Do you overthink? 3 ways to help you think smarter
We are all skilled at what we do. We are so good at some of the things we do, we perform them without even thinking sometimes.
Take walking for example.
For most of us, we stand up and put one foot in front of the other but this has always been the case. Think about a toddler learning to walk. Walking isn’t natural for them. They have to learn to pull themselves up, learn to stand alone and take a few tentative steps with lots of falls in between.
Only months later, the coordination of the mind and body allows the toddler to walk safely and competently.
Not always because although we learn skills proficiently, we don’t always execute them correctly especially under pressure.
In sport, we call this choking.
Imagine this scenario.
You are due to deliver a live training, you have prepared the slides, you have rehearsed and it is a topic that you know well.
However, when you finally deliver the training, you start to overthink it. You start making mistakes, you think some more, and you lose your train of thought.
You get ‘Paralysis by analysis’
Don’t worry there are some powerful techniques that you can use to stop the over thinking.
Keep it simple:
When I am working with my gymnasts, I help them to contain their thoughts to just one main focus just before they execute the skill. Many use the word “Stick” to help them stick a landing.
You can do the same in any performance situation.
You can use words such as ‘Confident’, ‘Composed’ or ‘Relax’. This will get you in the right state of mind and focus on your manner rather than the pressure.
Stop using negative words:
We have all been there. We are waiting to speak to someone important or a job interview and we start telling ourselves:
‘Don’t mess up’
‘Stop being a D**k’
‘I can’t show that I am nervous’
The mind doesn’t recognise words such as ‘Don’t, Stop and Can’t’ so guess what you are telling yourself!
Do this exercise:
‘Stop thinking about Chocolate!’
What are you thinking about?
Think about what you want to happen and it may well happen.
If you find that you are overthinking. Get into the habit of mind dumping.
This is your moment to write down all of those negative thoughts and get them out of your head.
If you do think after a 10-minute mindfulness session, you will be amazed at how much you will write down.
Then replace the thoughts with positive intentions, visualise them, and make them come alive.
This way you will focus only on the task in hand and not your limiting thoughts.
If you are ready to take action.
You won't regret it