We all know the saying “trust your gut,” but as young professionals, the idea of working on instinct can be scary. Being the new generation of the working world, we are normally expected to learn from those who came before us, jump the same hoops and climb the same steep ladder. This process of having to continually prove ourselves can lead many young professionals to question their abilities and overthink each and every step we take. While every young professional deals with times of uncertainty, getting into a habit of overthinking can have real negative effects on our precious self-confidence, and can also be a sign that something just isn’t right.
Overthinking: the first sign
We’re all familiar with the concept of “career burnout.” While many things can lead to this dreaded state, overthinking may be one of the first signs that you are headed in a dangerous direction. They say, “work isn’t called work because it’s fun,” but we say that is false and hazardous thinking. Enjoying what you do enables you to go about tasks with a degree of ease, confidence, and comfort, without the need to overthink each and every endeavour. Alternatively, if you are someone that can’t enjoy their work because every task is difficult and/or you are constantly doing things wrong, and thus find yourself overthinking every move you make, it may be an indicator that a career change is order. If you cannot take a single step without considering the implications, it may be be a sign that you are pushing yourself too far or expecting too much.
Consider your self-confidence
As we mature, we tend become more aware of all that we have on the line. Subsequently, the pressure to succeed builds, and confidence in our instincts and abilities can waiver. Having confidence in ourselves, our ideas, decisions, skills, etc. can be tough to maintain in the YP world. Overthinking is a method of compensating for this lack of self-confidence. What many YPs must keep in mind in these common times of uncertainty, however, is that you were chosen for a reason. Your employer, business partner, client, etc. chose to work with you because they believe in your ability to do the job. Overthinking can cause both you and those you work with to question those abilities. Of course, as a rule of thumb, it is good to consider numerous options and all possible outcomes when making important decisions, but sometimes, going with your fist instinct, a simple unconscious inclination (fancy way of saying “I just have a good feeling about this”), can be the best choice. You are educated, trained, and well equipped, so stop thinking so much and just go with your gut!