I’ve been thinking a lot lately about over-thinking. People like me, who are a bit perfectionistic and a bit obsessive, are often guilty of it. In my case, I was set up for it by a family that made a production out of EVERYTHING from the contents of a dinner, to a day at the beach. If we went for an ice cream cone at Carvel, it wasn’t a simple impulsive trip to the place three miles away, but a carefully constructed evening ride up the Taconic Parkway to the Carvel sixty miles north, complete with blankets and car games for the outing. Over-thinking was reframed as creativity, diligence, thoroughness and spirit. Everything we did was elaborately planned, and for the most part we had great fun in the process!
Fast forward to the present. For the last twenty, (yes 20!) years I’ve been thinking about hiring a billing service for my psychotherapy practice. The billing is the least favorite and most incompetent thing I’ve always done, struggling to keep up with the sheer volume of it daily. I’m often apologetic about it to clients, or make jokes about my ineptness in that department. I rarely feel self-doubt about the therapeutic work itself, just the damn billing! I’ve milled over the notion of relinquishing the control, the work involved in transferring the information to a service, the time it would take me, the cost, etc. This is what over-thinking looks like when it’s counterproductive, not artistic! So I’ve finally decided to let go of this last vestige of self-apology, and this exercise in over-thinking– I’m hiring a billing service! And what’s the point of announcing this, you ask? To follow the Nike logo: JUST DO IT!!!! Before getting caught in a spin of all the “how-to” details, I will follow my own therapeutic advice and take one small step each day, breaking the task down into teeny weeny steps, and NOT think about it!
So if you too have an overactive brain that makes a production out of things, do four things to free yourself from the obsessive spin:
1. Ask yourself if your over-thinking an issue serves some larger creative, safety, or fun purpose, or not.
2. If not, decide what a reasonable person would do for action, without further ado.
3. Break the task or dilemma down into bite-size pieces, day by day, and ignore your thoughts.
4. Build in time to “review” progress at intervals, not daily– (that leads to more over-thinking.)
Then sit back and enjoy the completion without all the internal “noise”.
Oh, and one more thought…………………………
PS. Call toll free 877-497-9046 at 9:30PM on Wednesday, February 9th, to hear my next BlogTalk Radio episode, “Uncover The Truth – Hire A Private Investigator”, with Frank Santin, a Private I. It should be lots of fun!
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