Happy people don’t overthink things. They decide to stick with something and go with it, for better or for worse. The people that we aspire to, the people that get ahead, don’t get there by spending their time endlessly worrying about things and going nowhere. You will never find your inner peace and happiness until you learn to stop overthinking and start living. This article will give you strategies to help you get there.


Photo Credit: Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Don’t get me wrong, productive thinking can be good. Taking the time to educate yourself, read books, and to develop a strategy are all crucial to your growth. But you should not spend too much time at this phase. Stop thinking about what you could be missing, and either take action or move on. 

I have motivated and assisted many people on their way to success. Most people are able to learn and understand what they need to do, but I’ve noticed that few people are actually capable of making a decision and sticking with it. Some spend months or even years in this planning phase, trying to prepare for that first step. They fixate on getting every detail right, and they lose sight of the original goal or reason for doing what they were doing in the first place.

The backbone of your plan to happiness must be as strong as possible, but if you spend your time overthinking every detail, you’ll never start. If you never start, you will never reach happiness. Happiness comes from being on a path to your goals and accepting that you might fail many times along the way. A key mental habit to help with this is to stop imagining all the ways your plans might not work and instead focus on all the ways and reasons why they will and must work.

The truth is that thinking about your 20th step before you’ve even made your first doesn’t make any sense. Nobody has a crystal ball that shows what the future might hold, and by trying to account for every scenario you inevitably start assuming negative outcomes. This is the main danger with overthinking, and also its futility. If you look back to your past experiences, you’ll realize that most of your assumptions were wrong. Nobody knows how situations will turn out, and life will keep throwing you surprises! That’s part of what makes life exciting.

There will be both positive and negative turns in your life. It’s how you react that makes the difference, and most people don’t plan for the positive. What if your business works out and you get too much demand for your product or service? What do you do next? What if your work gets recognized by the biggest star in your field? How do you respond?

Another key mental habit is learning to accept that you won’t have all the answers, but to trust in your ability to transform every situation into something positive. Always believe that you can overcome anything and you will.

It’s okay to be nervous when you start something new, but with time, you will realize that to be happy you need to have courage. Courage to stand for what you believe in. Courage to accept that not everyone will support you on your path. Courage to face the unknown of tomorrow. It’s literally like jumping into a pit and knowing that in the end you’ll find a soft landing.

stop overthinking and don't be afraid to make mistakes

Here are 3 simple strategies to stop your overthinking dead in its tracks, so you can get on with living a life driven by hope and happiness.

1. Get used to not having answers

Nobody is supposed to know all the answers to life. Isn’t the unknown what makes life interesting? Imagine if you knew when you would die, how would you spend your life then? What if you knew that you will never reach the goal you want to reach? Would you be able to bear the truth? Enjoy the process and stop overthinking the outcome.

2. Take small steps

Our dreams and goals tend to intimidate us because of their sheer size. You will eventually need to be a giant to conquer them, but you will grow so slowly that it’s often imperceptible in the day to day. Instead of fixating on doing everything now, take small steps and pick a pace that suits you. And most importantly, don’t compare yourself to others. Everybody has their own stories and backgrounds, their own strengths and weaknesses, and their own rhythm. By concentrating on your own path and taking small steps towards your goals, you’ll see that you’ll end up being a giant by the end of your journey.

3. Don’t be afraid to jump

Keep trying to move and don’t be afraid to make mistakes because you don’t know better yet. Be quick to make decisions that bring you closer to your goal. If they end up revealing themselves as the wrong ones, you will learn from them and do better next time. Don’t let the lack of knowledge stop you from setting milestones. Set a clear vision of what you want and when you want to achieve it.