I feel like I overthink things sometimes. Some friends would tell you I overthink things a lot, maybe even most of the time. Personally, I think it’s more a case where I like to see things from various perspectives because I’m an open-minded person. But it got me thinking (maybe even, overthinking?) about the topic of overthinking. So I decided to take a look at what causes us to overthink.
From what I’ve gathered, there’s three main reasons why we overthink things. The first is a lack of confidence, which causes us to second guess ourselves. When you’re confident in your ability to do something, your thinking becomes rather automatic and you don’t overthink something before doing it. Quite frankly, you probably barely think at all in these cases. But when you lack confidence, it causes you to really second guess yourself, which leads to overthinking something which might actually be pretty basic.
The second reason we overthink is due to a lack of experience. Experience makes you more mature, and consequently makes you more confident. As you gain more experience and confidence, your “need” to overthink things becomes greatly reduced.
The third reason that we overthink is due to the desire to be perfect. Perfectionism is just a waste of time, because it’s impossible to be perfect. It’s inevitable that things will not always go our way. You could try to argue with me that a pro boxer, such as former super middleweight and light heavyweight champion Joe Calzaghe who retired with a record of 46-0 was perfect. However, upon further examination he wasn’t (for the record, I was a Calzaghe fan, so I’m not picking on him). It’s not as if we won every single round he fought. It’s also not as if he didn’t taste defeat at some point in his career, because he did reportedly lose 10 amateur fights before he turned professional. No matter what it looks like on the surface, no one is perfect. So stop trying to be.
So in the end, remember this. The first key to breaking your overthinking habit (which is, just a habit, which like all habits can be broken through practicing new habits) is to gain experience. It’s normal to feel anxiety and a lack of confidence when trying something new, but take the risk of trying something new without torturing yourself with overthinking. It’s a waste of time and mental energy. With that newfound experience comes newfound confidence, which will lead you to reduce the amount of time spent overthinking.