The Single Woman’s Dash of Sass: The Problem of Overthinking

Quotes of the Day:

“You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute.” ~Tina Fey

“Don’t overthink things. Sometimes you can convince your head not to listen to your heart. Those are the decisions you regret for the rest of your life.” ~Leah Braemel

“Overthinking ruins you. Ruins the situation, twists things around, makes you worry and just makes everything much worse than it actually is!” ~Unknown

The Single Woman Says:

I recently started training for “Dancing With the Nashville Stars,” a fundraiser I am truly honored to be a part of that is raising money for a truly wonderful cause, Feed America First. Much like the TV show, myself and seven other Nashville “celebs” will be training with professional dance instructors for the next five weeks, all culminating in a performance at the Factory in Franklin on November 8th. Since I have a lifelong love – no, not even love – a lifelong PASSION for dancing, and I love to help people, this is truly the best of both worlds. Plus, I’ve taken ballroom dance lessons in the past, so I like to think I have a bit of a leg up on my competition. J

That said, I started my training a few days ago with my wonderful dance teacher, Vincent, and I can already see I am going to learn many valuable life lessons on the dance floor. Dancing requires you to step out of your comfort zone on a number of levels. You have to be willing to first and foremost risk making a complete fool of yourself, both during training and during the live performance. You have to be willing to dedicate the time and discipline to training so that you DON’T make a complete fool of yourself. You have to trust your dance partner immensely – trust him to train you, to catch you, to lead you, to push you to do your best. And a BIG lesson I learned yesterday during my lesson that I want to talk about today: You have to STOP overthinking.

It all started when Vincent and I were working on a turn in the mambo that I just couldn’t seem to master. Actually, when I stopped overthinking about it and just allowed my body to take over, I mastered it just fine. But for some reason, I was really stressing and sweating this turn. I was firing off questions at poor Vincent a mile a minute: “But is my foot right? Does it go this way? Which leg do I put my weight on? What are my arms doing? Do I step forward or step sideways?” and on and on and on until finally Vincent took control and interrupted my endless line of run-on thinking before I drowned us both in a sea of unnecessary words and worries.

“MANDY! Stop!” he boomed (nicely, I should add. He’s such a wonderful guy.) “Why are you overthinking everything? Stop thinking and just DANCE! You got it right the first time!”

I stood frozen in my own muck of fear and hesitation and doubt and paralyzing indecision for a split second before we both started laughing…a little at first, then bursting into uproarious laughter at the complete nonsensical mess I was making out of something as small and insignificant as one dance turn. One turn, in an ENTIRE routine! You would think I was choreographing Prince William and Kate’s first dance at the royal wedding! And you know what happened? When I stopped, exhaled, shut off my mind, stopped asking questions and just ACTED, allowed my gut and my instincts and my body to take over…I executed the turn perfectly.

Isn’t this such a perfect metaphor for life?

We can literally bring our lives to a screeching halt with overthinking. When we overthink, we stop acting boldly and hide behind our endless stream of questions and objections and insecurities and self-doubt instead. We drive away people and opportunities that are meant to be in our lives by overwhelming them with our expectations and stipulations and worries. We shut off our hearts and allow our minds to work overtime, essentially turning ourselves into hamsters in wheels…endlessly grinding, but going nowhere.

Bottom line: You just can’t think your way into your destiny. More often than not you have to feel your way to the finish line. Overthinking takes the very magic out of life, because we’re too busy planning the party to enjoy it. Today: Give your mind a much-needed rest. The world will not screech to a halt if you step off the conveyor belt of overthinking. In fact, I’d venture to say it will spin a lot more peacefully on its axis.

Oh, and if you’d like to vote for me to win “Dancing With the Nashville Stars,” I would truly appreciate your support! You can do so by clicking the photo below and following the link next to my name (Mandy Hale, third one down on the page). Every dollar you donate counts as one vote. And every dollar can purchase up 12-15 meals for a deserving family!

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