We have it ingrained in our heads very early in our adolescence that "PracticeMakes Perfect!" While their's certainly the old adage that the more you plan or practice, the luckier you get, there's also a counterproductive trap that many of us don't see when we adopt this philosophy.
We certainly aren't advocating against planning. Rome wasn't built in a day, and I'm pretty sure Titus and the boys didn't just start forming rocks that eventually created the Colosseum.
The truth is over-planning can often manifest itself in many different ways which can often lead to the same outcome......Overthinking!
According to the American Psychological Association, overthinking involves “repetitive, prolonged, and recurrent thought about one's self, one's concerns and one's experiences.”
This can entrap us in a variety of ways — through stewing, worry, self-sabotage, and overly anticipating negative scenarios and outcomes.
So what exactly can we do about this?
Put simply, "Take Action!"
You can find plenty of internet articles on '10 different Ways to Stop Overthinking' which by all accounts offer very helpful advice.
But, lets be honest. For us men, in particular, we'll be lucky to adopt just one strategy!
So to keep it simple we'll focus on one area of improvement and mastering that before moving on.
As Till Boaedella from Menprovement mentions in his video discussion, 'People want to prepare, and then start. But the real trick is that you've got to start before you're ready. People that fall into this mindset of always preparing are simply never going to be ready.'
What often comes of starting before you're ready is the secret sauce. It can be thought of as "The Speed of Execution!"
The ability to minimize time between your idea and execution is absolutely critical, and quite frankly, most people do the complete opposite.
Let's use an example to help clarify this concept.
Suppose you wake up in the middle of the night with your mind racing about a brilliant new e-commerce strategy you are certain you can monetize and streamline.
Hopefully you've done more than just think about this by the next morning....
By morning you're left with a couple of choices.
One is to do nothing. We all know where that gets you.
Another is to take out a pad and pencil and come up with a beautifully crafted business plan that would make a Harvard Business Professor swoon. Heck, you could even run down to the print shop to have it professionally drafted.
The problem with this strategy is that you aren't taking any deliberate action towards your goal! You're planning your plan, which in essence is overthinking.
A better strategy would be purchasing a domain name, developing and adding content or products for your website, maybe buying a facebook ad or two, and basking in the piece of crap first draft of a product you have initially come up with.
The thought process behind this is even though you may have a terrible initial product, what you have come up with is a framework to build on where your ideas and actions can stem from.
The beautiful thing about this approach is that it can be applied to so many aspects of your life, whether its giving a public speech, making a sales call, writing a paper, asking a girl out, the list is endless...
So guys, the next time you feel stuck planning your plan, give yourself an honest talkin' to and try to acknowledge it for what it is.
Try to identify it, and acknowledge that overthinking is the fear of taking action that won't get you where you want to be.
You might just be surprised what you come up with when you get out of your own way.
Now go be a boss and take some action!
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