As a life coach one of my roles is to help people clean up their language. A sort of DynoRod for the psyche to clear out those nasty blockages that keep us stuck.  As coaches we get our clients to drop their “oughts” and “shoulds” which are verbal sticks used to chide our consciousnesses.“I ought to go to the gym” (but you’d rather jog with Brillo pads in your bra) or “I should phone my mother” (but eating coal seems preferable). Coaches seek out diminishing words like “just” as in “I’m just a mother” . Another phrase I am beginning to get a psychological klaxon horn of wariness about is the seemingly innocuous – “Hmmm interesting. I will think about that”.

Now if you are a professional academic or a poet in residence this can legitimately be strung out for some time and is totally acceptable behaviour for the dissertation or thought piece that it will produce. For most of us however it is a halting mechanism, a rather sophisticated styling out of the concept of avoidance. It’s procrastination with a PhD.

I may set a client homework and checking in a week later on progress if the response is “I’ve been reflecting” I know this is a bluffer’s excuse dressed as a scholarly side step.

Overthinking is the curse of the reticent, the wary and the deeply scared. It is like throwing a stone in a washing machine, pressing fast spin and jamming it so it goes around in perpetuity. Like a hamster in a wheel our thoughts go spinning round, gaining momentum, rarely coming up with a novel solution other than the ones you have initially considered but can’t face.

You will lose sleep, opportunities and life passes you by as you strike your best Rodin’sThe Thinker pose, scratch imaginary goatees and look studiously intense.

But what does it give you?

Well nothing comes of nothing. No I tell I lie, it will give you confusion, exhaustion, it will double your doubt and eventually lead to despair. What a big price to stay exactly in the same place.

Now I know there is a place for rumination, reverie, meditation and consideration but over thinking is different. It’s fear that has had a Botox lift to make it look more pleasant. It’s our way of putting on the brakes, not taking action and wishing we or life were different without having to do or change anything. You know the answer but don’t like nor want to change anything so “hmmmm interesting” is the response.

So if you can put your hands up and admit to being part of Overthinking Anon here are a few tips to help you get out of that rut and into life’s groove:
  • Park all your thoughts and options on a big piece of paper – draw arrows from one thought to another and write out what the real solutions are even if you are scared looking at them.
  • Get a download doula. Ask a good friend to sit with you as your allow your thoughts a free fall unload and accept the feedback they offer.
  • Ask yourself what is the best that can happen and adjust your mindset to the positive. Stop catastrophising. Get perspective. Take a bloody risk.
  • What will happen if you do nothing? If you are happy to live with regret, without growing or stepping up then stay the same.
  • Get a coach.

Pure Blog

Start living a life on purpose and with meaning by booking a 30 minute call (£10 redeemable against any programmes).

Trackback from your site.

  • Juliette Dyke

    "The backup notes were incredible and I will using them when I start my coaching practice"
  • Lydia McDowall - Project Co-Ordinator (museums)

    "Such a supportive community spirit and I really enjoyed the great buddy coaching relationship that was built"
  • Salome Payn - Project Manager

    "I loved the freestyle coaching approach that is not dependent on a model"
  • Jose Rihan - Utility Warehouse agent

    "I now have team meetings where I coach my distributors overcome fear, procrastination and to set real goals"
  • Lydia McDowall - Project Co-Ordinator (museums)

    "The notes were very comprehensive and great back up refresher - clearly written and well presented"
  • Karen Campbell - Marketing Manager

    "What I loved was the varied content, inspirational teaching and practice and the amazing, empowering journey"
  • Salome Payn - Project Manager

    "The notes were well thought through and I always felt like an expert after reading them"
  • Jose Rihan - Utility Warehouse agent

    "The Pure Coaching Manual was excellent and substantial"
  • Natalie Watkins - Landscape Architect, Milan

    "We covered more than I expected and it was never boring - every week was worthwhile"
  • Natalie Watkins - Landscape Architect, Milan

    "I hope to have a healthy coaching practice within the year"
  • Lydia McDowall - Project Co-Ordinator (Museums)

    "The notes were very comprehensibve and great back up refresher - clearly written and well presented"
  • Lydia McDowall - Project Co-Ordinator (Museums)

    "Such a supportive community spirit and I really enjoyed thegreat biuddy coaching relationship that was built"
  • Jose Rihan - Utility Warehouse agent

    "The buddy coaching was a great way to learn"
  • Juliette Dyke

    "I loved getting to know my fellow coaches"
  • Juliette Dyke

    "If you're looking for a hands-on, intensive coaching course with a friendly group and based on real life experiences, this course is for you!"
  • Salome Payn - Project Manager

    "This course will stretch you out of your comfort zone and transform you to be the person you were meant to be. Be ready to be transformed from good to amazing. To Carole and her team I will be eternally grateful"
  • Karen Campbell - Marketing Manager

    "The coaching notes were written brilliantly and easily understood"
  • Lee Mollins - Data Analysis Director - Financial Services

    "The PCA course provides a powerful collection of tools for dealing the present and defining the future. A unique opportunity to find community and help in a truly open and non-judgmental environment"
  • Lydia McDowall - Project Co-Ordinator (Museums)

    "It was surprising to have real clients to join us to coach and was a great way to put into practice what we learned"
  • Juliette Dyke

    "There was more 'real' coaching client practice than I expected - which was great"
  • Lydia McDowall - Project Co-Ordinator (museums)

    "It was surprising to have real clients to join us to coach and was a great way to put into practice what we learned"
  • Jose Rihan - Utility Warehouse agent

    "Outstanding course content, structure and format. Carole Ann and Lou are very generous in sharing their knowledge and expertise"
  • Natalie Watkins - Landscape Architect, Milan

    "This is the course you need to be on. It's totally real!"
  • Lee Mollins - Data Analysis Director - Financial Services

    "I really enjoyed the openness and personal sharing, we practised on 'live' clients and the notes really covered the modules properly."
  • Natalie Watkins - Landscape Architect, Milan

    "The notes were just brilliant! It was great to focus on the course and not have to make tons of notes as they were very clear, useful and I actually looked forward to reading them when they arrived each week"
  • Lydia McDowall - Project Co-Ordinator (museums)

    "I enjoyed the relaced atmosphere and delivery though it was structured and directed too"
  • Natalie Watkins - Landscape Architect, Milan

    "This course was challenging, insightful, brilliant - it covers all the topics you need to start running a successful practice. I loved every minute. Carole Ann's background in business and journalism added extra expertise"
  • Natalie Watkins - Landscape Architect, Milan

    "It was experiential but it also had structure"
  • Lydia McDowall - Project Co-Ordinator (Museums)

    "I enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and delivery, though it was structured and directed too"

Psst!  Sorry to interrupt...

We just thought you might be interested in joining our exclusive coaching tips group.  Coaching guidance delivered to your inbox to support you when you need it.

You have Successfully Subscribed!