Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It’s Complicated

"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated."

I have a tendency to overthink many things. Over time, I developed ways of sorting out the insanity in an attempt to move forward.
  1. I am a maker of lists and sticky note fanatic; and I’ll be honest, I enjoy checking items off my lists and tearing up sticky notes. I liken it to a momentary celebration of one less thing! Yay!
  2. I am a researcher extroidinaire. When I am buying something, I have a tendency to research it to death until  I have collected so much information I am on overload. No celebration there.
  3. I am an analytical thinker. When lists, sticky notes or research just doesn't cut it, I go into flowchart mode. My analytical mind is a buzz of if this, then that, until I figure out just what I need to do. This slows my mind and breaks things down into logical steps.
With all this overthinking, there is a point when I am just complicating the whole matter, even if I am merely trying to buy a new refrigerator. Over the years, I have gotten better at catching myself when I have reached the tipping point.

Either out loud, or in my head, I say, stop, enough, or give it a rest girl!

When I hear myself say this, I abruptly stop and let go. I see the moment for what it is ⎯insanity. In that moment, I refocus. Sometimes, I simply stop whatever it is I am doing in order to regroup at another time before I shutdown on the matter altogether. I’ve gotten rather good at shutting down when I am overwhelmed with how to move forward. The truth is, shutting down permits me to procrastinate. But, sooner or later I have to revisit whatever it was in the first place. When I do, I hear myself say, simplify, simplify, simplify. In other words, I allow myself to get out of my own way.

I think most of us have a tendency to complicate the matter, whatever it may be. We refuse to get out of our own way. Whether it's lists, sticky notes, research, flowcharts or whatever you do to sort out the insanity, it comes down to one word: simplify. Break the insanity and simplify. It is your choice, and is as simple as that.
Berry Good photo courtesy of D. Sharron Pruitt