outcome

How to stop overthinking.

I met a new friend over Christmas. He said, "your ability for self-reflection and processing information and seeing it from so many angles is astounding! I don't know how you don't drive yourself crazy, though."

I smiled at him and said, "I do drive myself crazy."

 
Doing Cycle Dillan DiGiovanni overthinking
 



And that's my advice for you, if you're an over-analyzer like me. Notice that you're doing this to yourself. And try to catch it. And try to do it less and take action more often. That's how you stop overthinking everything in your life.

Notice it.
Think less.
Act more.

Sounds so simple, right? Basic, even?

But why is it so hard?

Well, let me use my analytical brain to explore this. LOL!

Just kidding. We overthink from a place of fear. We try to figure out all the scenarios of our lives like a chess game and end up causing ourselves tremendous stress and anxiety. We avoid taking any from fear of what might happen. It makes sense! We want to stay alive, by golly. But often that inaction may actually deprive us of the very lives we want and need to live.

[Share that and quote me on it, will ya?]

I often overthink too much and then try to overcome that by acting more impulsively, which sometimes gets me into situations where I need to overthink solutions again.

Guess what? This is called LIFE, my friends. I wish I could tell you there was a simple formula that would make it so easy to follow along and then arrive at a system that worked perfectly every time. I haven't found it and I've tried a lot of different things. If you've been following along, you know this about me. 

But what you don't know if how often I question myself. How often I get into situations that feel scary and hard and how little I trust myself. But that's where I lose my power and it's where you lose yours, too. 

We overthink to try to overcome the fear and feel more safe and secure. We overthink to try to make sure the bottom won't drop out of our lives. We overthink and often stop there. We never move forward.

It's good to think things through. Like I said, I sometimes don't think things through enough and end up with another problem to solve. But what I get from all that trial and error is more iron inside me, like Emily Dickinson said. Emily was amazing, I'm watching a new movie about her life called A Quiet Passion and I was overthinking something so was hardly paying attention so I need to go back and watch it again. Too much wisdom there to risk missing out!

Life is just one choice after another. Some will go well. Some will NOT. But trying is better than overthinking.

Notice something you're overthinking in your life. 
Try to get to the source of why you're thinking so much.
Imagine what it would be like to take action in some direction.

Think less and act more.
 

Your best-laid plans.

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We all want to know the outcome.

Which means we miss out on so much.

In my graduate school work (and what I learn from the School of Life), I'm learning how much people fear change and uncertainty. To avoid this discomfort of failure and disappointment, we try to control as much as we can in life.

Which means we miss out on the awesomeness that would be available to us that we can't even see or anticipate. By trying to control everything, the outcomes, the actions of others, ourselves, etc., we limit our experience to the VERY LITTLE worlds that we know. The limited knowledge we've gained from our life experience is the stuff we subsequently try to create a life from--and we limit or prevent ourselves from experiencing the many thoughts, ideas and experiences that are way beyond what we already know.

We create best-laid plans to live these incredible lives according to what we think would be great or ideal or perfect but in reality, those plans can end up costing us. 

♦♦♦

Recently, I was developing a new idea for my business. I love working with people one-on-one and giving one-shot talks but I wanted something that was some kind of combination between the two. I started to develop it and kept trying to create a program strictly about nutrition and lifestyle habits because I thought that was all people would really be interested in. But I l felt like something was missing. It wasn't totally me.

I wanted to know it would be successful so I was trying to create something that would appeal to the most people. I was playing it safe with something easy and generic.

In the meantime, I was thinking all these deep thoughts and writing deep-thought papers about my life experiences and reflections and posting some of that on my Facebook wall and people were loving that stuff.

And then, out of left field, this opportunity fell into my lap. I was asked to support a local small company with getting their managers to know themselves better, work better together as a team andbecome even more incredible leaders during a period of major change in the company.

Wow. That isn't exactly easy and safe stuff. It requires some deep digging--the kind of work I love and am really good at.

Suddenly, it became very clear what I needed to be focusing on. More than a mere wellness program, this was a total synthesis of what I know how to do, what I love to do and what I've been doing since the inception of my career. I had never really considered people would want the depth of material I wanted to present.

Those best-laid plans I had been drafting based on what I thought people would want and what I thought would be successful--easy and safe--turned out to be limiting what was possible for me and my present and future clients. 

I don't offer easy and safe. I offer challenging and fun opportunities to grow and evolve because that's how I live my life. That's what makes me, me.

It definitely involves letting go of outcomes and opening myself up to failure and disappointment. But I'd rather experience those things than a lifetime of regret and "what-ifs" from trying to control outcomes too much.

What outcome are you attached to?

Is it even what you would enjoy the most if it happened? How do you know?

What would be possible or available to you (or others) if you let up on the reins and stopped trying to control so much?