Each week we change the words/quote/saying that we are displaying on the noticeboard in our kitchen; these are the words we try to live by individually and as a family that week. Some weeks may focus on lifting our mood, others may be about motivation or attitude to life; something that speaks to us on some level and that we can directly apply to our lives. Changing the words each week stops them from becoming just another thing you walk past without really seeing, it keeps things fresh and stops them losing their power. This series is where I share those words with you in the hope they may help you and your family too. If you a new to the series and want to learn more, you can read the first post here, or check out the Words To Live By tab in the top menu.

Without further ado, this weeks words are:

words to live by: stop overthinking

There have been a few occasions this week (and thousands in my lifetime) when my husband told me to stop overthinking. I have a way overanalysing everything to such a degree that I get myself all worked up over nothing. One example was reorganising one of our pull-out larders. In my head it was a huge job that I needed to make time for and then I needed to work out what layout would work best when putting everything back in. It’s a job I have been wanting to get done for months but never started. We were talking about it the other day and he uttered those words. Instead of brushing him off I decided he was right and there and then I pulled everything out of the larder, throwing all the out of date packets in the bin and piling the rest on the floor at my feet. Once half of it was thrown away I could actually see what we had and putting it all back in in some sort of order was actually really simple. The whole thing took me 15 minutes! Months and months of putting it off and in 15 measly minutes it was done.

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” Bruce Lee

“If you keep thinking about what you want to do or what you hope will happen, you don’t do it, and it won’t happen.” Desiderius Erasmus

When it came to writing today’s post I had an entirely different set of words lined up. In fact, I had about 3-4 different ideas for what this weeks words should be and have been thinking about them all morning, unable to decide which to go with. I would start writing out one and then not feel I was doing it justice and change to something else. About an hour in those words appeared in my head; stop overthinking. It was like a lightbulb moment. Those are the words I need to live by this week.

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.” Ray Bradbury

Before I had chance to overthink things again and start to question myself, I opened up this document and started typing.(quotes added later)

“Don’t get too deep, it leads to overthinking, and overthinking leads to problems that don’t even exist in the first place.” Jayson Engay

So, we’ve established that I’m good at overthinking mundane tasks and my writing, but I’m also good at overthinking other areas of my life too (I’m talented, I know). Here is is a list of just some of the stuff that I can overthink on a regular basis:

  • What to wear – seriously, why? Most of the time I’m just sat in the house with a toddler, but I can still stare into the wardrobe for a good 15 minutes mentally discarding outfits. Even more ridiculous when I pretty much live in jeans with either a vest/t-shirt and hoody or a jumper, not exactly making any style statements!
  • What to eat – breakfast is always easy, I love my cereal, everything else and it’s like my brain implodes. It doesn’t help that I’m vegetarian and no-one else in the house is, and both the kids are fussy eaters, so trying to please everyone is almost impossible. I can spend so long staring into the fridge that I end up running out of time and my options are immediately limited to things I can cook in 30 minutes. I even overthink what to choose when we eat out, and being vegetarian there are usually only two options to choose from anyway.
  • Where to go on a day out – I can really overthink every tiny detail when it comes to going anywhere, but when we do finally get out the door you can guarantee I will have forgotten to pack some highly important item, like nappies, or baby wipes, or suncream, or my purse! Thankfully I haven’t forgotten one of the kids yet, but I fear it’s only a matter of time 😉
  • How to decorate L’s bedroom – poor girl has had her new bed in there for three weeks now and I still haven’t decided how I’m going to decorate it. I must have looked at thousands of beautiful wall stickers but I can’t seem to make a decision because with every single one I overthink everything; will she like it in a years time, is it too girly, is it not girly enough, is it too big, is it too small, it seems too cheap will it be crap, it seems too expensive it can’t be that much better – you get the picture.
  • What did he/she mean by that? – a throw away comment that meant nothing at all at the time can pop back into my head and I can over analyse it to death wondering if they meant something else rather than taking it at face value.
  • Is my blog any good? Is anyone even reading? – I am getting so many amazing comments at the minute that people clearly are reading it, but it still doesn’t stop me overthinking it.

