Whether you call it analysis paralysis or overthinking it, why is it that we spend so much time trying to do what we know that we should be doing? Many of us go to workshops, classes, and even big events to get over this issue.
Even when I was in college, I started realizing that I’d think about how I’d want to do something before I actually tried. In retrospect, it probably cost me some good opportunities here and there.
Here are some of the reasons that people might over think something:
- Worried about what other people might think.
- Don’t want to start something else that they believe they might fail.
- Not sure what the next step is.
- Don’t want to waste time that could be used more productively.
- Know what many next steps might be.
Do these sound similar to thoughts you’ve had? I know that for me, I’ve struggled with all of them at different points and continue to at times.
Needless to say overthinking things can happen at any level. Let’s look at how we can hack ourselves out of these thoughts that keep us in our comfort zone.
Look Beyond Yourself.
This is one that most of us struggle with as teenagers and early 20 year olds. We wonder if we’re good enough to go on the date with the cool guy or the pretty girl. We wonder if we’re good enough to get on the team. We believe that if we aren’t perfect at school or whatever that we take seriously, that other people won’t take us seriously in the future – meaning that we won’t get into that great school or land that awesome first opportunity.
Personally, for me, I lived in this cage for a good part of my life. I think I started caring when I was constantly bullied in school. And I have to say that really made me worry what others thought of me until 2011.
Then I was given a task to do: make 100 cold calls a week.
That’s what it took to break me out of my mold.
When I was doing those calls, I stopped worrying about what others were going to think of me. What I started to think about was what I was going to be able to do for them.
Here’s the key. When you don’t want to care about what others think of you, you need to realize that you taking action can help others. Sure, it can be people you don’t know with products you believe in (that’s key). But it can also be your friends and family.
By setting the example to do something new, you’re being an example of what’s possible.
However, you might have a deeper issue than that. Sure, you want to be a speaker on a stage sometime, and you realize how many people that would help. But you don’t see yourself as a speaker. In fact, you might have a speech impediment that’s keeping you from getting your message out.
However, it’s still possible for you to become that speaker.
Well, for one, there are some speakers and comedians that have overcome some major hurdles in their lives to do the role that they do. Some of my favorite personalities are those who don’t see their disability as a disability – they see it as a way that sets them apart from the crowd.
One example of a comedian who does this is Josh Blue who has cerebral palsy. (If you want more, he has a special on Netflix.)
Another comedian that I love is Zach Anner – check out his YouTube channel here.
Yet another example is a Christian motivational speaker that you possibly might have heard about is Nick Vujicic who doesn’t have any limbs.
How did these guys get over their hurdles?
- First off, they realized that doing what they felt they were being called to do was more important than what others might think.
- They also realized, as we talked about before, that doing this new activity would make a difference in people’s lives.
- But I think the main thing is that they were able to ask themselves this question: “What’s the worst thing that can happen from this?” and realize that while they might get the occasional heckler, not many bad things can actually happen from doing what they love to do.
Another way that you might be able to get over what others think of you is to simply focus on doing things that you know you have control over that are related to the task that you’re wanting to do.
When I was trying to get over my fear of doing cold calls, I started doing something I knew I could do. Call people that I already knew. That got me used to talking with people.
From there, I would call warm leads that I didn’t know. People that responded to an email that had already been sent.
During that time, I realized that not all those people had actually seen the email. So after a few of those, I realized that essentially I was doing cold calls anyway.
Well from there, I just started cold calling using a line similar to “Hi, this is JC in response to the email that <insert name> showed an interest in. Are they available?” This usually got me past the gatekeeper. From there, if they didn’t know what I was talking about, I just simply said “Oh yeah. Well, basically it was talking about this <insert topic>. Do you know how knowing how to do that would impact your business?
If you’re looking to become a speaker, maybe you can become a member of a nearby Toastmasters group?
Get Help From Others
Perhaps your problem isn’t so much the fear of doing something, but you currently don’t have the knowledge to get the task accomplished on your own. You don’t know what to do next. Or maybe you just don’t have the time to get proficient at yet another skill. This is when you ask for some help.
The first thing you can do is simply see what other people in your situation have done. When it comes to New Inceptions, you guys know I usually seek help from Fizzle. If there’s no answer there, I’ll go on over to SPI. If Pat doesn’t have an answer, I’ll check elsewhere.
Chances are that whatever you’re wanting to do, someone has probably already done it and they’ve made their success available on the internet.
That said, John Maxwell regularly talks about knowing your strengths and bringing in people for your weaknesses. Sometimes you have to do that. You have to delegate for others to make the decision.
You already do this in your life. Like me, you probably already have a mechanic for your car. Why is that? Because you don’t know how to fix your car.
Do you have an IT guy to fix your computer? Maybe you do. Maybe you don’t. Personally, I’m my own IT guy for the most part.
While I don’t have to pay anyone to do this, there’s a ton of down time when I have to put that hat on. When it comes to the website, while I might be able to figure out how to make it more robust, there’s a big chance that when we do add additional features that I’ll need to hire someone else to work on it.
Accomplish 3 – 5 Things Daily
In the last segment, we discussed getting help to do things you don’t know anything about. However, that’s only going to get you so far.
Perhaps you know everything you should be doing, but because you’re busy doing other work, you find yourself not getting to the core work you should be doing.
The fix here is to set priorities by identifying what your objectives are. Ask yourself these kinds of questions:
- What does your ultimate outcome look like?
- What does success look like along this path?
- How will you know if you’ve reached a goal?
Now figure out what the process is to accomplish these.
John Maxwell says it’s helpful to have a Rule of 5.
Simply said, if you find yourself trying to do everything, then nothing you do is going to be done well.
To solve this problem (which Chris Ducker calls Superman Syndrome) there’s going to be a time when you have to ask someone to do some of the work you might enjoy doing.
For example, I know I enjoy getting out and doing yard work. I think it comes from all the years that my mom and I did it. However, I realize that as New Inceptions becomes more popular, that I’m not going to be able to do all the work that I need to around the house. I know that while I do enjoy doing it, I’m going to have to delegate that work to a professional.
Similarly, I’m going to do the same with the editing of my podcast. While I love working on each talk, eventually I’m going to have to hire it out so I can get my main 3 to 5 things done.
As the above segment says, you have to do things daily to reach your goal. It’s not so much that that you have to be perfect at your work (we never are), but you should focus on being “Highly Ok”.
Pick which activity you’re going to do until it gets done. Don’t look back after choosing that activity. Do it until you have a stopping point.
And above all else. Set a hard time limit to get your 3 to 5 tasks done. Give yourself “working hours”.
Unless you’re Gary V., don’t be busy for busy’s sake. Don’t worry about hustling… unless you love the chase. In fact, you might want to consider having an anti-hustle lifestyle.
For even more on Anti-Hustling, check out this episode of the Fizzle Show:
The next time that you find yourself overthinking about a specific subject. Remember that there is a resource (here) that might help you from stopping. Try out the recommendations that I’ve suggested. However, if it doesn’t help – I want you to come back and let me know where it’s failing. I’ll personally help you think of a strategy and then add to this resource about what we did!