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How to stop overthinking before you spiral out of control

Overthinking is a killer – here’s what to do instead

Are you a hostage of your own overthinking?

By Lizette Volkwyn, Master Life Coach, Published Author and Human Lie Detector

Here’s a scenario:

You have just learned that you have been invited to do a talk at a congress. You are thrilled, accept, do the happy dance, feel on top of the world, and then... it starts. The voices in your head telling you that you are not qualified enough to have been invited; that ‘surely there is someone more capable than you.’

Can you relate?

What happened from being on top of the world to right down at the bottom of feeling inadequate? Overthinking is a killer.

It is healthy to be a little bit nervous. You are honing your talents – by doubting your ability, you are jeopardizing your career, relationships and self-worth.

How do you stop overthinking?

I would like to share my top five tips from my online course - to stop the gremlins of overthinking.

1. Conquer the fear of failure

We perceive failure as the biggest nemesis and are afraid of the consequences of fear, even if we don’t know what they are. Failure does not exist. It is only feedback.

The day you change your perspective about failure, that is when you will realize that whatever you do, whether it is an exam, a project, or a sales presentation, and if you don’t get the expected outcome, it is just feedback. It is an opportunity to adjust your actions to improve and grow.

Eliminating the fear of failure immediately brings you one step closer to giving it your all without questioning your worth.

2. Lack of understanding

When you are unsure of what is expected from us, you may start to feel inadequate and question your ability. To overcome overthinking, you need to obtain as much information as possible, trust the information and then work on the facts.

You will overthink less if you understand more.

3. Understand your pattern

You must recognize what you are capable of and what your past pattern tells you, what you will next.

As a Human Lie Detector, I can scientifically confirm that your pattern will always come through for you.

One of my clients, an administrator for a large company, was given a mammoth project to roll-out throughout the company. She came to see me and was overwhelmed by the trust the company has invested in her and that she would fail. After listening to her achievements and her background, we could identify her pattern. Whatever life threw at her, she would adjust, obtain the required knowledge and deliver way beyond the expectation. By trusting her pattern, override the overthinking and anxiety, and she went on completing the project with confidence.

4. Isolate the What If’s

What if’s are just gremlins trying to talk you out of becoming the very best of you. Can things go wrong? Of course, it can. Do you need to be prepared? Indeed you have to, but allowing the What If’s to become your reality will paralyze you to achieve nothing and pursue the past.

Isolate the What If’s and replace them with facts and real possibilities. Highlight your capability and adaptability and then focus on the now.

5. Stick to your guns

Overthinking happens when you constantly shift the goal post and are unsure of what you really want.

Stick to your guns! Decide what exactly it is you want, and then work around that decision. Don't allow your decisions to change and don’t let your thoughts run all over the place without any direction.

A client of mine had to make an important career decision, although he liked the new career opportunity he changed the timeline and goal post of what to achieve and when. It made him run in circles and created excuses of why he shouldn’t accept this opportunity of a lifetime.

When we eliminated all the different opportunities to the one he wanted and I could give him tips on how to stick to his guns, he accepted the offer, and is now one of the most successful candidates in that position.

Overthinking does not need to be a killer, but rather an opportunity to assess, confidently step up, and deliver beyond the obvious.

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