Digitally She Does It Podcast

EPISODE 75: 6 strategies to STOP overthinking!

January 31, 2024 Karen Davies Season 1 Episode 75
Digitally She Does It Podcast
EPISODE 75: 6 strategies to STOP overthinking!
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, I'm going to tackle a common struggle that many entrepreneurs face— overthinking. I'll share my own experiences and research as I DIVE into 6 powerful strategies to break free from the overthinking cycle and start making confident decisions in our businesses.

From mindfulness practices to embracing imperfection, these strategies are game-changers for moving forward in our entrepreneurial journeys.

Stick around for some valuable insights and practical advice. listen to the full episode to find out more!

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Karen Davies [00:00:00]:
Hello, and welcome to the Digitally She Does It Show. This is episode 75. And in today's episode, I'm going to be talking about the one thing that can stop progress and prevent action from being taken in business. So let's jump right in, and let's get started. Welcome to the Digitally She Does It Show. I am your host, Karen, and I'm here to lift the lid on what it actually takes to create a successful business. If you are an ambitious creative ready to build a business on your own terms and without compromise, then this podcast is perfect for you. With my award winning approach to marketing, an expert knowledge in creating online courses, this show will leave you feeling inspired, energized, and ready to bring those big dreams to life.

Karen Davies [00:00:49]:
Join me each week for a dose of motivation and marketing know how along with I should go step by step strategies to help you accelerate your businesses' growth. So let's dive in, and don't forget to subscribe to all my upcoming which drop every Wednesday. Hello, and welcome. Thank you for joining me today. I'm your host, Karen, and I really appreciate you hitting the play button to listen to today's episode. So for those of you who are regular listeners to the show, you may have noticed that I didn't release an episode last week, and that was because that, unfortunately, I came down with a cold. And I wasn't actually able to speak because my throat was so sore. So I thought it best to just leave it for last week and then come back with a really great episode this week so that you're not having to listen to all the stifles and everything going on.

Karen Davies [00:01:55]:
So my apologies for that. But like I said, I've got a really good episode today and when I was thinking about what episode to create, I was thinking about my own situation and where I'm at at the moment and I thought, you know what? The whole idea the purpose behind this podcast is to sort of really dig in and share my own experiences as as well as well as obviously sort of the teaching. And so I wanted to really share something that I have been struggling with and it's been driving me absolutely mad. And so I really wanted to talk about this today and to really break it down and explore what it's about and why it happens and then provide some strategies to help overcome it. Hopefully, if you're in a similar situation and you're finding that you're doing this, this episode will really help you. Now the thing that I'm talking about that I suspect majority of entrepreneurs, if not all entrepreneurs, can relate to, is overthinking. And it's something that I found myself doing over and over again. And it's preventing me making decisions.

Karen Davies [00:03:16]:
Now that's really unlike me. I'm somebody that is very decisive. In my younger years, I used to be quite impulsive. If I wanted to do something, then I would just do it. I would figure out what I needed to do, and then I would create a plan and and get on with it. And I wouldn't be sitting there second guessing myself. Itself, I would literally be getting on with it. These days, I feel like I am second guessing everything, and it is driving me insane Zane, because all I want to do is make a decision.

Karen Davies [00:03:50]:
So today, I wanna explore what overthinking is, why we do it, and how we can help ourselves to push past it so that we can actually take action in our businesses that's gonna move us forward, because I do think that whether you make a right decision or a wrong decision, you have to make a decision. And being in that no man's land of not knowing which way to go and then constantly having to be in your head thinking about it over and over again, it's exhausting. The thing about overthinking is that it can be really detrimental to your business because all the while that you're stuck in your head and you're thinking about things, you're not taking action and you're not actually moving things forward so it means that progress isn't being made. And for anybody running a business or for any entrepreneurs out there, you know that you want to constantly be moving forward because if you're not moving forward, then you're stuck, and that's not a great place to be. So I wanted to just sort of dive in and explore why people overthink. Why do we do this? What is that born out of and what we can do to really move past it so we can get ourselves back on track and start taking the action that we need to be taken. So I was doing a bit of research online, and, interestingly, what came up was that overthinking is often driven by either a fear of failure, perfectionism, or a desire to control comes which makes sense if you are creating something for the very first time. Maybe you are looking to create a new service or maybe you are in the online space and you are creating a new online course or a membership or a program, something that you've never done before, and it might be a case of you're overthinking what the outcome's going to be.

