Overthinking every decision you make is a detrimental habit to fall into. And we can all be guilty of it.
Uncertainty drives us to overthink our decisions.
Gathering more information and considering every potential outcome might delude you into thinking you’re advancing towards a goal when you really are just wasting your time.
Our subconscious drives 95% of our decisions. This, according to the Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman, who studied consumer buying patterns.
Time to stop overthinking
How you feel about the decision dictates your progress. If you feel uncertain about choosing, then you will just keep thinking about.
The problem is that nothing starts until you do. Nothing starts until you make a decision.
If you want to stop overthinking, then you need to take control.
Despite what you might tell yourself, you are always ready to start. So you start and make a wrong decision?
You can adjust.
You don’t need to have all the answers just get started and then figure it out as you go along. Consider one of my business idols, Richard Branson.
He was not a pilot and had never flown a plane, and he really didn’t know anything about the engineering aspect or how to keep aircraft in the air, but he started an airline regardless.
How? You might ask
It’s simple, he started his business and figured it out along the way.
And here we are, over £2 billion in revenue and over 20 years later and Virgin are leading the world in commercial spaceflight.
As a side note, Branson sold Virgin America for $2.6 billion.
If you overthink decisions, try this strategy. It takes two minutes maximum and will help you break your analysis paralysis.
Ask yourself, “What would my idol do?”
Early in my business career, as I was trying to make my mark, I was always uncertain.
Through my experience in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), I devised this simple strategy to help me move past my feelings of self-doubt.
I picked an idol, someone I admired, and thought about what they would do in my situation.
Initially, I would choose between Jack Welch of General Electric, Ray Kroc of McDonald’s, and Sam Walton of Walmart.
When faced with a choice and I could feel the self-doubt begin to creep in, I asked, “What would Jack Welch do?” as a way to help me make decisions based on what I wanted to accomplish and not how I felt.
Today, I have different idols. They are Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, and Warren Buffet.
Consider why Oprah might be a great idol to ask.
I want to build a business and media platform similar to hers, write magazine articles and build a mentoring company. So now I ask myself, “What would Oprah do?”
Asking yourself what would my idol do is a form of cognitive restructuring.
By using this question as a pattern interrupt, you stop your thoughts and interrupt your emotions, and this lets you focus your mind.
All sounds easy, right? There is a hard part. You need to do it.
What would my idol do? No uncertainty, No reconsidering, No thinking. Just push yourself.
Take it on trust that you can figure it out from there.
Have you got your idol or idols in mind yet?
Another tip that I was told is when in doubt, flip a coin.
No, we are not leaving decisions to chance. When you ask, what would my idol do? It relies on logic.
Flipping a coin taps into your emotions and your deeper desires.
If you have to decide between two choices, label one Choice A (heads) and Choice B (tails).
As the coin is in the air be mindful of your thoughts. You will secretly want one side of the coin over the other.
And when you tune into which side you are secretly hoping for that will tell you what you truly want.
Which strategy will you use to stop overthinking?