3 Tips to Break the Cycle of Overthinking

3 Tips to Break the Cycle of Overthinking
Photo by Muhmed Alaa El-Bank / Unsplash

Do you ever find yourself stuck in a loop of overthinking a problem and not taking any action? I am doing it right now. An incredible opportunity was presented to me on a silver platter and I am unable to take the first step. I'm frustrated and embarassed.

Here are three tips that usually are helping me break free from overthinking:

  1. Set a timer. Give yourself a specific amount of time to think or worry about the problem, and when the timer goes off, stop thinking and start doing. This can help you avoid spending too much time on something that might not even matter in the long run.
  2. Talk to someone else. Sometimes, getting a different perspective can help you see things more clearly and objectively. I have access to an executive coach (and you do too). Find someone you trust and share your thoughts with them. They might have some insights or suggestions that you haven't considered before.
  3. Take small steps. Don't try to solve the whole problem at once. Break it down into smaller and more manageable tasks, and focus on completing one at a time. This can help you build momentum and confidence, and also prevent you from feeling overwhelmed. Also, it limits the blast radius if you go down a less-than-ideal path.

Overthinking can be a useful skill, but only if you use it wisely and moderately. I'm not going to lie, I'm still paralyzed by fear right now, but I am taking baby steps forward on a new project. And the 3 steps outlined here are a daily help for me, I hope you find value in them too.