So, I am an introvert.

While I don’t believe we need labels, at least those don’t serve us, I love being the deep thinker, the good listener, the observant and self-sufficient person that I am.

Some of the traits of a more introverted personality.

Something to be aware of though is our tendency to be deep in thought because that can often lead to overthinking. 

Here are some tips if you are unaware of the signs and pitfalls.

the reality of “analysis paralysis”

The primary difference between deep thinking and overthinking is that overthinking leads to a place where it is hard to see a way forward.

You think and think and think. You get lost in your thoughts

Either you land up dwelling on past mistakes, or behaviours or you get yourself in a position where you are worrying.

Worrying about the future, worrying about everything to do with your life.

And the spiral continues to take you out of control of your own thoughts, and paralysis takes hold.

healthy problem solving & self reflection

Deep thinking is quite the contrast.

Deep in thought, focusing on well-formed outcomes and productive problem solving, and self-reflection, where you learn from previous behaviour, is a far more resourceful state of mind.

Here you are moving through your thoughts, as if you are navigating a library and you know exactly which type of book you are looking for. 

Thoughts are indexed, and you can delete those that do not serve you, and hang onto others that move you forward towards your goals.

six signs you are overthinking

Learning that I could shift my thought to being deep thinking instead of overthinking has helped me in so many ways.

Understanding the signs is the first step.

Here goes:

1. You constantly worry – about everything.

2. You concern yourself over things you have no control over.

3. You always remind yourself of your mistakes.

4. You ask yourself “what if” questions. But not with a future-pacing element, always with your past being in front of your mind.

5. Your brain just won’t shut off, and insomnia might result.

6. You dwell on past events and worry about the future.

some of the pitfalls to overthinking

For me, the paralysis was overwhelming. 

I could not move forward in my business and as every entrepreneur knows, moving into action is paramount for ongoing success.

I experienced anxiety and started to feel very low most days. The answer, though, was always in imperfect action.

It interrupted my sleep. These days when my head hits the pillow, I am lights out in no time. 

It is a great place to be.

try these three things if you are overthinking

These are tactics I use to help get me out of my head, and effectively out of my own way too!

  •  Brain dump – every week I write down a list of my worries and concerns. Getting them out of your headspace is empowering already. You will find that there are items on that list that you just do not have control of – draw a red line through those, and intentionally decide to let them go.
  • Gratitude practices – with every list of worry, I create a list of things that I am grateful for. Massively empowering! As you practice gratitude, you will find that this list is much longer than the first!
  • Reframe unresourceful thoughts – you will notice in your worry list the thoughts that are un-serving to you. Using this list to reframe these, and holding on to all the really great thoughts, get you into a place where overthinking starts to move to deep thinking.

    in closing

    Remember that our fears and worries are real to us.

    However, dwelling in them leads to us overthinking many things.

    It gets us into downward spirals and knowing how to get out of that spiral is all-important for our onward trajectory.

    Weekly Blog by Robyn-Lee Nichols aka The Perpetual Pilgrim

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