To be honest I could go on and on but I think you get the idea and I am fairly certain that I am not the only one guilty of all this useless overthinking (please tell me I’m not!). So, this week I am going to make a concerted effort to stop. I am going to just get on and do.

To round off the post and get you inspired to join me in this weeks challenge I have found lots of great quotes that say all of this way better than I ever could.

“Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.” English Proverb

“My father taught me not to overthink things, that nothing will ever be perfect, so just keep moving and do your best.” Scott Eastwood

“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” William Shakespeare

“The more you overthink the less you will understand.” Habeeb Akande

“Too much overthinking leads to paralysis by analysis. It’s important to think things through, but many use thinking as a means of avoiding action.” Robert Herjavec

“The sharpest minds often ruin their lives by overthinking the next step, while the dull win the race with eyes closed.” Bethany Brookbank

“To think too much is a disease.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking.” Eckhart Tolle

“Stop thinking, and end your problems.” Lao Tzu

Are you an overthinker? Let me know in the comments below.

Have a great week x

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82 thoughts on “Words To Live By #8: Stop Overthinking

  1. So true. I also waste time thinking of ridiculous answers and every eventuality sometimes. Great post. #marvmondays

    Posted on 21 November, 2016 at 3:12 pm
    1. Thank you. I’m sure we all do it at some point x

      Posted on 21 November, 2016 at 3:53 pm
  2. I love this. I am always, always overthinking everything as a part of my anxiety and it can be so silly. Especially when it comes to something so self concious. I agree, we should stop thinking about things and just do things. #MarvMondays

    Posted on 21 November, 2016 at 6:06 pm
    1. Thank you. I think we all do it to some extent, hopefully we can make an effort to stop this week x

      Posted on 21 November, 2016 at 8:05 pm
  3. I think everyone is guilty of overthinking and I’m certainly guilty of that where my blog is concerned. Thanks for the reminder to just go for something. I love your quotes especially the last one ‘Stop thinking, and end your problems.’ #mg
    Sue recently posted…Easy DIY Budget Gift ideas for the Festive SeasonMy Profile

    Posted on 21 November, 2016 at 7:50 pm
    1. Thank you, that one really resonated with me too x

      Posted on 21 November, 2016 at 10:50 pm
  4. I love the idea of different words to live by each week. I choose a yearly word, but often forget about it. Will be trying weekly affirmations from now on.
    #marvmondays

    Posted on 21 November, 2016 at 8:54 pm
    1. Thank you, if I don’t change it regularly I forget about it completely and it loses its impact. Hope it works for you too x

      Posted on 21 November, 2016 at 10:51 pm
  5. “To think too much is a disease.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky Oh how very, very true. This resonates well with me. I try hard to stay present now and not overthink. It is possible to change, if you want to! #mg xo

    Posted on 22 November, 2016 at 6:57 pm
    1. I certainly hope so, I’m a work in progress for sure x

      Posted on 23 November, 2016 at 9:59 am
  6. Oh so much! I procrastinate like mad until I’ve blown things up to seem huge. Then when I just do it, it’s nothing! I have the same problem, only veggie in the house. I hate mealtimes!! Thank you so much for being a part of the #bigpinklink it’s great to have you with us!
    Louise Pink Pear Bear recently posted…Big Pink Link 41My Profile

    Posted on 22 November, 2016 at 8:19 pm
    1. Ha ha, glad I’m not the only one! X

      Posted on 23 November, 2016 at 12:02 pm
  7. I used to massively overthink and over analyse. I think over the past few years Ive realised its a bit pointless worrying about what ifs. My bestfriend is awful for it though and recently single and starting the dating game so I always hear but he hasnt text, yet hes been on whatsapp, what if….!! Easier said than done but we all need to worry less!! #bestandworst

    Posted on 23 November, 2016 at 7:09 am
    1. Oh the dating game, so glad I don’t have that to over analyse, I’d be a neurotic mess!

