Are You Overthinking?

Have you ever slept on decision? Spent weeks debating both sides of a problem? Kept looking for that extra bit of information to sway you one way or the other? If so, you may have been overthinking!

While thoughtful deliberation can be very helpful to make a decision, it is also easy to waste too much time before making a choice. Sometimes this is driven by a lack of confidence, other times it is fear of making a mistake, and simply worrying about how other people may react.

Harvard Business Review writer Melody Wilding looking into the issue and wrote a short article to outline ways to prevent overthinking. The first tip is to avoid seeking perfection.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest blockers to swift, effective decision-making because it operates on faulty all-or-nothing thinking. For example, perfectionism can lead you to believe that if you don’t make the “correct” choice (as if there is only one right option), then you are a failure. Or that you must know everything, anticipate every eventuality, and have a thorough plan in place before making a move. Trying to weigh every possible outcome and consideration is paralyzing.

Photo by KoolShooters on

What are the ways to avoid this trap? Wilding suggests you ask yourself these questions:

  • Which decision will have the biggest positive impact on my top priorities?
  • Of all the possible people I could please or displease, which one or two people do I least want to disappoint?
  • What is one thing I could do today that would bring me closer to my goal?
  • Based on what I know and the information I have at this moment, what’s the best next step?

Learn four more ways to avoid overthinking by reading the entire article.

After you finish reading, consider this question: What decision are you overthinking?

Once you identify one, pick one of the five tips to help reach a resolution. Then enjoy the clarity that comes from making a final decision.

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