Karen Davies [00:05:48]:
So you're not actually getting what you have created out in the world because you're sitting there thinking about all the possible outcomes that might happen. Overthinking, as I said, is often driven by a fear of something and a lack of control which I find really interesting because when I think about myself and what I'm trying to do at the moment, it most likely is going to be one of those 3 things, if not all of those. In a business context, the way to know if you're overthinking is finding yourself continuously reevaluating your decisions. So, again, if you are wanting to create something, but you are constantly in your head questioning whether it's the right thing to do, then you are overthinking if you are seeking validation from others and if you're finding that you are in a constant need for more information or evidence before you can move forward, then you are overthinking as well. It's interesting because I see that a lot with many of the clients I work with. Something that should be quite straightforward can often lead them to constantly reevaluating their decisions. Or it might be the fact that they go and do another course or they have to go and learn something else before they can take the action that they need to take to do something in their business. So overthinking manifests in so many different areas, but it might be that you're not aware of it or you might be thinking, oh, I'm just not ready.

Karen Davies [00:07:29]:
So we have to check-in on ourselves we have to find out what is going on so that we can identify when we are overthinking. At the moment, I'm in a process of creating something new for my business. I am developing a program, and it's brand new, and it's been in my head for quite a while. And this year, I'm going to be releasing it. And so what I'm finding when I do check-in on myself is that I'm constantly questioning things that I'm doing. And instead of getting on with it and just doing it, I'm I'm going to that place of questioning myself. It's driving me crazy because previously, when I've created stuff, I've just gotten on with it. And, okay, there's been a little bit of nervousness around it.

Karen Davies [00:08:18]:
Am I gonna sell it? Is it gonna do well? But, essentially, what I've what I do is I just I just get on with it, and I don't overthink it. And I let the experience of delivering what it is because I'm offering, tell me whether or not what I've created is working or not. But in this instance, what I'm finding is that I'm questioning and then everything that I'm doing. And that is what I'm finding to be quite debilitating because I'm not actually, taking action and getting it out into the world. I I think it's great to be conscientious and to wanna create something that is going to work for your customers, but at the same time, the only way you're really gonna find out whether or not something works is by getting it out into the world. It's by beta testing it. It's trial and error, tweaking it, evolving it, developing it so you get to that place where it is a brilliant program. And I know this, and my rational mind knows this, but I'm finding that I'm being hindered because I'm in my head.

Karen Davies [00:09:27]:
And I think that's the dangerous part because that's where progress stops. So you're only ever going to be making progress if you're moving forward. So if you're in your head and you're finding that you're not doing anything, that online course that you wanna create that you know is needed, you're not creating it because you are questioning yourself. You're evaluating yourself. You are trying to plan it out in your head, taking the necessary steps to move it forward, then you're hindering yourself. You're hindering your progress, and you're never going to know if something's going to work unless you get it out. Sometimes we know what we need to do, but actually doing it is the hardest piece. And that's where overthinking can really hinder our growth and the success of our business, and that's what we need to be really careful of.

Karen Davies [00:10:16]:
You get stuck in this loop of indecision, and that's what stops you moving forward. I was having this conversation with some colleagues last week. So I'm part of an accountability group. The the people in my accountability group, we're all based all over the place. So there's somebody in America, there's somebody in South Africa, and there's 2 of us in the UK, so it's an interesting group. So so we all come with very different perspectives and different ways of doing stuff. This whole thing of overthinking came up. And we were talking about the fact that often we are attaching emotion to an outcome, and then we're trying to preempt the outcome in our heads.

Karen Davies [00:10:57]:
And that's what then leads the indecision because we're trying to figure it out internally. And I think when you're trying to create something or you're trying to move forward, it can't be an internal activity. It has to be something that you get out, you map out on paper, you go through that process of framework in what you're creating. You and you go with the facts. You do your research, you do your due diligence, you put that time in and you speak to your ideal audience and you find out what they want and you get them to give you the answers because that's then going to be what validates your idea. So when you're in that process of is what I'm creating going to work, if you've got people telling you this is what I need then then that should be enough to stop you when you get to that place of I don't know if what I'm creating is going to be enough and going to be needed. And so we have to be really careful that we're not just internalising everything, that we do actually start that process of mapping it all out. We get our ideas done on paper however crude they are.

