Oftentimes, people are unable to be their best at work or in their personal lives because they overthink everything. In my experience, overthinking things in your professional life doesn’t benefit you in any way — it will actually hold you back.
An example of this experience may be overthinking proposals you’re pitching to potential clients. Instead of spending two weeks crafting a proposal, you’re better off putting something together quickly and pitching it. If you wait too long, you risk your client not being that interested anymore. As soon as a client says they’re interested in what I’m offering, I send a proposal that day. This tactic is favorable because whatever you’re offering that client is still fresh in their minds. 9 times out of 10, you’ll get the sale by moving quicker.
Another thing many people in business find themselves overthinking is what they post on social media. I have a client who is a highly-credentialed expert in her field. Despite her qualifications, anytime she creates a post or films a video to give advice to her followers, she second-guesses herself. I understand where she’s coming from because I’m also guilty of doing this. If you want to grow your business and social media presence, however, you have to let go of that fear. If you’re going after a niche audience, they want to hear what you have to say, and pictures and videos of yourself will always perform better than words or graphics because they feel much more personal and grab people’s attention. Don’t get upset if you don’t get a ton of likes or engagement on your content at first. Keep posting, stay consistent, and remember that there are people out there who need what you have.
It’s also very common for people to overthink their websites. I have a client who still hasn’t launched their website after a year because it isn’t perfect enough. Guess what’s better than prefect? A live website! For a year, this client has missed out of leads because she’s holding her website to too high of a standard and overthinking every aspect of it. This inaction has cost her business.
The biggest thing my clients tend to overthink is sales — and I don’t blame them. It’s easy to overthink sales. You might call, text or email someone several times and get no response. This rejection can feel devastating and it’s easy to take it personally. What you need to remember is that rejection probably doesn’t have anything to do with you. The timing might not be right, or they might be too busy to respond. For every 100 people you reach out to, you might only get 10 responses — and that’s ok! Work with what you get back, keep your head up and keep going.
I came up with a list of six ways to stop overthinking and start doing.
- Be aware of when you’re overthinking. Awareness is the first step in stopping a behavior.
- Don’t think of everything that can go wrong. Instead, picture everything going right. Don’t live with your glass half-empty. It’s not a positive state to live in.
- Keep yourself busy with things that make you feel happy and engaged. Maybe it’s exercise, reading a book or helping out someone in need. It’s hard to focus on yourself and overthink when you’re helping someone else.
- Stop telling yourself stories that aren’t true. Ask yourself if what you’re worried about will matter to you in a year or five years. If it won’t matter, move on!
- Don’t wait for everything to be “perfect” to get started. This is one of the most debilitating problems for business owners. Remember, imperfect action is better than no action at all.
- Start a gratitude journal and write down what you’re thankful for every day. If your heart is filled with gratitude and appreciation, it doesn’t have time to be overthinking and worrying.
Bottom line: Stop overthinking and start making decisions. Entrepreneurs who make quick decisions are more likely to have success than those who sit around and overthink everything.