NOVEMBER 2, 2021
What is the one thing that separates us, humans, from all the other species around the world? What ability is it that allows us to be superior and more intellectually involved than all others?
We can think, imagine, and create what does not yet exist. And it’s beautiful. Whatever happens in our lives first begins with a thought and all the inventions that have pushed the human race forward are the result of thinking.
Thinking is a beautiful blessing we have, but we turn even that into a curse. Instead of utilizing this power to the best and living our lives to the fullest, we use it to create damaging situations for ourselves and undermine our potential.
We are like the engine of a Ferrari stuck in a Honda. We have the power and potential to be the fastest, the best, and the most successful. But because we turn this one blessing into a curse, we waste all of it.
What is this curse, though?
Overthinking. We use our ability to overthink and create confusion, doubt, uncertainty, and problems for ourselves. We think unnecessarily and often in a negative way. We create scenarios that don’t exist in reality and believe them to be accurate, further instigating our fear, doubt, and overthinking.
It is a vicious cycle that we get stuck in.
It’s time to get over that today.
What is Overthinking?
Before we get into the details of overcoming overthinking and turning this curse back into a blessing, we need to understand what overthinking is because only then will we be able to change.
Overthinking is made up of two words: over+thinking. As we just learned, thinking in itself is not a curse or a bad thing. It is a blessing and a miracle, but when we do it too much and that too unnecessarily, that’s when it becomes a curse and a problem.
Let’s take the example of exercising, That’s a good habit for you, and you must do it regularly to be fit and healthy. However, if you keep exercising ruthlessly for eight or ten hours a day, it will become too much for your body to handle, and it will give up. Exercise itself is not bad, but when done in excess unnecessarily, it has negative repercussions.
As exercise is to the body, thinking is to the mind. If you overthink unnecessarily, you’ll exhaust your mind, and it will too collapse like the body. When that happens, you won’t have a lot of energy; you’ll be stressed, worried, anxious, and thoughts will be pacing in your mind faster than a supersonic jet. It becomes too much.
Why do we overthink?
Everything that happens in our lives happens because of a solid reason, and it’s the same with overthinking.
Overthinking doesn’t happen because one day, some of our ancestors randomly decided to think too much. When there’s a solid reason, there’s a belief, and when there’s a belief, it is passed on to other people and generations. That’s how superstitions still exist in today’s world, and it is the same with overthinking.
The reason why we overthink is that we are inherently fearful and doubtful. If there were no fear and doubt, there would be no need or even space for overthinking.
If you order something from Amazon that isn’t too expensive, you don’t overthink because you know that Amazon is a reputed company and the world giant in e-commerce.
On the other hand, if you order something of the same price from a local e-commerce store you haven’t heard of, will you overthink?
You will because you don’t trust the company, and you doubt that you might lose your money or that the people running this e-commerce site will steal your data and turn out to be fraudsters. When you have doubts and inhibitions, overthinking comes up.
It is the same in your relationships, personal or professional. Whenever you hire a new person on board in your company, you feel and ask yourself, “Am I making the right choice?” even when you know you are. But as you get along with that person, this question disappears, trust develops, the relationship flourishes, and overthinking is gone.
And, do we always overthink, or do we overthink only at specific times?
As you read, overthinking happens in some instances, and thus it only happens at specific times. But do we consciously decide when to overthink? No.
The mind already has so many things to worry about, and it just does not have the time to decide whether or not to overthink. So, overthinking is not a choice but a response to fearful and doubtful situations.
How to Stop Overthinking?
Now that we know what overthinking is and why it comes up, it’s time to get to the fun part, where we’ll turn the curse back into the blessing!
While it sounds exciting, there is a lot of deep introspection required here because we’ll be working from the root and bringing permanent change.
There can be many solutions to overthinking. You can start practicing mindfulness, do anger exercises, take fast action, and do many other things. These things are essential, but they’re just the surface level.
Just like we remain on the surface level of our potential and don’t explore it to the fullest, we do the same with the solution to overthinking. We try all these new things, but they don’t reap good results because our life and overthinking are like trees. The problem is not that the leaves are rotting. It is in the roots.
We can keep treating the rotten leaves, but the problem will persist if the root isn’t treated. Let’s pull out the roots of overthinking and get over it.
The root of overthinking lies in the reason behind its existence: Fear and doubt.
When we get rid of fear and doubt, we naturally get rid of overthinking. Let’s continue with the example of e-commerce that we discussed above. The main reason why you are overthinking about buying from the local website is that you’re afraid you will lose your money. But what if you did not have a fear of losing money? Will overthinking exist? No.
So, getting rid of the fear is crucial to get rid of overthinking in our lives.
And overcoming fear is very simple. You need to think objectively without adding any of your emotions to it. Take a piece of paper and bash out all the fear that is within you. The paper is not there to judge you. It will only listen to you. Put out all your fears, doubts, and worries about anything. These fears need expression and not suppression, so let’s just express them all out. It may seem intimidating and even daunting at first, but facing your fears and doubts head-on is the first step towards overcoming them and thus overcoming overthinking.
Afterward, write against each fear and doubt: “What is the worst that will happen if this comes true.” Put it out on paper. The absolute worst thing that will happen is that you’ll die. And in some cases, this fear may be necessary. For example, you have to fear death because only then will you stop at a red light and think a lot before jumping off a cliff. That’s your natural survival instinct.
But other fears are often unnecessary, and even in that, if the absolute worst that can happen is that you’ll die, then there’s no point worrying about it because anyways, you are going to die one day. Now, it is up to you whether you want to spend your time worrying about death or living.
And once you overcome this one fear, you start living in the present moment and transcend other fears. You know that the worst that will happen is that you might die. So you take calculated risks and bold decisions so that the engine of your Ferrari doesn’t remain stuck in a Honda, and you take action towards your dream life instead of just overthinking.
At that time, you’ll have uprooted the tree of overthinking itself, and the curse will once again become a blessing, and you’ll be able to use your power to create, think, and imagine for good and worthwhile things!
Overthinking isn’t something you’re doomed with for life. You can overcome it. You can transform it. You can lift the curse and turn it into a blessing. And now, you know exactly how to do that.
Transcend over your fears and doubts, and overthinking will go away from your life. One key point to remember is that there will be times where you are fearful, and you doubt yourself even after you implement all of this. It is okay because overcoming fear and overthinking isn’t just a one-time process because the world is changing every moment, and with change comes fear. Therefore, you need to keep this process going on and keep reflecting and checking in on yourself. As you do, you’ll keep living your life to the fullest and making the best use of the Ferrari engine inside of you!