When it comes to making decisions that indirectly involve other people, may have some kind of impact on other people, or potentially result in a mistake, I overthink a LOT. This doesn't extend to things like shopping; I hate shopping and try to spend as little time as possible doing it which means those decisions in the fitting room are instantaneous. But when it comes to choosing an Instagram post template I've designed for a work account for example or sharing something I've written or created on a platform used by people I know, I go to pieces. Utterly and completely. I get plagued by thoughts like "so-and-so follows me; what will they think if they read this?" or "what if this one looks better and that's what people would have liked?" or "would people really be interested in this?" or "what if the time I chose for this event is inconvenient and no one comes?" or "what if the way I worded this email draft causes a misunderstanding?"And then doubts on these lines start circling in my brain for days and days until several delays have arisen.
I also tend to think of both sides of a yes or no decision and come up with such convincing arguments for both, that I'm unable to make the decision at all.
Indecision is crippling. And for a long time I struggled with it, just depending on people I trust to help me make the decision and unburden me. But that's not a sustainable course of action.
I found a solution that really helped me in @haideralmosawi's Done With Grace email course on productivity. It's a 12-week course that addresses several different aspects of productivity, but the one that really stuck with me so far is Week 7, which tackles overthinking. Each day's email (of Week 7) offers a different solution for different problems associated with overthinking/self-doubt and what gives rise to it, but the one I really liked was "The 5-second Rule."
The way it works is you decide what you want to do, count down from 5, and then follow through on whatever it was you decided.
This is obviously not to be applied for serious decisions like choosing a career or a life partner 😛 But this simple hack has made it so much easier for me to just roll with simple decisions that would otherwise have wasted hours of my time.
Do you struggle with overthinking? What methods do you use to combat it?