Overthinking is a shackle. If I do X, then Y. Saying this will result in that. What if scenario A, B and on and on to Z? By the time you get to Z, you will have completely talked yourself out of the thing you were doing.
As children, we are fearless, playful and curious. Over time, a parent slaps our hand when we reach for something, a teacher says we didn’t color in between the lines properly, a coach or teammate says we can’t do it that way and pretty soon we are programmed to try to just figure out what others want and please them.
Writing is a creative process. Overthinking obstructs the process of letting an idea come to life. Once where there were thoughts and ideas flowing freely, the shackle presses down on your brain and holds the creativity back like a vice. It boils down to just going for it and not second-guessing yourself, in other words, it comes down to confidence.
Lately, I’ve become more self aware of how my desire to please takes over my confidence. My fear of being or doing something wrong freezes me dead in my tracks.
What’s the cure?
Being highly aware of the behaviors and realizing when I’m doing it is a start. And then when it starts, I tell myself, “Stop overthinking, do it.” Or in the case of writing, personal or professional, “Don’t think, just write.”