Your Overthinking is Absolutely Killing You (and what to do about it)

Your Overthinking is Absolutely Killing You (and what to do about it)

You have an idea that seems interesting. You might even be tempted to take action on it. But then you immediately start to reconsider. Is it actually a good idea, or just an average idea, or worst of all, a terrible idea? You begin to imagine the outcomes of acting on this idea, and all the permutations of all the outcomes. You start to envision the disappointment of having made a poor decision, and suddenly it seems much better to not do anything at all.

This is how great ideas die.

This is how Highly Creative People stay stuck.

One of the characteristics of the Highly Creative Person is a real gift for nuance and subtlety. If you are an HCP, you love intricacy, multiplicity and process, and are somewhat more likely than most to use the word “liminal” in conversation.

You read micro-expressions.
You consider your words carefully.

You notice connections between things before others have noticed anything at all.

Here’s the problem: you overcomplicate every.damn.thing.

You may have noticed yourself overthinking yourself into inaction.
You may have discovered that you overwork for no reason or reward.
You may be habitually overwrought.

And all this “over-” is exhausting for you and for the people around you.

On the other hand, you don’t want to dumb yourself down.

So what’s a twisty little brainiac like you to do?

TRY THIS: First thought, best thought.

Why this works: your processing speed is a bit faster than everyone else’s, so the thought that feels like it just popped into your consciousness has actually undergone a fairly elaborate, if invisible, process of evolution. You may not know how you know – but you know. You process information, intuition and patterns quickly, and then you are able to make connections between disparate bits of information with supersonic speed. You can trust that your body and brain have, in fact, “thought” about it for you, and have delivered a sound outcome.

If nothing else, moving forward from your first thought puts you into experimentation mode, which will lead you to new thoughts and new outcomes. Which is waaaaay better than just sitting there spinning your wheels, yes?

TRY THIS: Put it in Beta

Rather than think of every idea as a full commitment or a final decision, think of yourself as putting your ideas into beta testing. (Beta testing is the stage of software development when the creators think they’ve got something that might work, and even though it’s not near done yet, they invite users to start testing and giving feedback. So the users know they are mucking around with something that’s not complete, and enjoy the process of poking holes, finding bugs and discovering weaknesses that the designers may never have even considered.)

Beta-testing your ideas allows you to experiment with the deliberately imperfect.

To put your ideas into beta, think of the smallest, easiest component that you can put into action the quickest.

Have an idea for a class? Why not invite 3 people to coffee to talk it over?
Have an idea for a book? Go ahead and start by writing a few sentences on one index card every day for a week.
Have an idea for a new business or marketing scheme? Why not put up a teaser post on social media to gauge initial reactions?

TRY THIS: Ask someone you adore.

We all have a few smart friends whose opinion we take seriously. Why not cash in some of those Friendship Points and ask them for five minutes of their time. You can’t do this non-stop, of course, but it’s amazing how having to explain your idea to someone you respect can clarify your thinking, and how much insight a smart person can bring in just a few minutes. Be sure to offer to return the favor, of course.

TRY THIS: Google it.

I am astonished by the number of people who confide an idea to me when they haven’t spent even five minutes looking into it. Do yourself a favor and Google your idea to do a quick check on whether it’s been done before, and by whom. This is what is known as research, and it is an important part of the development of an idea.

Just because something’s been done before is no reason not to do it – quite the contrary. If someone has already proved the market for an idea, that’s excellent news. Mostly you want to know if an idea has been tried so you can learn from their mistakes and figure out how your idea is better, different, cheaper, or more interesting.

TRY THIS: Try it.

Spend 15 minutes every day for a week (a month, a year) noodling around on your idea. Let it see sunlight. See if it goes anywhere. See if you wake up thinking about it (usually a good sign) or if you don’t want to stop working on it (always a good sign). It’s fine if you play with an idea for a while and then decide it’s not worthwhile, or not the right time. At least you’ll have gotten your hands dirty and learned something.

You have some amazing ideas to offer the world – but you’ve got to stop torturing them inside of your mind and start letting them see the light of day, yes?

Want to know more about the Highly Creative Person? Take this quiz here and let me know what you think.


oh snap (or, slightly freaking out, part two)

oh snap (or, slightly freaking out, part two)

OK, so I don’t want to get all woo on y’all, but since I wrote you last week about how shy I was feeling about putting myself front and center, the following things have happened to me:

  • got nominated for the prestigious Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award
  • booked a fun speaking gig for the Professional Photographers of America
  • am being profiled for a feature in Carpinteria Magazine (a small town magazine with a BIG impact because of all the tourists and celebrities who come through here : )
  • got an article I wrote accepted by The Good Men Project (1.8 million page views/month)
  • looks like the musical I wrote has a *very* bright future – stay tuned!

Now…I am not saying that proximity equals causation.

Most of the things on the list above have been in the works for some time now.

