Are You Over Thinking?

Sometimes the answer is just doing it.

Not thinking about doing it. Not writing about doing it. Not talking about doing it. And not waiting on it, or giving it more time.

Sometimes you just need to do it.

Anticipation can be deadly. Every time I have to jump into cold water or a cold pool, I can’t think about it too much. The more I think about it, the longer it takes to do it. The longer I think about it, the harder it gets to pull the trigger. The longer I think about it, the less time I spend actually doing it, and the more time I spend lost in thinking about it. The worst part is always the first three minutes as my body acclimates to the change in temperature from the outside air to the colder pool. And magically, after those three minutes, the sting wears off and I even begin to forget those moments pre-cold. Adaptation happens quickly. We forget our fears the minute we go ahead and get started.

The worst part is starting. Scratch that. Sometimes the worst part is the anticipation of starting. Sometimes the worst part is all that dang thinking you do before you start doing what you really need to just be doing. It’s all that thinking about starting that can paralyze you.

Quit that thinking.

The antidote to anticipation is action.

The hardest part can be just getting started.

10 Responses to Are You Over Thinking?

  1. Ian says:

    The level of my over-thinking is epic. What do I eat? Do I really feel that way? Am I doing this right? But what if? Am I doing it better? Should I say something? Should I go on this trip? What is wrong with me? And so on…

    • Sarah says:

      What’s one thing you can do to change this?

      • Ian says:

        One thing I’m doing is making decisions (ones that matter, but aren’t huge life altering ones in the short term)- and being aware that the universe didn’t end b/c of a choice I’ve made. It is prioritizing action over fear (fear of making the ‘wrong choice’ particularly). It’s cultivating trust in myself, basically.

  2. tomji says:

    just had been thinking about thinking…woah… Are you reading my mind? The over thinking and attempts to predict any snags in moving forward is an issue vwith me, Since I thrive on exploring creativity and get overwhelmed at what may arise. This time I didn’t ponder giving you a thanks comment. Wow that feel nice and easy. Best, really get a lot from your emails. Thoughts withoutva thinker, tomji

  3. Lisa Endersby (@lmendersby) says:

    Sarah, you’re all up in my head again. :) I’m a great big picture thinker, but the bigger the picture the more room there is for what could go wrong. Funny enough, I know that means there’s also more space for good, positive, encouraging thoughts but the catastrophes get in the way and overshadow to the point of analysis paralysis. Pushing through that cold water sting has led to some fantastic experiences, but who really does want to experience pain? I’m working hard not to equate things being difficult or challenging with any negative thoughts about myself – it’s the situation that’s difficult, not me. :) Thanks for the reminder and reinforcement.

  4. […] Are You Over Thinking? Sometimes the answer is just doing it. […]

  5. HT Lee says:

    I completely agree with you, Sarah. That’s why it’s also called analysis paralysis. Last year I went for a jump at a man-made wooden platform beside a waterfall nicknamed the “Leap Of Faith” (it’s in my blog somewhere). It took great courage (and some peer pressure!) to climbed up there. I remember telling my self “Don’t think, I’ve decided, just jump dammit!” You know what? I had another go…and another go. I did it 3 times! It was so fun once I got over the initial fear (which was largely my imagination!).

    Oh, here it is:

  6. […] I need to be: in the present and focused (<- please read this link!). Not thinking about all the projects and emails waiting for […]

  7. Miss Amanda says:

    I’m going to print this off and hang it on my wall.

    I over-think *everything*!! I realized just today that I’ve spent the last year of my life over-thinking and not actually doing anything!!