Stop Overthinking For Work Success

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stop overthinking for work success

Stop Overthinking For Work Success

According to a recent study, 73% of 25- to 35-year-olds chronically overthink, and 52% of people ages 45 to 55. Overthinking can prevent you from applying for a job, making a decision, completing a project on time, and so many other things. It is critical for you to learn how to stop overthinking for work success.

stop overthinking for work successOur CEO and Founder, Jessica Chen, recently hosted a Soulcast Media | LIVE event on LinkedIn. She interviewed Executive Coach and Leadership Coach, Melody Wilding.

They shared tips and personal stories about how to stop overthinking for work success.


1. Sensitive Striver

During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, the term sensitive strive was discussed. Sensitive Strivers are those who strive to achieve career success and are also very attuned to the world around them. These people are often highly sensitive, which can cause them to be overthinkers. Overthinking can prevent you from securing a promotion or applying for a new job.


Consider the following:

  • Trust Yourself – As a highly sensitive person, you may feel like you can’t trust yourself. This is because you’ve been conditioned to believe your judgments can’t be relied upon. For example, you finally decided to apply for a job and didn’t get an interview. Instead of moving on, you believe your decision to apply for the job was a mistake; therefore, all of your decisions are wrong. Trusting yourself and your judgments is critical to achieving career success. Learning how to stop overthinking will help you begin the process of trusting yourself. 
  • Process Behavior – A highly sensitive person is very attuned to the behaviors of others around them. You process your surroundings and others much more deeply than other people. For example, a slight shift in someone’s tone of voice may tip you off that they are lying about what they are saying. You will notice subtitles in body language and be able to read a room quickly. However, many overthinkers cannot process all of this information effectively. The key is to channel this information positively.
  • Communication – As a sensitive striver, you can sense what people need, and pick up on body language and tone of voice, which is central to being a good communicator. You need to lean into your ability to sense what people need. For example, if you feel your boss is overwhelmed, you can offer to take something off their plate. This will help increase your visibility with your boss and use your sensing strength to your advantage.

Being a sensitive striver can be very helpful in the workplace. However, the key is ensuring you process all the information you notice positively and effectively.


2. Types of Overthinkers

There are many types of overthinkers. During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Melody shared the different types and why it is so important to understand which one you are.

Consider the following:

  • Rumination – Rumination is when you can’t stop thinking about a mistake. You are stuck in the past. For example, if you were giving a presentation and got a slide wrong, you continued to replay that moment repeatedly. You will ruminate on your mistake, which can prevent you from moving forward. 
  • Future Tripping – Future Tripping is having anxiety over the future. For example, you may have a meeting with senior leadership coming up, and you are worried about flubbing your words during the meeting. You’re worrying about the future at the expense of being in the present moment.
  • Analysis Paralysis – You have so many options or choices vying for your attention that you can’t make a decision, and you freeze. For example, if you have three job offers and can’t figure out which one to choose, you don’t respond to any of them. 
  • Perfectionistic Overthinking – This is feeling like there is only one right way, and you have to figure out what it is. For example, if you are working on a graphic for a marketing project and you miss the deadline because you can’t stop making edits. stop overthinking for work success
  • Maximizers – These people examine every option and try to find the exact right fit. For example, you may be in charge of purchasing new desk chairs. As a maximizer, you decide to test out every single chair available. You spend months weighing the pros and cons of each one. In the end, your overthinking cost the company time, and your colleagues didn’t get new chairs until well after the time the chairs were needed.

Keep a log of the types of overthinking during your day or week. This will help you identify your patterns. Then, you can find the solutions that will be the most effective for you.


3. Overcoming Overthinking

Overthinking can truly paralyze you and create a lot of tension in the workplace. It is essential to learn how to stop overthinking. During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Melody, and Jessica discussed several strategies to help you overcome overthinking.

Consider the following:

  • Label Thoughts – Often, when you overthink, you are listening to a critical mean voice. It’s saying, “You’re going to fail at this, or you’re not good enough.”  When you label the thought you give it a name so you can separate yourself from the thought. For example, during the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Jessica said one of her clients labeled the thoughts celery. This way, when the negative thoughts started happening, her client could say, “Celery, I’m not listening to you today.” This can help you take power away from negative thoughts.
  • Satisficing – One way to overcome overthinking is to embrace satisficing. This is an approach to decision-making. It is satisfying and sufficient mushed together. Satisficers find the best choice at the moment, and they make decisions more quickly. For example, if you are creating graphics for a social media campaign and have worked for hours on the graphics. Instead of missing the deadline because you don’t think the graphics are perfect yet, you go with the best one at the moment. Satisficers go with the good enough, and research has shown they are happier and get better outcomes because maximizing comes with many costs and delays. stop overthinking for career success
  • Conserve Energy – Another way to overcome overthinking is to conserve your decision-making energy. For example, create processes or systems for small decisions, like what to wear, so you don’t have to spend a lot of energy making those decisions. Then, you will have more energy to make the bigger decisions. Steve Jobs always wore the same outfit every day, so he didn’t have to spend time thinking about what to wear. 
  • Rule of five – Often, as a sensitive striver, you may feel like another person’s behavior is because of you. For example, if your boss is very short with you during a meeting, you may feel like you’ve done something wrong. During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Melody suggested using the rule of five to help you overcome overthinking about another person’s behavior. She suggested finding five reasons why their behavior was not about you. They could have just received negative feedback from their boss. Or, they are stressed about their deadline. There are many reasons your boss is short with you that have nothing to do with you.
  • Optimize – When making a choice, you must consider your key decision-making criteria. What are you trying to optimize for? Are you trying to optimize for ease, convenience, cost, and customer satisfaction? Instead of having several criteria to guide your decision, have one. For example, making your decision based on cost alone will help you to make a decision much more quickly because you are only looking at one criterion.
  • Positive Constraints – Give yourself a container to decide or complete the project. For example, if you have a month to complete a project, it may take you the entire month as an overthinker. However, if you give yourself a container of a week, you force yourself to focus and get the project completed. Positive constraints can help you make decisions and stick to them.

There are many ways to overcome overthinking. Labeling your thoughts, conserving your decision-making energy, and optimizing your decisions will help you stop overthinking.

As you learn to trust yourself and your judgments, you will be able to stop overthinking for work success. 


Check out Jessica’s Youtube Channel if you want to see the full LIVE version of this LIVE.


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