Get Out of Your Own Head: How Overthinking Almost Held Me Back

Tim Goedhart

Hey everyone! This post was inspired by an experience that I had last night, in which I had to (as the title suggests) get out of my own head and restrain myself from overthinking and overanalyzing. This an issue that I struggle with quite often, partly because I tend to be very sensitive in general but also because I have a generous competitive streak. So, the overly-analytical side of me comes out frequently, whether in social situations, work products, or performances. In the most recent case, it was a performance…

So, last night was the first time I got to perform with an all-female improv group that I joined about 2 months ago! Let me tell you guys: there are some badass, talented women on this team, and frankly I have been quite intimidated since I started working with this group. They all have their own unique ways of making the craft something entertaining and compelling, and nearly all of them have more improv experience than me. Now I bet you can see why that’s so intimidating! At the same time, it is truly inspiring, and helps me to challenge myself in a healthy way to get better as well.

Anyway, the point of mentioning this is to highlight two key things:

1. Up until yesterday, I had been overthinking at every single practice, second-guessing my performance skills, and comparing them to my fellow performers.

2. I was pretty damn nervous that this would affect my performance last night and that I would be the weakest link as a result of the above. SPOILER ALERT: This was not the case!

Last night, I somehow managed to get out of my own head and stop overthinking every single thing that I said or did during our performance. I literally told myself, multiple times, “Don’t overthink this. Be open to whatever happens. Trust your teammates. Have fun with it.” It became a mantra of sorts for me, because I kept getting caught up in doubts and overthinking what would happen as the performance drew near. But each time, that mantra came back! As a result, I was able to stay in the moment and properly enjoy performing with my team.
If you’re anything like me in the realm of overthinking or being overly analytical, I urge you to try shutting off the little voice in your head that’s throwing your thoughts into a tizzy.

Sometimes, the best thing that you can do is to trust your intuition in a moment versus trying to “logic” your way through it all. And, if you’re having trouble tuning into a particular moment, I suggest taking a big, deep breath that draws in all of your focus. A friend of mine told me about this trick a few months ago, and it makes such a difference when I get overwhelmed!

In the end, overthinking is not necessarily a bad thing: it means that you care, and that you want things done correctly. But, don’t let it get in your way of doing something awesome or making meaningful connections! At the end of the day, getting yourself worked up is only going to affect you – and, you deserve some peace of mind.

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