a man overthinking about his startup business

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Don’t Overthink It: Do What You Know How to Do

Is there a goal you want to achieve? A dream you want to turn into reality? Fantastic. Go after what you want. And whatever you do, don’t overthink it.

While everyone has a goal or dream at some point or another, only 8% actually achieve it. The other 92% often fail to do it or give up because of procrastination, lack of self-belief, or other hindrances overthinking contributes to. Which, while unfortunate, makes sense—73% of 25- to 35-year-olds are chronic overthinkers.

So, if there’s something you want to do or someplace you want to go, it’s important that you don’t overthink it. It’s better to pull a Nike instead.

Don’t overthink it—keep it simple and pull a Nike

There are always key factors to think about any time there’s a desired outcome to be achieved. For instance, if you want to win a basketball game, it’s important to think about your gameplan—what plays you’ll run in certain situations, how you’ll take advantage of player matchups, what defensive schemes you’ll use to counteract your opposition’s strengths, and so on. But you can’t gameplan forever. Once the game starts, you have to do what you know how to do, play how you know how to play. You don’t overthink it. You just do it.

Problem is, if life is a basketball season, too many of us are delaying the start of our games. We keep working on our gameplans, trying to make them perfect. Because that’s who we are, perfectionists. (Especially as young people. In fact, perfectionism rates in college students are greater today than in the last 30 years, and up to 30% of teens strive for unrealistic perfection to the point of causing them pain.)

But the perfect gameplan doesn’t exist. No matter how great your gameplan is, no matter how much time you spend thinking through every single aspect of it, you’re going to miss shots. You’re going to turn the ball over. The other team is going to score. If you wait to play the game until you know you can play the perfect game, you’ll never get on the court. And if you never get on the court, you’ll never win.

So, stop delaying tip-off. Have a goal? A dream? Start chasing it however you know how to. Do what you know how to do and make in-game adjustments as you go. Go after what you want. And whatever you do, don’t overthink it.

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