How to not overthink: A practical guide

Dennis Tröger


Why do I overthink everything? “ This question echoes in the minds of many. Like a ship caught in a storm, our thoughts can veer off course. For two years, I couldn’t decide which business to choose. I kept overthinking it. The fear of making the wrong choice was paralyzing, a feeling many can relate to. But here’s the twist: the real risk lies in inaction, not in making mistakes.

The Revelation: Embracing the Art of Decision-Making

I had a breakthrough when I understood that doing something is better than doing nothing. This epiphany is a beacon for those asking, “ How to not overthink? “ It’s about shifting focus from perfection to progress.

Strategies to Combat Overthinking

To navigate the seas of decision-making, I devised a simple yet effective approach:

  1. Facing our fear of the worst outcome lessens its hold over us.
  2. Perspective on the Decision’s Magnitude: Asking, “Why do I overthink so much?” helps in gauging whether I’m inflating the significance of the decision.
  3. Understanding that decisions can be reversed makes choosing the ‘perfect’ option less burdensome.

Understanding the Roots of Overthinking

Why do people overthink? Our education system teaches us to fear mistakes because it emphasizes right and wrong answers. But life is not black and white; it’s a spectrum of experiences, trials, and errors. Recognizing this can be a game-changer in how we approach decisions.

The Common Trap: The Side-Hustle Dilemma

A prevalent example of overthinking is the decision to start a side-hustle. Many overanalyze this, but the answer should often be a resounding yes. It’s about taking that first step towards something potentially rewarding.

Balancing Act: Planning vs. Overthinking

Recognizing the difference between thorough planning and overthinking is key. When we overthink, it’s usually because we’re scared of failure or leaving our comfort zone. Our gut feeling tells us this. Listening to these internal cues is crucial.

Keeping Fear at Bay

My mantra against overthinking is simple yet profound: “Taking action trumps inaction.” It serves as a reminder that movement, however small, is progress.

Technology and Social Media: Influencers of Thought

In our digital age, AI can offer unbiased perspectives, aiding in decision-making. Social media can make us overthink when we compare our lives to perfect-looking ones online.

Cultivating Mental Clarity: A Daily Practice

A technique to reduce overthinking is to detach from emotions and think as if advising a friend. This external perspective often provides clarity and reduces emotional bias.

Assessing Decision Success

Finally, how do I gauge a successful decision? It boils down to inner peace and contentment post-decision. Feeling better and experiencing calmness is my indicator of a well-made decision.

In Conclusion: Charting Your Course Through Decision Seas

If you’re wondering why you overthink, remember that overthinking is a detour, not your destination. By having the right mindset and strategies, you can confidently make decisions, even in tough situations. Each step, each decision, brings you closer to a life of clarity and purpose.

Now, I turn to you, dear reader. What decision lies before you, and how will this new perspective shape your approach? Remember, in the journey of life, the only misstep is inaction. Take the leap, and you’ll find the waters welcoming.

Originally published at on November 20, 2023.