Greetings everyone! And welcome to my Monday series called Inspire to Cre8te where we deep dive into the behind the scenes of creativity including Mental Health of creatives, time management tips and more to help you feel motivated and not-alone in your creative journey!
Today we are talking about Overthinking!
Overthinking can be a killer for your muse as creatives. It can cause confusion, it can cause self-doubt, imposter syndrome or uncertainty if the project your working on is even with finishing or publishing. It can make you feel stuck.
In a Psychology Today article, they officially defined Overthinking as:
“Overthinking is a prominent characteristic of worry, rumination, and obsessive thinking.” Psychology Today then goes on to say: “…that many people have concluded that overthinking is part of their personality; they’ve not realized that strategies are available to counter this anxiety-indusing habit.”
Some writers at first might consider Overthinking a good thing because of plotting and character development needed to write their stories. And while plotting is super important, that’s not exactly what Overthinking is.
Overthinking is more like invasive thoughts that take away space in your brain for creativity.
So, what does Overthinking look like? While Overthinking can look like or have different experiences between person to person as every individual is unique, some common signs include:
- Spending too much time on one thought or a recurring singular thought
- Unable to relax or sleep
- Thinking about the same thought on repeat
- Stuck in Analysis-Paralysis
- Unable to work on a project because too busy thinking rather than acting
- Dwelling on the project instead of working on it
As you can imagine, it’s extremely frustrating thinking about a project rather than actually working on it, no matter how motivated or inspired you might be for the project. Sometimes it can make you feel stuck or like your letting yourself down. Yeah, if you couldn’t tell, this girl knows the feeling of Overthinking oh too well! You might say it’s the reason I haven’t been very creative the last few years. But, that could be another post for another Monday!
However, that is why I wanted to talk about Overthinking today. Because sometimes it does help knowing you’re not the only one going through it. Also, by talking about it helps normalizing talking about the mental health of creative minds, which can help spark ideas and help creatives be more productive and inspired.
So what do you think? Is Overthinking just part of some people’s personalities? Or is there actually some things that can be done about it?
Well, to quote the 11th Doctor: “I am and always will be the optimist. The hoper of far-flung hopes, and the dreamer of impossible dreams.”
Luckily, managing overthinking is in fact, possible. Here are 10 tips to get you started.
- Start With Mindfulness. Sounds super simple but just becoming aware of the problem can help change your thinking pattern.
- Question if the thoughts are helpful or even true. The brain loves our inner-critic and sometimes, often times, the criticism isn’t even true.
- Try at least one action a day towards your project. Start small and build up to make creativity a habit!
- Examine the worth of your goal: is this a good idea or just something to make me feel busy?
- Review your WHY or your North Star. Remembering what got your excited in the first place or who you are doing it for really helps create that first spark all over again.
- Talk about Overthinking or creativity with other creatives. I know when I’m in a creative Twitter Space, I can’t help but get even more creative!
- Seek a therapist. Bonus if they specialize in creative individuals or Overthinking and/or Anxiety.
- Join an accountability group! Having someone with the same creative goals as you can help you both make them!
- Change up your working space. Does the space you create in inspire you? Even adding a plant or something simple can help shake it up!
- Movement Every Day & Stay Hydrated! Don’t forget to take care of your body! Sometimes when we feel stuck we just need a little MOVEMENT and some good old H20 to get that noggin cooking again!
So those are just some of my thoughts on Overthinking. I know when I started researching about it, not just for this article but for myself too; it did help me become aware about it. I started falling down a rabbit hole of YouTube channels that specialized in Overthinking and how you could stop it. Here are a couple of super motivating videos that helped me: here and here for just some starters! Like mentioned, it does help not feeling like you’re the only one. Because that can lead to feeling like a “freak” or “weird” – which aren’t very helpful thoughts!
So go out there, talk to some other creative folks and get your inspiration again! Because thinking about being inspired and working on being inspired aren’t exactly the same thing. And YOU DESERVE your project to be completed!
Thanks so much for joining me today! Subscribe to this blog to join the Cre8tive Club!