe that it’s somehow going to prepare you for all the different scenarios that you’re coming up with in your head.
But the truth is far from that, and as long as you continue to think that your over thinking and over analyzing pattern is productive, it’ll never stop. So let me tell you what’s actually happening to you when you do this. You think that you look productive and that you are being smart about everything when you overthink. But the reality of what’s actually happening in front of the people around you is that you appear to be a day-dreamer and a lazy person. An over-analyzer and over-thinker usually comes across as someone who has low confidence, who doesn’t have the ability to make their own decisions, and someone who is overly stressed out. You see, if you keep thinking about the worst-case scenarios, you will definitely not look relaxed. Therefore, people start to lose their confidence in someone who’s like that, because it just feels as though you’re not able to come to your own decision.
And the worst case scenario is that the consequences of your overthinking and overanalyzing habits can prevent you from getting promoted in your job or prospering in your business initiative, because again, leaders need to be able to make decisions. If you’re not able to make a decision, then unfortunately you’re not a leader.
You fear regret
Potential reason number two why you tend to overthink is that you are afraid of regret. This for me personally was my reason why I tended to overthink and overanalyze. I was afraid that I would make the wrong decision and then regret it for hours later. But what you have to remember is that living in this way, being afraid of regret all the time, is putting yourself in a box. And that’s what I did to myself. I was completely anxious when I had to make a major decision because I was constantly afraid of different types of regrets. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be happy with my decision. So that’s likely a reason why you are someone who thinks of the worst-case scenarios all the time – because you’re afraid that whatever decision or path you go on, you’re going to regret it. And that’s just not the way to live.
You were programmed to think this way
Reason number three why you overanalyze is potentially because were taught to think this way. Maybe your mom or your dad or someone else in your family growing up taught you to overanalyze and taught you to over-worry about everything. Maybe you weren’t so much someone who tended to overthink, but you got punished for not considering all the possible scenarios of a situation many times in your childhood. Maybe your mom was an excessive warrior and she basically gave that energy to you. She unintentionally taught you how to also excessively worry.
Here’s the good news though. If this was something that you learnt and you were taught, then it’s also something that you can unlearn and that you can teach yourself to not do any longer. And I’m going to show you exactly how with four steps.
How to overcome overanalyzing everything
So the first step in order to eliminate overanalyzing and overthinking is to feel your way through your decisions. Note that I said ‘feel’, not ‘think’. Instead of thinking your way through, which is what overanalyzing is all about, you want to feel your way through. Instead of just using your head, you want to use all of you that’s available to you to make a decision. You want to sense what it feels like to choose option A versus option B. This is a technique that a lot of successful people use in their everyday lives, in their careers, in their businesses, to make decisions. It’s called relying on your gut. So in order to know if a decision is the right one or not, you want to ask yourself if you feel a sense of opening and relaxed with this particular choice or option that you’re making, or you feel a sense of tension and constriction with that decision. If you don’t feel fully calm about it, then potentially it’s not the right scenario or path to pick. But if you feel good about it inside and within your entire body, then there’s a good chance that that’s the way to go.
Step number two is to let go of your fear of regret. This is truly one of the biggest fears that hold us back from taking risks and making good choices in our lives, which potentially could raise us up to the next level. Many people are afraid that they’re going to regret making such a decision, whether it’s to take a different type of job in a different career path or if it’s to move to a certain city or country that’s completely different from where they’re at right now. There’s a lot of fear around those types of decisions. If people only rely on their fear, then that can really hold them back from rising to that next level. So how do you actually begin to release this fear? The first thing to do is to acknowledge that you have this fear of regret, and then the second thing is to make a decision. You simply just have to make a decision to say that you will no longer make my choices based on fear of regret. If you can start to live by that belief, that will shift your entire perspective on the decisions that you have to make.
Step number three is to have trust in your own internal guidance. People overanalyze and overthink because at the end of the day, they don’t trust in themselves. They don’t trust in their own abilities to make their own decisions, and that is something that really needs to change. You need to trust that you have all the tools and all the knowledge within you to be able to make any sort of decision wisely. Now if you don’t know the answer to something, of course you’re going to ask questions, but you’re not going to think about all the things that are going to go wrong. You’re going to think about the things that will go right, as long as you do the right action. What you emanate to others is what others will reflect back to you. Even if your decisions end up being the wrong decisions, you can always change course and improve on the decisions that you made.
The final step on how to overcome overanalyzing and overthinking is to not give yourself too much time to make a decision. You might think in order to stop yourself from overanalyzing, you need to take time to make a decision to feel your way through and talk about all the steps I just talked about. But the truth here is no. In order to become someone who stops overanalyzing, you need to give yourself less time to make a decision, because then you can really rely on your gut and your own internal guidance to make that decision, rather than overthinking and thinking through all the different scenarios and all the different possibilities that could happen. That’s what happens when people take too much time. Cut yourself off and give yourself just the right amount of time to make your decision, and move forward with that.