According to one study, the average person has between 12,000 and 60,000 thoughts a day. Another study puts the number at 70,000. A third says it’s 6200.
How many thoughts you have a day isn’t the point.
The point is how many of those thoughts are holding you back and what you are doing to change them.
Here are some of the unhelpful thoughts clients tell me they have each day:
• What if I get this wrong?
• What if I don’t know the answer?
• Why is this taking me so long?
• I shouldn’t be here.
• I’m terrible at this.
Thinking thoughts that hold you back is called ‘overthinking’. It’s unhelpful and unproductive and is always what your brain wants to do when your Imposter Syndrome has been triggered.
Here’s why stopping overthinking needs to be a priority for you right now:
• It feels terrible – so the more of your day you spend doing it, the more of your day you spend feeling terrible.
• It wastes time you don’t have – so the more time you spend doing it, the less time you have for problem solving, brushing up on your knowledge, spending time with loved ones, or for prioritising your self care.
• It makes it impossible to stay focused – so the more you do it, the less you get done. And the less you get done, the more terrible you feel.
There is no upside to handing over even one of your 6200+ thoughts a day to overthinking!
I know the idea of stopping overthinking can seem impossible. “It’s my brain! I can’t control what it does!” A client protested to me recently.
Actually, you can. All you have to do, is get started.
Imagine if you could spend even one minute less time overthinking today? That would mean:
• A minute less time feeling terrible today.
• A minute less time wasted today.
• A minute less time being distracted today.
Perhaps this doesn’t sound like much. But if you get back a minute today, tomorrow you could get back two minutes. Maybe even five. And the more minutes you claimed back the better you’d get at it and very quickly you could win back an hour of your day, maybe more.
That’s an extra hour of not feeling terrible. An extra hour of focus. An extra hour to decide whether you’ll get some other work done, or go to the gym, or spend time with your family.
What would that mean to you?
Putting a stop to overthinking is easier than you think. Don’t let the scale of the problem overwhelm you. Just get started. Getting started is the most important part.
Enrolment for Imposter Speech Coaching opens next week, on Thursday March 10th. It’s your chance to get started with the work of solving your Imposter Syndrome and building confidence that lasts, so you stop the thoughts that are holding you back. Make sure you get the details by joining the waitlist now.