We recently had our bathroom painted. The funny thing is the painter took less time painting our whole bathroom than I did agonizing over the choice of wall color. It took 15 color swatches, and 3 trips back and forth to the paint store before I finally made up my mind. I finally realized I was over-thinking “the feng shui had to be perfect” and just went with the color that looked best.
Over-thinking is probably one of the biggest culprits blocking us from taking actions that achieve our goals. Here are four sneaky ways over-thinking can block your success and what to do about them.
1) Wanting to have the “answer”
a. What it is: It is tempting sometimes to not move forward with a plan until we see all the steps clearly in front of us. “Having the answer” or “the plan” gives us a sense of control and certainty.
b. Why it’s a problem: Many times we will not find out the steps until we take the first one. Waiting to have all the answers before taking action can paralyze us from moving forward.
c. What to do about it: If you feel insecure about starting something new because you don’t know all the steps, take one small action to get the creative process rolling. It could be writing down a possible first step, doing a Google search, or getting a book on the subject at the library. Taking an action even as small as this can begin to catalyze the creative process and get things moving forward.
2) Wanting things to be “perfect”
a. What it is: Being focused on a very high standard of excellence or perfection.
b. Why it’s a problem: We all like to be the best we can be. The problem comes when we hold ourselves to an an overly high standard. Having to make every minor detail match our image of perfection can be more of a hindrance than a help by slowing down or stopping the creative process.
c. What to do about it: Ask yourself honestly–is this high standard necessary or am I requiring this out of insecurity? Am I being careless by not meeting this high standard? Am I being discriminating? Obsessive?
If you honestly don’t know, try this quick mind-body technique: Feel into the power center located in your solar plexus area. If you feel tension there, release it by visualizing the energy leaving through an imaginary door or window. Then check in with your body and see how you feel about the situation. Does the project still need improving or does it feel better to just “let it be”?
3) Wanting to not make a mistake
a. What it is: fear of failing or making a mistake.
b. Why it’s a problem: This is a variant on perfectionism. We have defined ourselves too rigidly in our own minds as being good at (fill in the blank). We are sensitive to other people’s perception of us. We fear being seen as a failure. We can’t see the upside of taking a risk.
c. What to do about it: Ask yourself honestly: Am I afraid of failing or being defined as a failure? Am I afraid of being judged if I fail? What do I really have to lose if I fail? What do I have to lose if I don’t go for it? Remember,1) what other people think of you is none of your business 2) you don’t succeed without making mistakes. If you still feel paralyzed by fear, try doing some EFT tapping. Ask yourself,”What am I really afraid of?” and then tap on it. Check out this video on tapping to give you some pointers.
4) Fear of change–
a. What it is: People fear change because they fear loss of identity or disorientation caused by things being different. This is one of the most insidious causes of over-thinking because it comes from a deeply unconscious place. After all, who consciously does not want positive change?
b. Why it’s a problem: If we want to lead better and more fulfilled lives we need to not only act different but be different. Obviously, this requires releasing old patterns and embracing change.
c. What to do about it: Ask yourself; What am I getting out of having everything stay the same? Is this serving my soul or my fear-based ego? Am I afraid of growing? What old part of me am I reluctant to let go of?
Asking these questions may help give you a bit of insight. However, as fear of change comes directly from the subconscious programmed mind, the best way to deal with it is to directly release the limiting subconscious programming.
I have developed a unique online tool for helping you release limiting subconscious programming. You can get it free here.
I hope you have found this post helpful. Do you struggle with over-thinking? What’s your favorite way to over-come it? I would love to hear about it! Please leave your comments below.