      Posted on 23 November, 2016 at 5:42 pm
  8. I think it is something we are all guilty of sometimes but it is good you are aware and trying to not do it!! My Mum was told once to allocate a set period of time a day to “worrying/thinking” and for the rest of the day don’t! Hard though and needs practice. Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst
    Sarah Howe @runjumpscrap recently posted…Best and Worst Week #75My Profile

    Posted on 23 November, 2016 at 7:31 am
    1. I’m getting there I think, just have to keep reminding myself when I start going down the rabbit hole!

      Posted on 23 November, 2016 at 5:39 pm
  9. I completely agree. Overthinking never brings anything good. I love “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it…” So true, if we only knew how easy it would be to follow our instict. But unfortunatelly we often don’t hear our intuition anymore…
    #bestandworst

    Posted on 23 November, 2016 at 8:30 am
    1. So true, we definitely need to start trusting ourselves more x

      Posted on 23 November, 2016 at 5:39 pm
  10. This is lovely. I am definitely an overthinker. Thank you for reminding me not to be. I will definitely remember these words and fab quotes next time I am overthinking things.
    #FamilyFun
    Sam – StressyMama recently posted…It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…  My Profile

    Posted on 23 November, 2016 at 5:33 pm
    1. Thank you, it’s good to know I’m not the only one x

      Posted on 23 November, 2016 at 7:16 pm
  11. I am terrible for this. I constantly think about everything. Meanwhile the hubby’s head hits the pillow and he’s snoring. Leaving me between a snoring baby and husband wondering if they’re both ok…clearly are when they’re asleep and I’m counting sheep! #familyfun

    Posted on 23 November, 2016 at 7:49 pm
    1. I used to be a complete insomniac because I couldn’t switch my brain of but after my second child I somehow developed the ability to fall asleep in seconds, long may it last!

      Posted on 23 November, 2016 at 10:31 pm
  12. Overthinking is definitely something to try to avoid – somehow it makes problems seem bigger and makes you put off things. I can certainly relate to standing looking in the fridge, trying to decide what to have for dinner instead of just getting on and making it! Good luck with your challenge to stop overthinking and just get on and do 🙂

    Posted on 23 November, 2016 at 11:22 pm
    1. Thank you, I think we all do it to an extent but hopefully I can stop myself x

      Posted on 24 November, 2016 at 7:27 am
  13. I have to say since becoming a mum I over think a lot less – my brain doesn’t have the capacity anymore to deal with worrying, so I deal with it there and then and then whatever happens, happens. My husband however needs to remember tone not overthink a lot of the time so I am going to send him this to read #MarvMondays

    Posted on 24 November, 2016 at 8:39 am
    1. Ha ha, hope he likes it x

      Posted on 24 November, 2016 at 9:35 am
  14. Guilty as charged!! I am a serial overthinker! I love these quotes they’re fantastic. I think overthinking is more common than we realise. I wish I could be more relaxed. I probably spend too much time thinking about how I overthink too much – the irony!! #dreamteam
    Jaki recently posted…A Touch Of Kindness – Wednesday Wisdom 6My Profile

    Posted on 24 November, 2016 at 12:44 pm
    1. Ha ha, yes, me too! X

      Posted on 24 November, 2016 at 3:14 pm
  15. Massive massive massive over-thinker here! In fact my hubby actually prods me and says “You’ve gone into screen-saver mode.” because I can often be so busy spiralling around nonsense in my head that I am no longer on the planet! I loved this quote: “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking.” Eckhart Tolle. I’m going to adopt it as my new mantra. Brilliant – I love this series x #DreamTeam

    Posted on 24 November, 2016 at 8:17 pm
    1. Ha ha, screen saver mode is so accurate! I go into that state pretty frequently too. It’s true that thoughts are powerful things, for good and bad x

