Is Overthinking Making You Second Guess Yourself A Lot lately? Here’s How To Stop
“How to stop second-guessing myself?” I have been asking myself this for the longest of times. I have always been someone who knew exactly why and what I am doing. But as I grew older, I achieved some tiny things and suddenly things started to go downhill.
I began to doubt all my decisions, I would second guess myself a lot and trust me I didn’t even realize it until my husband pointed it out. I am an overthinker and the pressure of shouldering so many responsibilities was weighing me down. So my overthinking was making me second guess myself a lot.
And that’s why I decided to write about it because I think many of you struggle with second guessing yourself too. Before we jump on to the solution let’s understand the problem first.
Shall we begin?
What Is The Meaning Of Second Guessing?
Second guessing is a tendency to doubt your decision a lot. What’s not healthy about second guessing is that you start to obsess over the same non-productive thought. You constantly second guess the decision you made.
For Example, You decided to pitch a new, out of the box idea in a meeting. Now the ‘What ifs’ start bothering you, what if you make a fool out of yourself, what if the idea is crap, what if you don’t present it well, you should have let someone better present it, etc.
Now, this is second guessing yourself. You are basically ruminating over a destructive thought which is only making you more stressed and anxious.
According to my personal experience, second guessing can be a result of overthinking. However, according to the research I did online, second guessing can also be a product of stress and anxiety.
Irrespective of what’s causing second-guessing, getting rid of this behavior is very, very important. That’s why we are going to look at ways you can stop second guessing yourself.
What Second Guessing Looks Like?
- Always struggling with, “Why can’t I choose a final decision?”
- Constantly ask yourself, “What if there is a better option?”
- Dwell upon your previous mistakes
- Worry about what others will think of you
Psychology Of Second-Guessing Yourself
According to our general concept of problem solving we often believe that there is either a right or wrong answer to any question. It’s called black or white thinking. So when we make a decision we believe that it is the right thing to do and we move on with it.
But when it comes to second guessers, after making a decision they think of 10 different decisions that they could have made and keep wondering whether the one they made is right or wrong. It’s like they find a flaw in every decision they make.
This kind of thinking comes out of many things like insecurities, anxiety, lack of confidence, etc. Jennifer Guttman, psychologist & author, one said, “Second-guessing can demonstrate a fear of commitment to an outcome. It’s a form of not owning a decision.”
How To Stop Second-Guessing Yourself?
Believe me or not but you can stop second guessing yourself in just 3 ways. It is a three step conscious process that you have to go through. Before you do anything, you need acceptance, know that you second guess yourself and you need to get rid of this behavior.
Let’s look at the 3 step process of stop Second-guessing yourself;
Step 1- Interrupt
Overthinking is one of the main causes of second guessing yourself. So whenever you find yourself overthinking, ruminating or engaging in negative self-talk, you have to interrupt yourself. Overthinking is like an automatic process so you don’t do it consciously.
But as soon as you identify rumination and negative self-talk, stop yourself, interrupt your thoughts. This will help you get a command over your thoughts. Trust yourself and do not think about what’s already done.
Step 2- Accept
One of the most destructive parts of second-guessing is that you are unconsciously not willing to take responsibility for your decision. You are not ready to accept the outcome of your decision and that’s what makes second guessing yourself so torturous.
You need to keep a few things in mind, firstly, not everything can be in your control. Secondly, take responsibility for your actions irrespective of what it can result into. Thirdly, do not dwell on your mistakes, learn and move on.
Step 3- Redirect
This is the last and most productive step of overcoming second guessing behavior. Once you have interrupted your thoughts, accepted the outcome and reality, it’s time to direct your thoughts in the correct direction.
Think out productive ways to improve the situation you are in. believe in yourself, be open-minded and ask yourself open-ended questions like, “how can i make the most of this? How would your ideal respond in this scenario? What is the next best thing that I can do?, etc.
That’s All Folks!
I hope you found this blog helpful. Do try these steps to stop second guessing yourself, especially at work. Overthinking, anxiety, workplace stress, etc can result in second-guessing so stay clear of them.
Thanks for reading!
Take care and stay safe.