We all overthink the obvious. Not because we necessarily like to complicate our lives, but the drama we play out in our heads at times has a way of confusing our ability to make even a simple decision. It’s not hard to know the difference when you are happy, challenged, stressed or even when it’s time to ask yourself, “Should I stay or should I go?”
Knowing when it’s time to leave the party is as important as knowing when to fight for what you want. Some of us tend to give up when the battle has just begun or fight wars in our minds only to realize we are the ones holding the gun fighting off our unseen enemy-usually ourselves. When we do battle with ourselves, or pick up the fight for no reason, then we start asking ourselves-“What am I doing here?” Being trigger-happy is one thing, but shooting yourself in the foot when it comes to your ability to make sound decisions as it relates to your career is another.
Then there are the times, when we take ourselves out of the race before it has even begun. Take for example a candidate I had up for a job who was interested in the opportunity and engaged enough to want to hear more and when he came back from the holiday break, called to say he thought it over and before meeting with the senior team was going to pull out of the race because he believed that they were in no way going to meet his salary expectations. My response? Stop! Why pull yourself out when you don’t know how the outcome will play out? If they liked you enough to want you back after knowing what you were looking for in compensation why on earth would you second-guess the process and jump the gun to assume otherwise?
The difference between reacting and making an educated decision lies somewhere in your fear to move forward and of your fear of rejection. Never assume you know what the outcome will be before you even play your first hand. That’s like folding every time you draw a card you don’t like in Poker. It’s not always the high hand that wins. We confuse ourselves with worrying about what is right, wrong or sideways that we paralyze our process by staying stuck instead of moving forward.
What we need when we overthink ourselves into oblivion is a swift kick to move us forward towards our goals, not stuck in wondering “what if?” It’s okay to know how you feel about a decision or a process but when you start to rationalize what others might be thinking or reacting it’s time to turn in your analyst hat for a martini. Chillax as they say, there is nothing wrong with wanting what you want. Just don’t try to imagine what others want for you and run the other way. Next time you question whether you should stay or you should go, think about one thing only: you are the only one who should be making that decision for you- not because you are concerned with what others think, but because it’s the right decision for you.