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Overthinking – it kills creativity and worse

I have found myself intimidated by the idea of writing. I have so much to share, so much to say and starting dialogues prompted and ready to roll but then I overthink it. Instead of writing from my heart and my very busy head I sit and think about what my audience wants to hear or read. I realize in this moment that this is where I am going at it ALL wrong.

I am not a fiction writer for a reason. Put simply, I cannot make it up. I write about what is real, what compels me and my writing is truly a form of journaling that I am brave enough to share. If I have to think about what I am writing it is a deal breaker because I have to “feel it”.

The idea of overthinking is one I identify with as I frequently overthink. I find myself overthinking about EVERYTHING in my life which is why I suffer from anxiety. I have worked to remind myself that most of what we “overthink” won’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I use tools like asking myself “will this matter in five years” to help bring perspective. But it happens anyway and it happens at various levels.

The problem with overthinking is that it then lends itself to obsessive behavior and elevated emotion. Neither of these are a compliment to my personality…ha! Obsessed in my word means I follow relentless routines, push harder than necessary and will exhaust that which I am obsessing. Elevated emotion in a Taurus is down right dangerous! The issue with the emotion attached is that I have an uncanny ability to rally those around me easily therefore I am not only getting myself amped up but all of those that support the “cause”.

I Googled “overthinking and the excerpt above came up. It is absolutely on-point. The reality is that the more you think, the more you obsess, the more anxiety that surrounds the situation and the spiral begins. Additionally the article attached to the excerpt above notes:

Chronic overthinkers rehash conversations they had yesterday, second-guess every decision they make, and imagine disastrous outcomes all day every day.

Thinking too much about something often involves more than words–overthinkers conjure up disastrous images too. Their minds resemble a movie where they imagine their car going off the road or they replay distressing events over and over again.

https://www.inc.com/amy-morin/5-exercises-to-train-your-brain-for-happiness-and-success.html

I can relate to this excerpt admittedly worse than I want to, but admitting that something is a problem is the first step to solving, so once again I bear my soul.

  • Second-guessing every decision is something I do often but more in line with conversations versus decisions. It is frequent that on my drive home from work that I will replay all of the various interactions I had that day. I question my dialogues and my emotions and then visualize what I could have said or done different. Clearly pointless in that those moments have passed and most of these “replays” prove that nothing was wrong with the original dialogue.
  • Conjuring up disastrous images is the worst thing my brain does and the one thing I work very hard to stop or avoid. My mind is a very powerful tool. As noted above I can replay a scene in my head that will play over and over, feeling so real that it can bring true emotion to the surface. I was just telling my son the other day about this as one of the frequent scenes that plays out in my mind is “what if” when Gary and the kids are traveling together. I worry that if something happens to them I could lose all of them at once. WHO THINKS ABOUT THIS AWFUL STUFF!!?? I do.

In the end I criticize myself less and instead realize that my form of overthinking is truly about offering my best performance, work, relationships, etc. If I did not care I would not overthink and I will take “caring” over going through this life doing things that have no meaning. In my life, everything has meaning because if it doesn’t then I don’t engage. In this world, it’s easy to exhaust, it’s easy to letdown and hence my overthinking on how to manage it all.

With regards to my writing; today was a turning point of doing exactly what brought me to this passion to begin with years ago. Writing for me is not about thinking and certainly not about overthinking; it’s about getting out of my brain those thoughts that are circling, those things that have taken hold as an outlet. Just like this post I write it exactly as it is in my head and what comes out on paper surprises me to the point that it in itself is its own therapy as I now understand it better and can release my additional thoughts and emotions around it.

I have made a commitment the day I hit “publish” the first time to have the courage to share exactly what came out on paper. It is this commitment that will be my anchor and reminder to keep it pure; what is in my head will be what comes out on paper. Unapologetic-ally, not over-thunk and raw enough for YOU to get it even if you don’t.

Life as I see it – L.

2 comments on “Overthinking – it kills creativity and worse

  1. Analysis by over-thinking is rarely any more accurate or beneficial than running on your gut feeling. But if one is going to do it, spend eighty percent of your time focusing on the opportunities of tomorrow rather than the problems of yesterday.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. simpnick19 says:

    Love this – I carry those same traits – surprise …not!

    Liked by 1 person

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