Have you ever met someone who is an overthinker? You’re sitting there conversing and then you just think to yourself, “Wow, this person is really overthinking this!” Well, let me tell you. I think I’m that person, the overthinker and this is what I learned about being an overthinker.
Of course, it’s natural to have thoughts about a situation or a person. But what happens when you start to overthink a situation or can’t make a decision? That’s when the problem begins because if you spend time thinking about what you said, what you should do, and so on and so forth it can become stressful, frustrating, and even cause anxiety.
It seems to go something like this. Thinking is a good thing, right? But then, overthinking is a bad thing.
I think overthinking goes hand in hand with other personality traits. So for me, I’m realizing overthinking is linked to perfectionism, people-pleasing, and my overall ability to worry about anything (see Motherhood Worry). Are you an overthinker? Can you link other characteristics to your overthinking?
So I mentioned perfectionism, this isn’t meaning I really strive for perfection. I really do come from a place of love and an ultimate do-good personality so I understand there is no “perfect” but I attempt to do-it-all and do-it all well which ultimately leads to being overwhelmed and pushing through exhaustion. This connects to overthinking because I think being overwhelmed and exhausted leaves me more emotional and far less rational.
Now, being a people-pleaser really just means that I want people happy. I’m one of those “save the drama for your mama” type of gals because I really don’t like drama. I also genuinely care about people and their feelings so the last thing I ever want is to have said something and unintentionally offended someone. So here’s where overthinking comes in – I get in the car afterward or off the phone and I think to myself “Oh, did I really? Why did I say that? Hope they don’t take it the wrong way.”
I think about what I said or what someone else said and how they said what they said and if something I said was the right thing to say or maybe I shouldn’t have said what I said. *kidding* I’m not that bad. But honestly, attempting to please others or afraid that you will hurt feelings can lead to overthinking. As my own momma has told me, when one is coming from a place of good intentions, isn’t that what truly matters? People don’t dwell on your imperfections and then again if they do, so what?
So, I’m a worrier? Well, worrying about people and situations we have no control over is not doing any good. I have to give myself the reality check frequently on this one. And I also remind myself that with time, there is clarity. Are you with me?
When we worry relentlessly about something, we analyze it from different directions, then we turn to good ol’ google for answers (and get the worst case scenarios) and this leads to ultimately overthinking the situation. Again, we don’t have control over every.single.situation and that’s ok.
What I Learned About Being an Overthinker
Overthinking can be exhausting. It can feel like your brain doesn’t ever rest. It can affect the ability to make a decision. Then, when you make a decision you second guess that decision.
It’s a cycle that can’t always be stopped just because you want it to. There’s no “off” switch in the brain. Simply realizing you have tendencies to overthink can be the best first step. Honestly, this realization just recently hit me. When I started to write this post, I did a little google research and saw that wow – overthinking is a real thing.
Realizing that when you are moving forward in life with good intentions and from a place of love then you are absolutely doing something right.
So here’s how I’m moving forward. Live an authentic life and be vulnerable. Life is not about perfectionism. It’s not an equation that needs to be solved. Life is about being real. If our minds are calm and clear then it allows our hearts to enjoy the grace of life.
Will you join me on this authentic life journey?