Not long ago, I saw a little wall plaque that said this: “Hold on. I’ve gotta overthink about it.” That’s funny until it’s not.
Overthinking keeps us from doing things that could be beneficial while trapping us in a prison cell of doubt. Whether you’re doubting your abilities or doubting God, overthinking is a real vision killer, and it feeds on fears and what ifs. Is overthinking keeping you stuck? Don’t overthink that question. Just answer it honestly.
The general definition of overthinking is to “think about something too much or for too long.” Why would we do this? There are lots of reasons, but it is a learned behavior. Sometimes it’s fear of failure, and other times it may be a fear of not being accepted, or maybe we’re just afraid to try anything unfamiliar. Is there something you’re supposed to be doing but you’ve talked yourself out of trying? You may be a victim of overthinking, and the person doing this to you is in the mirror.
Whatever you’re putting off—whether it’s sharing the Gospel with someone God has put in your path, starting a new ministry, or launching a small business, overthinking will trap you in a loop of second-third-and-fourth guessing, preventing you from getting anything done. This is a form of self-inflicted torment, and unless we face this foe, we’ll stay stuck by choice. Sometimes it’s more comfortable not to do something than to step out boldly and walk by faith.
How can we stop paralyzing ourselves with overthinking? Let’s consider four suggestions, and then you can get together with God to pray about this whole subject. He has more for you. As usual, this episode is just a starter list.