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  • Ben Yates

How to stop overthinking everything

Updated: Feb 3

Balancing your thoughts and actions is a challenge.


When you spend too much time thinking about how to lose weight, researching the perfect diet, ... and too little time taking action, you will make no progress.


With any goal you want to set yourself, it's easy to overthink everything.


It's great to get excited about a lot of ideas, but a 'thinking mindset' over a 'doing mindset' means a to-do list longer than an achievement list.


Research shows that by overthinking too much, you believe that you are helping yourself but in fact, going over the same problems, only causes you to dwell on them instead of solving them.


Those who take action and stop overthinking, are first to get results.


Leonardo Da Vinci says, “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”


When people look back on their lives, what they regret most are the times they failed to act.


Information overload


Tyler Cowen, the author of Average is Over, says "The more information that’s out there, the greater the returns to just being willing to sit down and apply yourself. Information isn’t what’s scarce; it's the willingness to do something with it.”


When you start the process of losing weight, I'm sure you Google various diets and eating plans.


But the mind-blowing amount of information available at the touch of a button is likely to be hugely overwhelming.


So whilst increased choice could enable us to make better decisions, it usually leads us to anxiety, paralysis by analysis and not making a decision at all.


Filter the information you take in by finding a trusted source.


That could be a blog, a local personal trainer or an accountability partner who is further along the process than you are.


Actions over words


It's easy to talk a good game but it's what you do that makes a difference and gets remembered.


Doing involves risk and usually stepping outside of your comfort zone, but it's the only way you will make progress.


Talking and thinking about making a decision is 'safe' thing to do because it prevents you from making a mistake or failing.


But the trouble is, each time you delay taking action, you experience a small sense of relief, but you then become more anxious about taking future action.


So you end up in a cycle where overthinking and delaying tactics are rewarded, whilst taking action becomes more difficult.


If you really want to achieve success in anything you do in life, you 'do' it, instead of 'talking about' it.


The quickest way to earn respect from yourself and others is by turning up and doing what you said you would.


Just do it


Nike has got it right.


Don't over plan, just do it.


Momentum carries you forwards and comes through action. Do something today that moves you forward towards your goal - every small step is significant.


Taking the first step can be as simple as;


The first 10-minute walk you take