We all have nagging voices in our minds that sometimes criticize and doubt our worth. However, overthinking robs us of valuable time and creativity. It’s the most expensive and least productive thing we invest in (without even knowing it). As a seasoned leader in the medical devices field, my team and I have made it a point to help our employees face and overcome workplace triggers. We remind ourselves that we’re not powerless over these voices in our heads and that we can reshape the narrative with practice (and a little patience). If you’re ready to transform challenges into possibilities, this month’s publication about overthinking is for you.

Over analysis can result in paralysis for many people. Being swamped by negative thoughts can hinder you from pursuing your aspirations. In other words, overthinking can be a sneaky form of fear. Do you agree that dwelling excessively can consume time, stifle creativity, and diminish productivity? While you might feel at the mercy of your thoughts, granting them undue power impacts your professional life, personal connections, and future prospects.

When you overanalyze, thoughts can linger and revolve in your mind—beyond your expectations and desires says Jon Acuff, author of the book Soundtracks; The Surprising Solution to Overthinking. These thoughts frequently magnify past actions or words you wish to move past. Such detrimental mental loops, akin to “broken soundtracks,” intrude upon your consciousness, fostering uncertainty and insecurity, which in turn can result in missed opportunities.

Over time, your brain repeats these broken soundtracks, and they reset your memories. You believe what your brain tells you and find evidence to support those beliefs. If you want to tap into the surprising power of overthinking and give your dreams more time and creativity, learn how to “DJ the soundtracks” that define you says Acuff. In other words, if we can worry, we can wonder. If we can doubt, we can dominate. If we can spin, we can soar. Since we cannot turn off our thoughts; we can at least turn them down. Acuff offers three questions to consider the next time thoughts start to spin out of control.

When Spinning on Unproductive Soundtracks: Influence Ideas with Action

Treating your thoughts as on or off can set you up for failure. Instead, aim to turn down the volume on your broken soundtracks says Acuff. Consider these techniques to successfully reset your perspective:

  • Exercise: This action releases endorphins that can boost your mood
  • Make Lists: Sort out tasks to help you prioritize
  • Complete Tasks: However minor, complete a task or two and mark it off a list to give yourself a sense of accomplishment
  • Distract Yourself: Work on a hobby (jigsaw puzzle, knitting, reading a book or listening to a podcast) to help distract your mind from overthinking in the moment
  • Breathe: Self explanatory

Overthinking often leads to indecision, wasted resources, reduced innovation, decreased confidence, missed opportunities, increased stress, inefficiency, customer dissatisfaction, and a lack of adaptability – all of which can have negative consequences for a company’s success and growth.

To help, consider talking with trusted leaders, co-workers, family and/or friends to slow down unhealthy thought cycles. Make the decision to turn down the volume on negativity and overthinking. Personal connections can help us see the truth and often provide healthier viewpoints.

📌LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE: When we don’t control our thoughts, our thoughts control us. What steps will you take this week to turn down “broken soundtracks” running through your mind?

Brandon Rouse leads a diverse & growing team of professionals well-versed in the challenges facing healthcare. Headquartered in OKC, OK, Brandon’s experienced team represents various technological & innovative medical solutions. ZB RX Medical is a direct distributor of Zimmer Biomet.