Karen Davies [00:12:12]:
It really doesn't matter. Mind mapping is a really great way to just outline everything on paper and to just really get everything in your head out. And then from there, being able to formulate those ideas into a more succinct manner by creating a framework. Now this for me really does help me because it gets me out of my head. It stops me internalizing and it actually gets me doing something so I feel like I'm being productive. And then what then happens is that I start to see things coming together, and then I get ideas and then then I'm away. And I'm I'm then I'm in my flow. It could be that, as I said, you're looking to create a program or an online course or a membership or you're trying to create something that you're looking to sell and make money from, in which case, you probably will find that the overthinking piece does come into it.

Karen Davies [00:13:02]:
But it might also be the fact that you've got decisions to make in your business, and those decisions feel quite big and that's what's hindering you as well because because you're sitting on those decisions and you're not actually making a decision that's going to get the job done. So overthinking can have such a negative impact, but there are ways to combat it so you can start moving forward. With all of that in mind, I wanted to share some strategies to overcome overthinking so that you can push past it and start to make progress. So the first strategy is about practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is all about being in the moment I'm being aware of what you're doing, how you're feeling so that you can be present in what you're trying to achieve. You might wanna include practices such as meditation or deep breathing. And this might be something that's worth incorporating into your daily routine because these help to kind of balance out your mood and help you to just stay grounded so that you can stay present and it will help you to focus your mind and ultimately help reduce overthinking. I've just started a class with one of my friends called Qigong.

Karen Davies [00:14:26]:
And what Qigong is, it's a mixture of tai chi but also mindfulness as well. And it's all about flow, but it's also about breathing and connecting to your inner self. It's amazing. I come out of the session, feeling so relaxed, feeling really calm and at peace with myself. Then I walk through the door and I've got the children and then that all goes. But what I'm learning is how to breathe, but how to breathe deeply to control anxiety and to help with the overthinking, if you struggle with so many things going on in your head and you can't switch off, then I also highly recommend going and finding something like Qigong, or pilates or yoga, something that this is mindfulness so that you can just start to balance out how you feel because that in itself is extremely powerful. My 2nd strategy is about setting really clear goals. With this, you need to define what your short term goals are and what your long term goals are.

Karen Davies [00:15:35]:
Having clear objectives is going to allow you to focus on what truly matters, it's going to reduce the tendency to overanalyze every single decision that you make and you'll get clarity, and this is going to empower you to take action confidently. So have those goals I'm being really clear about what they are and stick to them. My 3rd strategy is about being okay with things being not perfect. Now this is something that, you know, a lot of people struggle with. Perfectionism is a real thing, but I always think that perfectionism doesn't exist because it's so subjective, it's only what you deem to be perfect. So if something is subjective, then that's coming from you. Because what I think is perfection, somebody else might disagree with. And so we have to kinda be really aware of when we're getting hung up in that cycle of perfectionism, because that is a key driver of overthinking, we need to embrace the idea that mistakes failures are a part of our journey whether it's in business or in life.

Karen Davies [00:16:46]:
We're going to make mistakes. We're human. It's only natural that mistakes are going to occur. So we have to be okay with that. Instead, I think it's about reframing how we see the imperfection. And we need to reframe our thoughts and focus on seeking progress and not having everything so perfect all of the time and being okay about learning from our experiences as well. Because when we experience failure or we experience something that doesn't go away it's a learning experience so I think we need to reframe how we see imperfection and we need to think about it as about learning to be okay with things not being perfect an embracing mistakes as learning experiences, and that will stop any overthinking. My 4th strategy is about delegating.

Karen Davies [00:17:43]:
I have a VA that I use in my business, and I'm not the best delegator. It's something that I really struggle with. I'm so used to being in the weeds of the business and being in control of every little bit. But one thing I have learned over time is that I can't be that all of the time because it's it's going to stop me focusing on things that actually moves the needle. So I have to delegate, hence why I have a VA. And I have to say, it does make life so much easier. So find somebody that can help you in your business, that can you can delegate work to. This is going to free up your mental space to focus on strategic decisions so you can start taking action and start getting things done.

