Overthinking my way to anxiety

 Overthinking man with sun setting in background

One of the biggest issues in my life has been overthinking things.

This often stems from anxiety--and can lead to anxiety.

I search around for the perfect answer, so frantically searching that I forget the original question that prompted the search in the first place.

I know now it stems from anxiety, and I know that I’ve always been this way.

When I was a kid, I thought all problems could be solved by overthinking my way out of this anxiety — by over-analyzing until I arrived at the perfect answer — the one thing that “felt right.”

Don’t ask me how I knew what felt right and if the decision I made led to the best outcome.

I really have no way of telling you.

What I do know is that I eventually got to a point where thinking and thinking no longer worked.

It’s because what was underneath all the overthinking was anxiety. It still is.

I had to dig into that anxiety. I had to rip it apart with my bare hands.

I had to exhaust myself with self-analysis and figure out was scaring me.

It was only by looking inward that I ever found the external clarity that I was seeking.

Now, I use fear as guidance. If something scares me, it typically means I need to do it. Not think about it to death — simply do it.

If I think about the things I’m scared of, it doesn’t reassure me — it frightens me more.

Is it the same for you?

All of us are held back by something. Maybe it’s insecurity. Maybe it’s self-loathing. Maybe it’s not liking the way your clothes fits. Maybe it’s not telling others you care about them enough.

What I know is this: I never conquered and transcended any of my shortcomings by thinking about them forever.

I only moved past them through action. Sometimes the action was slow, in a plodding and methodical way. Other times, the action was quick, like ripping off a band-aid to speed past the painful feeling.

Whatever kind it was, it’s movement that got me through.

That’s why I’ve decided that 2018 is the year to do things that scare me.

2017 was my year of being intentional. I focus on one guiding principle each year, and last year it was that one.

I actually kept at it all year long, and I learned a lot about myself. I learned how I was using my time and started wondering why I wasn’t doing more things I told myself I wanted to do.

So, last year I established my intention, and this year I’m going for it.