      Posted on 25 November, 2016 at 10:51 am
  16. Oh I over think everything! Its a nightmare and I am sure it is one of my biggest flaws. It can make me over sensitive, second guess everything and actually stop me getting things done. I definitely need these words written all over my walls! Thanks for sharing at #FamilyFun xx
    tammymum recently posted…Is your car road ready this winter?My Profile

    Posted on 24 November, 2016 at 9:18 pm
    1. I’m so glad I’m not alone, it seems pretty common. Hopefully we can all kick the habit x

      Posted on 25 November, 2016 at 10:52 am
  17. This is really an inspiring series! I’m a worrier by nature and tend to overthink things. Those first few months of motherhood worry over and overthinking if the boy was okay was mental! Loads of lovely quotes!! Thanks for linking up to #familyfun
    Karen | TwoTinyHands recently posted…A Walk up Potters Tarn – StavelyMy Profile

    Posted on 25 November, 2016 at 6:47 am
    1. Thank you. I don’t think we’ll ever stop worrying about our kids but I’m hoping to get a little perspective on the overthinking x

      Posted on 25 November, 2016 at 10:55 am
  18. You could have written this just for me – I’m a terrible overthinker! I’m a singer, and it affected my singing massively – instead of just trusting myself to sing, I’d be listening to the sound, criticising it in my head, and trying to make tiny adjustments to it. When I trusted that I’d already put the work in technically to get to that point and just connected with the emotion, the sound was always so much freer and so much better anyway. Try less was the key for me! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove
    Katy – Hot Pink Wellingtons recently posted…#SharingtheBlogLove #22My Profile

    Posted on 25 November, 2016 at 1:27 pm
    1. Thank you. Going with the flow and trusting yourself is definitely the key to most things x

      Posted on 26 November, 2016 at 12:51 pm
  19. This is so so true and something I have to work continually on…. overthinking usually leads to negative thoughts. I find mindfulness really help that. #PicknMix

    Posted on 25 November, 2016 at 2:23 pm
    1. So true, negatively is something I’m always battling with and do try to be more mindful x

      Posted on 26 November, 2016 at 12:52 pm
  20. Back again from #FabFridayPost cus linkies are just so fun! he he he
    Petite Words recently posted…The Penny Pinched Wedding Dress Of My Dreams!My Profile

    Posted on 25 November, 2016 at 2:30 pm
    1. 😘

      Posted on 26 November, 2016 at 12:52 pm
  21. I try to think of it as thinking through every eventuality … which I am prone to doing on certain bigger decisions. I do however find going for a long walk or sleeping on it helps clear the chaff from the wood so I can come up with a decision I am happy with. #pocolo
    Rosie (@greenrosielife) recently posted…Weekly Green Tips #33 – 7 Tips to Reduce Christmas WasteMy Profile

    Posted on 25 November, 2016 at 4:49 pm
    1. Long walks are definitely great for clearing the head x

      Posted on 26 November, 2016 at 12:55 pm
  22. Another strong post in this great series – I can relate to over-thinking about what did he/she mean by that? I can go over and over conversations (or used to much more before becoming more mindful!). #thelist

    Posted on 25 November, 2016 at 11:00 pm
    1. I think we all do it to an extent but at some point it becomes unhealthy, I definitely need to be more mindful x

      Posted on 26 November, 2016 at 12:56 pm
  23. I think I’m the opposite. I just make a decision and go with it. And research first if needed. #sharingthebloglove

    Posted on 25 November, 2016 at 11:41 pm
    1. Ok, you’re my new hero, please teach me, I’ll send wine 🍷 xx

