The Danger of Over Thinking

If you’re a person who likes to over-think things, you’re 

cheating your potential.

Self-reflection is a uniquely human ability to see ourselves from the outside and look inwards. We can examine our thoughts, our emotions and even our behaviors almost like we are looking at another person.

This ability takes some time to develop in us, and it is typically in our first 5 years of life that we develop a Theory of Mind and are able to self-reflect. As we move into our teenage an young adult years, this ability becomes stronger.

To make it simple, imagine that human beings have two parts: the inner and outer.

The inner world is our thoughts, our emotions, our memories. It is where we make plans and dream up new dreams. Without this inner world we wouldn’t make choices for ourselves and would only be able to led by others.

The outer world is where we take action and impact. It’s where our lives intersect with the lives of others. It’s also the place where we do most of our living. Through action and reaction, we shape our existence and make something of ourselves in the world.

What I have noticed is those people who progress in life spend the majority of their time in the outer world. Meaning they act just as much (if not more) than they think.

They tend to be very active, quick decision makers. They correct their behavior and their plans as they go along. Because of this, they are learning and adapting in collaboration with the world, and the world is adapting and being shaped to them.

This is a very important point: you can’t shape the world around you if all you do is think about it.

You need to take some action, get involved in life, and do stuff.

It’s when you’re ‘doing stuff’ that your energy is used productively. Even an act as simple as writing or speaking out your ideas to the world is better than only thinking about them.

What I’ve learned is that when I take an action, especially one that leads me closer to a goal, I seem to gain a lot of energy. A sense of momentum and control emerges that I can’t get from just thinking about things.

I believe that the ability to self-reflect is a good thing. It enables us to see ourselves objectively and work on improving ourselves. We can sometimes catch ourselves thinking about doing something before we do it, and make a change. For this reason, this ability is important to our growth.

But there is a danger that comes along with too much self-reflection. When it starts to take up the majority of your energy, you know you’ve gone too far. When you become too self-reflective your energy gets wasted on the inner world instead of making a difference in your outer world.

Don’t over-think it. Do it.


12 thoughts on “The Danger of Over Thinking

  1. Very insightful! I needed this today! Unfortunately for me, I’m a huge dreamer, and while I try my best “to do” rather than continue to “dream” sometimes my dreams get put on hold due to finances. 🙁 But I totally get what you’re saying, and when it comes to certain areas of my life, I need to be more of a doer than an over-thinker! Thanks for sharing!

    1. So glad it was useful Kristian! Yes I am the same. This blog was really a ‘note to self’ for when I start to get too self-reflective! Thanks for your comments and glad to be sharing the journey with you 🙂

  2. Hi Daniel – First of all THANK YOU for finding and following my blog! I am so grateful that I have now found yours as it is extremely insightful and thought-provoking. I know that I am going to enjoy reading on a regular basis!

    Interestingly enough, this post on “over-thinking” really hit home for me. I tend to do that but thankfully am aware of it and am therefore able snap out of it and force myself into action. Action is so much more rewarding than analysis! (in baseball, and in life!)

    Looking forward to reading more!

    1. Wow, thank you for the comment, and I am glad we are connected. Yes its so easy to use our minds to ruminate and never to make changes in the world. Looking forward to staying connected 🙂 – DMS

  3. Hi Daniel! I really enjoyed reading how you described your inner and outer world!! Thank you for blogging and it’s great to meet you here. Good night!

  4. Very true! Sometimes overthinking is actually procrastination in disguise. If we wait til we’re ready, we would never do anything!

      1. Thanks, Daniel I am so happy to meet on here… For so many years I thought my world was crazy. It turn out that I was crazy Hahaha….

        I’m such a worrier I have a Social Security case pending and I can’t work. So, I have this apartment I wanted so badly which I had money put down in hold….But, I have no income and trying my best to find a side job for my rent on a monthly basis…

        After I read your brilliant insight I decided going to find a side jib and keep motivating myself to stay productive. So, I don’t need to prosracinate on things, and waiting on my Trust fund why not get busy and evolved myself towards my goals.

        I used to be the woman that once long time ago made it to the top of my Careers and Education. I’m 46, and it’s time to get back out in the real world and once again be productive, motivated, determine, dedication, discipline, committed, perseverance, leadership, do the walk not just the talk….It’s my time to get involved and get busy…

        I can do this….Starting baby steps… This to shall pass!


        Saimua Veronica Leasiolagi

  5. All I can say is WOW.
    I across this site a few hours ago, lost my self before it loaded, later on Sat to read, my very own thoughts in every piece I read… not putting all my brain in to it, like you happen to do in such a simple and Powerfull way. Maybe because it came right on time. This inpeticular peace as well as all the others struck me. That’s what I do when I get time to me. I analys, I had a conversation with my husband letting out what ideas and feelings and changes and caught in patterns etc; and hear myself discover more of myself or then maybe not as dramatic before spilling me out, because I’d assume keeping it inside builds up thoughts and feelings I’d just obsessively poke at stirring the thought up…
    While I read from your site, I can’t help but love that there is a “little box” I can find in a phone where someone to answer me, cross the world threw the universe. Right on time. Right after having my head barred in a book “The one minute networker” by Bryan Thayer
    Loving writers, THANK YOU.

    1. You are very kind Penny, I am so glad that you are enjoying what I write. A lot of these area ideas for speeches I have given or will give in the future. This message about over thinking, I know it has helped a lot of people to relax and just go for it. I hope it helps you too! – DMS

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