Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! You're not alone if you find yourself overthinking things in your leadership role. Overthinking is a common challenge for leaders. You should be thinking about your business and your leadership, but overthinking will stop you from taking action or cause you to miss out on opportunities. Join Jeff as he shares how to identify when you are overthinking and stop overthinking and move forward with confidence.
How do you know if you are an overthinker?
You think through the same thoughts over and over.
You worry about the worst-case scenario.
You find it difficult to be decisive and take action.
You are obsessed with finding the perfect solution.
Why do you overthink?
1. You Care A Lot!
When something really matters to you, it's easy to struggle to find a solution that guarantees a positive outcome. It's not a bad thing, but keeping things in perspective will help you move forward.
2. You Are Overthinking Because You Fear What's Coming
You may know what you need to do, but you are not comfortable with the next steps. Uncertainty and fear cause leaders to procrastinate and wind up missing opportunities.
3. You Are Overthinking Because You Crave Certainty
There's no such thing as a perfect solution or the right moment to tackle a hard conversation. Decisive leaders are okay with discomfort and are committed to taking action.
So how do we stop overthinking?
1. Embrace Uncertainty
Uncertainty is always going to be a part of leadership! There isn't always a correct solution. Don't let yourself make the problem more important than it really is. Keep the situation in perspective and be confident that you are doing your best. You can always pivot if your plan isn't working the way you hoped.
2. Get a Second Opinion
If you are making a big decision alone, it can feel overwhelming. Find someone willing to be a sounding board. Often you will find that you have done a lot of good thinking already. Their advice will either confirm what you already know or challenge a weak area where you might need to tweak your plan.
3. Weigh the cost of the "Do Nothing" Option
Have you ever stopped to think about the cost of not taking action? The situation could worsen, or you might miss out on an opportunity. Sometimes doing nothing is worse than taking imperfect action.
4. Have Someone Hold You Accountable
Telling someone about the area where you need to take action can help hold you accountable. Some people find it easy to overthink things because their indecision only affects them. Remembering that your decisions affect other people can encourage you to make a change.
Not every decision has to be final! One way to avoid the fear of making the wrong decision is to set checkpoints where you can change your course of action if it is not working. Let your boss and team know about these checkpoints when you lay out the plan, and ask them to give you feedback on those days.
Set a deadline. It's okay to think through your options. It's not okay to risk losing out on other opportunities or allowing the problem to get worse. If you are procrastinating in making a decision, give yourself a deadline within the next day and tell someone about it for accountability.
Try brainstorming for questions, not answers. In this approach (described here by Tony Robbins), you set a timer and try to come up with the questions that would lead to the answers you need. After you finish, take a look at your questions. Have you been worrying about the questions on the list or on questions that did not affect finding the solution? You may find that you will be able to stop overthinking and move toward a solution by having better questions.