One of the most common things that keep people away from archiving goals is overthinking. When a car speeds towards us we will throw ourselves from the street to avoid being hit. This is a quick reactive thought that is built up by survival instinct.
Morals and personal identities can create a similar quick response to actions happening in our surroundings. If you don’t believe me, try to swear loud next time you visit a church and you will see the instant reaction from people around you that have a firm belief in morals.
Or ask the most greedy man for money, and you will see an instant response to something that appears absurd to the other person because of their identity.
So how come that some people take a lot of their precious time to think about things without taking any action. Or even more, overthinking every of their personal decision, as if their life depended upon it.
Human are lazy by nature, and we are constantly trying to come up with new ways how to gain as much as possible by doing as little effort as possible. This is not a bad thing, many of the modern inventions has been created around the human need to be comfortable.
The expression “Actions speaks louder than words” is true. But it’s also true that “Actions speaks louder than thoughts”. Because thoughts are just words, but to yourself instead of your surroundings. Having an inner dialogue is no more useful than talking to another person. Perhaps with the exception that you can actually learn new things from talking to someone, while a conversation to your inner self often tend to be an endless circle of thoughts with rarely any useful outcome.
And let’s face it, it’s more comfortable to speak to yourself than to move your ass and do something with those thoughts. So how can you get from thoughts to action and make sure that those great ideas happen instead of being forgotten?
This is where the tricky part comes in, because overthinking is related to the lack of action. Therefore, it makes it so difficult to stop. But the cause to lack of action is something else.
People that has firm beliefs and high morals rarely struggle to make a decision, because they are either guided by their inner invisible hand or follow morals that were typically implemented early in their childhood. Kids that were given too much choices and had a freedom to decide their destiny were maybe given another great gift, but are many times hopelessly caught in the vicious cycle of overthinking.
So how can you overcome this, and do you even want to overcome it? Some studies point at that people that have less choices tend to take more decisions and generally be happier with their decisions than someone who has everything they want always.
The wise choice here would be to limit your options in life and to create habits to build a moral. Did you ever hear about the elephant that were tied with a chain to a pole from young age? Several attempts to escape failed, and at one point the elephant gave up trying. Five years later the elephant was now a full-grown adult and could easily rip apart the chain and pole, but refuse to do so, because it was taught that it was impossible.
If the elephant would reboot and decide on building new beliefs and morals, then the story would be very different. An example of this could be the goal of freedom, which should guide the elephant in every action he was going to take for the rest of his life. It would not take many days for the elephant to reach those new goals.
In a similar way, an overthinker should try to limit themselves into quickly decide what they want and what they like based on the initial feeling they have thinking about it. I know it sounds a bit simplified, but I believe most people know what they like and what they believe in, they just convinced themselves to question everything as part of a lifestyle that is built upon thinking, not taking actions, and this became a habit just as anything else in life.
An example of such quick thought and action could be: When I grow up, I saw a lot of poor people, and I been always feeling sorry for them. Reading around poverty I realized that if those people are given better education, they will also be given a better chance to grow strong and get happier.
Based on those thoughts you can either decide to dedicate your professional life to teach those people about things that will help them as a teacher. Or you can get into business with the purpose of getting money or starting up a business that can help the community rose.
For everyday that you work against that vision you will also create a new habit that will become a part of your core. It will guide you in every decision you take in life based on your new values, and no overthinking will be needed.
This is why I said that overthinking is rooted in shaky morals, because overthinkers don’t know what they want or what they believe in. And the only solution to this is to start to believe in anything first. Because when you do, it will create habits that will set clear your morals and guide you through life.
Overthinkers always think “what if I’m wrong” or “what if my decision is wrong”. And, we all know that thoughts themselves can never give you those answers. You need to go out there to trial and error to find out. Not necessary to find out “what” you want, but rather what I “don’t” want in life.
This is the first step to remove overthinking and to be happier with your choices.