      Posted on 26 November, 2016 at 12:59 pm
  24. Yep, me. I’ve been told a few times I overthink and I only realised it myself about two years ago. Although I must say…you may have the edge over me on this. The larder? Lol. If it’s any consolation, two of my kids have all in their own rooms for 10 months and I’ve still not decorated them. And yes it took em MONTHS to choose the wall stickers for my daughter and they’re still in a tube back in the UK and have no chance of going up if we don’t paint the walls. So add to overthinking my legendary procrastination which I guess is a byproduct.
    I must say I love how the #candidcuddles series has posts that sort of feed into each other each week. Your Eckhart Tolle quote puts me in mind of my previous post about how one reacts to situations.
    Don’t beat yourself up: I HAVE actually managed to forget one of my kids. Oh boy. Thanks for joining us at #candidcuddles again Love how you have that board with words in your house.

    Posted on 25 November, 2016 at 11:49 pm
    1. Ok now I don’t feel so bad about her room, so thank you for that. I also need to hear that story about you forgetting one of your kids! I’m loving reading all the #candidcuddles posts, it was recommended to me by someone who read one of the earlier posts in this series, I wish I could remember who it was so I could thank them x

      Posted on 26 November, 2016 at 1:03 pm
  25. I am a classic over thinker, I joke that it is a wonder I have ever achieved making any decisions in my life! I am a worrier too, but this is something I have been working really hard on over the past 2.5 years, and must say I worry and over think a lot less now! I love this series I always wonder what great words you will share each week! #mg

    Posted on 26 November, 2016 at 7:11 am
    1. Aww, thank you. Well done for working on it for the past few years, it’s definitely a long term project x

      Posted on 26 November, 2016 at 1:08 pm
  26. Love the Jason Engay quote. I definitely overthink but I have a friend who is so much worse – maybe on your level and she is certainly one for always asking “Why” and “What do you mean by that?” and creating problems that just didn’t exist beforehand. She is a Piscean – not sure if you are?? Very funny post. Loved it. #PoCoLo
    Jo (Mother of Teenagers) recently posted…Removing the Safety Net From Our ChildrenMy Profile

    Posted on 26 November, 2016 at 4:43 pm
    1. Thank you. No I’m Aries but I’ve never particularly identified with the personality traits usually associated with the sign. Overthinking definitely creates problems from nothing so I’m working hard in changing that x

      Posted on 27 November, 2016 at 7:36 am
  27. I too am a severe over thinker! My partner is always fussing about my overthinking tendencies #MarvMondays
    Amie recently posted…Educational Toddler TVMy Profile

    Posted on 26 November, 2016 at 8:51 pm
    1. It’s a hard habit to break and I don’t have any quick fix for it but I’m hoping I can at least make a dent in it if I keep reminding myself to stop once I start x

      Posted on 27 November, 2016 at 7:44 am
  28. Really love this, I am popping back to say hi from #sharingthebloglove

    Posted on 27 November, 2016 at 2:18 am
    1. Hi 👋 x

      Posted on 27 November, 2016 at 7:49 am
  29. I am a massive over thinker, but generally over the big things in life. Like why hasn’t that person replied to my text message or how is the house move going to work out etc My husband is constantly telling me to stop and to put it all into context, but its tough. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove
    Laura – dear bear and beany recently posted…Moving House…The Ordinary MomentsMy Profile

    Posted on 27 November, 2016 at 7:36 am
    1. I definitely need to gain some serious perspective with a lot of things, I do pull
      myself out of it when I really take notice of what I’m doing but I need to stop going so far down the path first!

      Posted on 27 November, 2016 at 7:51 am
  30. I love this. I’m such an over thinker! x #KCACOLS

    Posted on 27 November, 2016 at 11:09 am
    1. Thank you, there seem to be a lot of us out there! x

      Posted on 28 November, 2016 at 8:01 pm
  31. Good choice. My husband tells me to stop overthinking all the time. I like to think things through properly to make sure I am confident with my decision, but I probably do have a tendency to overthink! #KCACOLS
    Lucy’s Locket recently posted…Managing expectations as a working parentMy Profile

    Posted on 27 November, 2016 at 12:37 pm
    1. Ha ha, yes, I think there’s a fine line between thinking things through and overthinking x

      Posted on 28 November, 2016 at 8:03 pm
  32. This one is a personal favourite, and something that I need to put into practice more often!

