Overthinking or Overdoing – Which Affects You Worse?
Everyone has goals that they would like to achieve. These goals could be financial, work-based, fitness related or even just a list of all the places that we would like to travel to. Whatever the end objective might be, achieving our heart’s desire requires patience, perseverance and laser-sharp focus.
However, a recent study showed that only 8% of those who set goals actually achieve them. The remaining 92% never quite make it out of the gate. Though there are multiple reasons for which this could happen – anything from laziness to becoming discouraged – the primary problem is that most people never quite start on their goals to begin with. This is due in large part to overthinking.
Overthinking is an issue that most of us struggle with regularly. It refers to thinking about a particular problem too much for too long. Overdoing, on the other hand, refers to overworking oneself to the point of exhaustion. Though it can be argued that both are equally detrimental – the negativity of overthinking is far more damaging than that of overdoing.
Are You Overdoing It?
We get obsessed with seeing results. We want them fast – far faster than what is actually possible. Oftentimes, when results are slow or are not as evident as we had hoped, we overdo the amount of work thinking that it will get as closer to our objective. This could result in extreme tiredness and discouragement.
For example, an individual may decide upon getting the dream body that they have always wanted. To do so, they will start hitting the gym, dieting and cutting out bad sugar and fat. Initially, the weight will come sliding off and muscles will develop quickly. However, once they hit the dreaded plateau, results will slow down. An individual who is obsessed with achieving the results may be compelled to exercise more than is safe and may find themselves over exhausted and even malnourished to the point of needing medical attention.
Thus, it is important to manage your expectations and know that change of any kind takes time and will not be instantaneous. Another way to combat the risk of overdoing things is to track your progress so that when you do start feeling like you are not making any headway, you will always have a progress sheet to check back on.
Stop Over Thinking and Take Action
The first step of achieving any goal is to get off the couch and just begin. Many of us spend countless wasted hours pondering the ins and outs of every little potential step we may take. We become wrapped up in the ‘what ifs’ and forget about focusing on what is. Living like this will only result in many goals being unmet. It builds a fear within us that is completely irrational and unnecessary. Oftentimes this fear becomes crippling and prevents us from moving forward in our lives.
Whenever a pessimistic thought pops into your head, focus on your goal. Allow that to propel you forward rather than allowing your negative thoughts to hold you back. Overthinking is far worse compared to overdoing as it prevents one from even starting on a particular task. Ultimately, the goal that you hope to achieve is far more important that the errant thoughts running through your head. Focus on what you want and always follow through.
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.