"Stop overthinking, start acting" I've been told many times. Easier said than done. If you are anything like me, and I know there are many of us out there, overthinking everything is your curse. So I went on a quest to find the cure.
And for that particular exercise I had to untangle the storyline that I tell myself to make me feel better about my overthinking ("I'm just preparing myself for all eventualities") that don't really help me move forward, and the one where I accept that my overthinking is paralyzing me. STEP 1 - Acknowledgement Let's be honest: we all have a lot of fears and they won't go away unless we do something about it. I admire those who seem to just "get over them and act" but it would be fooling myself to think I will ever completely forget about fears. And it's ok.
The first step is to accept the situation. To acknowledge that we are acting out of fear. The longer we go on beating around the bush, trying to justify why we're not doing this or that, carefully avoiding the fact that we are simply afraid, the higher the walls we build around ourselves and the harder it will be to ever climb over them.
STEP 2 - Inner research Throughout your life there must have been at least one time where you did something that scared you, something that forced you out of your comfort zone. What was it? When was it? And most important question of all, how did you get yourself to go beyond the fear?
Do the research within yourself, in your past, use what you know about yourself to work on yourself.
STEP 3 - Use that knowledge
We probably will all come up with different answers to the above question. I'll share you mine but make sure not to skip Step 2 - as former Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt once said "You cannot always fix your problems with our solutions".
I realised that what helps me get out of the loop is to talk it out with someone. Not just anyone. Someone who will practice deep listening and ask the right questions. The type of questions that might not be the most comfortable but the ones that help go to the bottom of things.
Through these conversations I am faced with how irrelevant or almost ridiculous my fears are. Not because my friend said "that's silly, just do it" but because they repeatedly asked "why?" until I had no other choice but to accept that the walls of justification I had built were crumbling around me one by one.
It's not a quick fix and not always a nice one. But it is my way of getting out of my paralyzing loops.
I invite you all to have a go at it and see what walls come down.