    #KCACOLS
    thetaleofmummyhood recently posted…Positivity Breeds Positivity…My Profile

    Posted on 27 November, 2016 at 12:44 pm
    1. Putting it into practice is a whole lot harder than it sounds too x

      Posted on 28 November, 2016 at 8:04 pm
  33. I’ve always been a terrible over thinker ( I wrote a post about it too) but I am getting better. Blogging actually helped me because I’m too busy thinking about it to worry about everything else ! #fortheloveofblog

    Posted on 27 November, 2016 at 2:04 pm
    1. Ha ha, blogging has so many benefits but I hadn’t thought of that one! x

      Posted on 28 November, 2016 at 8:05 pm
  34. I love reading your series and the quotes that you sprinkle throughout them. #PoCoLo
    Helena recently posted…Creative Crafters for Christmas: Love Made My HomeMy Profile

    Posted on 27 November, 2016 at 4:53 pm
    1. Aww, thank you x

      Posted on 28 November, 2016 at 8:05 pm
  35. Stop overthinking… I love it! I can’t believe your fridge only took 15 mins to sort out – you must be super women. But seriously, these are fab words to remember. Thank you for linking up to the #dreamteam xx
    Annette, 3 Little Buttons recently posted…#HappyLittleButtons November Round UpMy Profile

    Posted on 27 November, 2016 at 8:19 pm
    1. Ha ha, it’s only because most of it was out of date and went straight in the bin, there was hardly anything left to put back in! x

      Posted on 28 November, 2016 at 8:07 pm
  36. Loving this! Yes guilty. Those quotes are awesome #PoCoLo

    Posted on 29 November, 2016 at 2:54 pm
    1. Thank you. Hope they helped x

      Posted on 30 November, 2016 at 7:02 pm
  37. Oh I overthink my overthinking!! I can stand in a shop looking at one thing that I need but won’t buy it just in case it’s not right, too big/small or there’s a better deal next door! I really need to find my impulse buyer that is lurking somewhere inside! Great post. #sharingthebloglove

    Posted on 29 November, 2016 at 11:07 pm
    1. Ha ha, I do that too! I think we need to set up some kind of self-help group!

      Posted on 30 November, 2016 at 7:03 pm
  38. This is a lovely idea by the way! Very true, I am terrible for over thinking too #KCACOLS

    Posted on 30 November, 2016 at 7:00 pm
    1. Thank you, there seem to be quite a few of us x

      Posted on 30 November, 2016 at 7:05 pm
  39. I am the queen of over-thinkers!! I can have a full blown debate with myself about any given situation! Glad it’s not just me! Thank you for linking with #kcacols
    five little doves recently posted…The Book of Everyone – Review & Giveaway!My Profile

    Posted on 1 December, 2016 at 5:46 pm
    1. You’re certainly not alone, there seem to be quite a lot of us!

      Posted on 13 December, 2016 at 5:58 am
  40. Well I’ve stumbled this post to read again and again, because I’m the world’s worst overthinker/worrier/procrastinator (or maybe I can share the accolade with you?!). Brilliant writing, thank you for the inspiration. #KCACOLS

    Posted on 2 December, 2016 at 4:57 pm
    1. Thank you, I really need to make more use of StumbleUpon, learning that is something else I procrastinate over! x

      Posted on 13 December, 2016 at 6:07 am
  41. Great words to live by! I’m such an overthinker! Reading your post made me realise just how much I do it. Thanks!
    Thanks for linking to #pocolo

    Posted on 13 December, 2016 at 6:08 pm
    1. Thank you, it seems to be an all too common trait we all need to get a handle on at times x

      Posted on 13 December, 2016 at 6:25 pm