Stop Over-Thinking & Burn Your Ships!

DenaNovember 19, 2009


“Sometimes the key to success is a situation where there’s no going back.” —Alex Shalman

One of Julius Caesar’s most famous victories occurred when he set fire to his own ships upon stepping onto enemy soil. Caesar and his men had no choice but to advance and to win. This action struck such great fear into the hearts of his enemies that victory was inevitable. What courage! I want to to teach you how you can stop over-thinking and start living your life today by burning your own ships!

I stress the power of thought on this blog all the time—especially the power of positive, rational thought—but today I am going to talk about another aspect of thought: over-thinking. Face it, there are things that you would love to do; but you can’t. Why not? Because you think too much.

How many times have you caught yourself saying or thinking:

Well, I would love to go there, but…

Well, I would love to try that, but…

Each of those statements is a fear-based thought and a product of over-thinking & over-analyzing. More importantly, each of those thoughts is unnecessary!

The Cycle
When you really boil it down, over-thinking is a defense mechanism. You are afraid to act, so you start to think. You think and think and think. You’ve been dreaming of taking a trip to Beijing for the last five years. You’ve looked at airfare, hotels, tourist destinations. You even bought an English/Chinese dictionary. But you have not booked your trip. In fact, you have not even thought about booking your trip because… Well, I would love to go there, but… I can’t take the time off of work. I really should wait until the economy improves. The dollar isn’t doing so well. Airport security is such a pain in the ass. I’m afraid of planes anyway. The timing isn’t right. There are a million reasons really. I would love to but…

That’s how it happens. You identify a goal. You start to think about it and then. Bam! The thoughts start. They begin to roll down the snow hill in your mind. And the further down it rolls, the faster it starts to spin. The faster is starts to spin, the more snow it picks up. And eventually, there is one giant snow ball siting at the foot of the hill completely frozen, stagnant. And it’s you—a big scared snowball.

“As a rule, men worry more about what they can’t see than about what they can.” —Julius Caesar

The equation is simple. You have a goal (China). You start to think about it. The negative thoughts start to pile up (money, work, security, etc.). Over-thinking = anxiety = inaction.

If you want to accomplish anything in your life, you’ve got to stop over-thinking. Whether you want to take a trip, ask for a raise, get out of an abusive relationship, or buy a new couch—you won’t do anything if you don’t stop over-thinking and start taking action!

Breaking the Cycle
1. Identify your goal.

2. Eliminate the fears and excuses surrounding your goal. The negative thoughts that pop into your mind are not valid reasons to give up on your goals. They are just fears (and most likely irrational fears).

“I can’t take time off of work.” Yes, you can. You have vacation time, use it. Why are you saving it, just to carry it over until next year? You could walk out of the office today and get hit by a bus! Even if you are a cocktail waitress and you don’t have vacation time, guess what? You can still take your vacation! Taking an epic journey is an invaluable life experience. You will gain insights that will help further you as an individual and as a professional. Work is an excuse based in fear.

“The economy sucks.” Congratulations! Yes, it does. What the hell does that have to do with you following your dreams? If you want it bad enough, you can (and will) find a way to make it happen. Pick up an extra shift, mow lawns, do some freelance work. Stop thinking and make it happen.

“Airport security is a pain in the ass and I’m afraid of flying.” This one is easy. Build a bridge and get over it! Stop making excuses, my friend. Life is too short.

3. Take action. Stop surfing the internet; put down the remote control; and make your reservations already! Look, you’ve been dreaming about this for so long, you are not going to regret it.

Begin Living Your Dreams Today
Over-thinking seems minor but it destroys lives. People literally waste their lives away thinking. People stay trapped at jobs they hate for decades. People stay trapped in unhealthy relationships for lifetimes. People fantasize of faraway places forever and never get there because they are too afraid to stop thinking and take action.

Each of us has the ability to make our lives exactly what we want it to be. Any cage that surrounds you is self-created. Any chains that weigh you down are self-created. Human beings have overcome incredible odds and done superhuman things. It happens every single day. You can be one of those people… or you can be one of the ones that wastes away in boredom out of fear.

“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” —Anthony Robbins

Stop wasting away. Make the choice to live the life of your dreams right now and don’t look back. What do you want? Write it down. Make it happen. Don’t waste another second. Stop thinking… just do it!



Comments (6)

  • Andrew

    November 20, 2009 at 3:16 am

    Too true, it'd be nice to be able to flick a switch to become care free!

    Step 3. Take Action! I know one day i'm just going to have to pack up, and do the move overseas! It's not going to get any easier.

    Dena your posts have been inline with exactly what I've been thinking lately! A bit scary…. 🙂

  • lifeexcursion

    November 20, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    I think the most important and missed step by many is that of not TAKING ACTION. I know that once I did in my life, everything I wanted became reality. The more I thought about doing something (like you said) the less it was likely to occur. I ahd to take action steps towards that goal.

    Great post!

    David Damron

  • Dena

    November 20, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    @Andrew – I am glad that you can relate. I try to make the posts at Evolution relate-able. I feel like there are so many seemingly small things that are actually really large things preventing people from living their best lives! It is my mission to get them all out there on the table and to help people be their best selves. I'm like a rainbow on a mission to spread love and light all over the world. Haha!

    We are all connected by far deeper bonds than we can understand.

    @Dave – Thanks so much for your comment and for your thoughts. You are absolutely right. Even taking small steps toward the goal is better than sitting on the couch and "thinking" about it. Thank you for being an inspiration! 🙂

  • Aneta

    November 22, 2009 at 8:32 am

    Lately I haven't been feeling anything. Well, there was only irritation,frustration and thoughts like "geez, God seriously must hate me". And You, with this post, made me cry. I haven't been crying for ages! and now tears are falling on the keyboard. And it's all because I've become addicted to over-thinking. I'm only 19 but for so many years I have negative thoughts and beliefs, because of this I feel unhappy and miserable but I don't want to feel this way anymore. Not now, not ever!

    I want to thank You, VERY MUCH, because your words gave me hope and made me to start thinking but with positive attitude.
    It seems to me that I'll become a regular visitor at your blog 😉

    P.S. sorry for grammar mistakes, I'll improve my english to comment your post without theme 😉

    Take care, Dena 😉

  • Dena

    November 25, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    @Aneta – I can not begin to tell you how happy I am to read your comment. The purpose of Evolution is to help people and it seems that – through you – I have been a success.

    I am so proud of you for the steps that you are taking! I am honored that you will continue to visit. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to assist you in your journey!

    Love & Light,

  • Arianne

    October 2, 2013 at 3:19 am

    I must say, this was a very inspiration blog! It had soul and determination in it. I feel that over thinking takes a huge role in my everyday life and when i jus read this blog, it gave me a sigh of relief! I wish there was more blogs like this!!

Leave a Comment

Prev Post

Pay It Forward Contest

Next Post

Friday Carousel — 11.20.09