For the last few years, I’ve participated in the Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page Blog Hops, but rarely is there a theme so relevant as this month’s topic of overthinking.
The problem is, there’s so much to say on the topic I don’t know where to begin. This got me thinking about how we think, especially as intense, gifted and/or excitable women.
Recently in my League of Excitable Women Facebook group we got into a discussion about linear vs. nonlinear thinking.
For nonlinear thinkers like myself, a description that appealed to me about the way our thinking works is like a spiral or DNA helix. It doesn’t stay on one thing, but keeps coming back to it, perhaps at a deeper level the next time.
Another member described their thinking as “logical non-linear” like reading a map:
“I feel like my thinking is more like viewing a map and seeing the possibilities – there’s the fast efficient way of getting there, there’s the scenic route (maybe longer but more fun), the escape route (wtf did I do and how do I get out of it?), and of course the 5 other routes that will get you there but have no real value to add. When I overthink it’s like spontaneously adding stops to a road trip, the whole map needs to be reviewed and routes need to change which causes me to rethink every other point on the map.”
A more linear thinker described it this way, “I have a very linear brain. I examine a problem carefully, from all angles, looking at all the possibilities. I plan something from beginning to end and like order and stability (sometimes too much). I can get hung up on the details, figuring out how they all fit together into the whole, and lose track of the whole.”
The common thread I see among most of the women I’ve worked with is the tendency to look at a problem from every possible angle. A more linear thinker might internally work out the most efficient route, but possibly get stuck on the details. A non-linear thinker might need external strucrures and supports in place to contain the inner chaos and move forward because there might not be one obvious beginning, middle and/or end.
Now I’d love to hear from you – would you describe yourself a a linear or non-linear thinker? What helps you get unstuck when you are caught in an overthinking loop?
This week I was inspired to create a short-term coaching offer called Focus Your Power to help you get clear on where to focus your energy, come up with a concrete plan of action to meet your goal and refine your plan for success. I’m offering the first 8 to sign up a discounted rate of $75. You can find out more here.
This post was written as a part of this month’s Hoagies’ Gifted Education Blog Hop on Overthinking. For more musings on my own overthinking and thoughts on what to do about it, you can listen to this week’s podcast – Overthink Much?