Karen Davies [00:18:31]:
My 5th strategy is about limiting the amount of information that you take in. Because whilst knowledge is really important and it's vital in business, we should always be learning. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. Consuming excessive amounts of information is what is going to fuel overthinking because the more information you're exposed to, the more you have going on in your head that's going to lead to that loop of constantly thinking about stuff. So we have to limit the amount of information that we take on board, which can be really challenging if you're online and you're constantly seeing things that you feel are relevant or of interest to what you're doing or your business. So you need to set boundaries for consuming information and focus on only actionable knowledge that relates directly to your business goals. Now I know it's really tempting to go and learn another thing and learn a new tool and learn a new strategy for for what you're trying to achieve, but that in itself can be hindering. Just focus on the one thing that you need to learn now and only focus on that and put everything else on a later list.

Karen Davies [00:19:52]:
So only focus on the things that's going to matter to you right now. And my 6th and final strategy it's about being aware of negative thoughts and challenging them as well. I sort of hinted at this earlier when I was talking about getting validation from your audience. This is something that can really help with those negative thoughts. So once you recognize negative thoughts and you realize that that's what's fueling your overthinking, then challenge them with going and doing research. So go and talk to people. Go and have connected conversations with people that's going to reframe your thinking, that's going to shift your thought pattern. Ten, sometimes a really great conversation can help you to move forward.

Karen Davies [00:20:48]:
I met with a friend last Monday. I was talking about stuff that was sort of sitting in my head, and her perspective and her take on it was enlightening. It just gave me another viewpoint to take on board. And I think just by talking it through, I was able to sort of shift how I was thinking and then how I was feeling. And then when I left that conversation, I was ready to take action. So seek advice from people that you trust and go and have those conversations because they're they're they're so important. We cannot run our businesses alone. We shouldn't be running our businesses alone.

Karen Davies [00:21:30]:
We're not meant to be on this journey alone. We need to surround ourself by people that get us, that understand us, and that want the very best for us. It will help you to reframe your mindset so that you can be more optimistic and most importantly solution orientated. So seek people that you trust because they will help you to challenge those negative thoughts. Implementing these strategies, they're going to be key to help you overcome overthinking. And as I said, you know, all of these 6 strategies that I've shared with you today, I am actively doing it in my business and they make such a difference. Now overthinking is a habit that can be replaced with a proactive mindset. So you need to start small, identify 1 decision or task at a time, and just stick with that.

Karen Davies [00:22:26]:
And you also need to have faith. You need to have faith and self belief that you have what it takes to do what you want to do, you need to surround yourself with the right support, build a network of of people around you I can offer you guidance, encouragement, and accountability because you need to be accountable so that you get things done. And as you go through your journey, this support system will help you to start moving forward and start to achieve the things that you want to achieve. It's also gonna help you to stay they grounded and most importantly motivated as well because we need to be motivated to take action. Sometimes the best way to stop overthinking is just to take action. If I've learned anything, what I've learned is that when I'm in the mode of being in my head, trying to preempt an outcome, trying to determine how things are gonna look, I'm stuck. And I feel stuck and that feeling stops me. And it makes me feel like I'm failing.

Karen Davies [00:23:33]:
When I take action, it doesn't matter how small, I feel like I'm being productive. I feel like I'm moving forward. And that feeling alone is so powerful. It moves me through the process and the steps that I need to take to achieve my goals. So sometimes just by taking action, however messy is going to help you with what you're trying to achieve. So regardless to how you feel, try and take one step, that is you taking action because that will be the thing that makes the difference. And don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. Now overthinking is a common challenge.

Karen Davies [00:24:15]:
Everybody more or less experiences it, but it's important to recognize that you're doing it and then to gain control. So be aware of your tendency to overthink and implement these strategies that I've shared with you today because that is what's gonna help you break free from this cycle and help you to move forward with confidence and with ease.

Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to today's episode. I hope you found this episode of value, and, of course, please feel free to share it with others who you may think will also benefit from listening to today's episode. If you are feeling inspired and would like to know more about how you can work with me, then why not visit my website

I will be back next week with another episode, but until then, have a great week. I hope you enjoyed this episode of the digitally she does it show. Don't forget to check out the show notes for all the links and resources mentioned in today's episode. New episodes drop every week on Wednesday, so Why not rate and subscribe so you never miss an episode? Thank you for tuning in today, and I will see you next time.