But it’s amazing how they all hit on the same week my new site went public, isn’t it?

Here’s what I know for sure:

When You Do Things, Things Happen.

Sounds laughably simple, I know.

You take an action and there’s a ripple effect. You post a photo of your new jewelry design on Instagram and suddenly someone wants to buy 30 of them. You give a talk to a room of 12 people, and afterwards, three of them want to talk to you about working with you privately. You publish a little ebook and you get offered a monthly column in an important periodical.

You’ve seen this ripple effect a grillion times, right?

But what about when you DO NOT take action?

What about when you procrastinate?
When you dither?
When you let your fear and perfectionism hold you back?

Same thing:

When You Don’t Do Things, Things Happen.

But not good things.

When you don’t show your work, you get even more nervous about showing it.
When you don’t give a talk, you become the best-kept secret in town, and your revenue drops.
When you don’t publish your ebook, all the people that you could be helping are left stranded.

And the cumulative effect of breaking your promises to yourself over and over again causes your self-esteem to wither, and your self-confidence to plummet.

(The Shame Spiral….it would make a pretty hilarious ride at a theme park, don’t you think? Floating heads chanting, “you’re not good enough!” and “who do you think you are?” as you caroom down a slippery circling slide…deeper and deeper…and then maybe at the end you get spit out on to a therapist’s office couch….#heeheehee)

Anyway –


And it’s time for it to stop.

Spend 15 minutes *right now* on the project that matters most to you.

Need a Little Push? Get the Procrastination Domination Starter Kit

Your Creative Year

Happy New Year! 

Welcome to the fresh and shiny possibilities. 

Oh… wait. “It’s not January 1st?”

That’s ok. Your New Year…

Your Creative Year…

Your Successful Year…

Can begin any day. Even today. 



PS: And if it IS January 1st (or there ’bouts), all the better. Click the video image below to begin “Your Creative Year.” 

“Thank you so much for your bright mind, right on information, and your acute knowledge about the artist.” – L., Montreal, Canada

“This has been the best way to start the year for this procrastinator!” -S., El Paso, TX

“These questions have helped me see that I am here to inspire and light the path for others, that I don’t need to “save” them. It takes so much responsibility and self-sacrifice off my shoulders and makes the path and process lighter! Thank you.” – L., Los Angeles CA

“Wow, Sam — these questions are amazing – I never thought to ask a lot of them and this has the potential to really help me find out what I want – Thank you!” – T.B., South Africa

If you enjoyed this workshop,

may I recommend my flagship program for creatives who want to…

When is it too Late?

That person who expressed interest in your work, but you never followed up with them…and now you think that too much time has passed, so you don’t reach out to them.

The friend who was having a tough time, and you wanted to call or write, but you got busy and now it feels weird.

The thank you note you didn’t send.

The invitation you never made.

The opportunity that passed you by.

It’s a TERRIBLE feeling, isn’t it?

Guess what?

It feels terrible because it’s FALSE.

It’s not too late.

It’s never too late.

As long as you have breath in your body, it is never, ever, ever too late.

If you are still thinking about it, then the possiblity is still alive.
The fact that it is still on your mind means that it is NOT TOO LATE.

But there is a challenge here:

You are going to have to change.

You are going to have to sacrifice

– your perfectionism
– your embarrassment
– your discomfort
– your misplaced pride
– your big idea that you know how long something is supposed to take

and GIVE IN to the DESIRE you have to take action.

It’s time to put on your Big Girl Panties.

And I know — you think about reaching out to that person, or pursuing that opportunity, and you cringe.

It feels scary.

But trust me: you would not still be thinking about it if it weren’t the right thing.

And who knows? Maybe NOW is an even better time than before!

Maybe now is the perfect time.

So here….to make it easier for you, I’ll give you a little script to use:

“Hello X,

I find myself still thinking about you and XYZ today, so I wanted to follow my intuition and reach out.

If it feels right, I’d love to connect. Are you available to talk on DAY at SPECIFIC TIME or OTHER DAY, OTHER TIME?

If not, no worries – but I’d be remiss if I didn’t even ask.

I hope this finds you well.


Take a chance.
Turn that regret into action.
Open yourself up to some new information.

Let me know how it goes, OK?


Here’s a Little Quiz

Here’s a Little Quiz

So here’s my little quiz:

I want you to think about one particular project you are procrastinating – you might have lots, but let’s just pick one – whichever one comes to the top of your head first.

OK? Got a project picked out?

Because we all know that some ideas take a looooooong time to come to fruition. And some plans are waiting for the right time, the right partner, the right technology….

So how to tell the difference between an idea that is still fomenting and an idea that we’re quashing?

Here’s your answer: INTUITION.

Here’s a 2-minute exercise on how to do that:

1) Get quiet inside of your mind, take a few deep breaths, and imagine your project sitting before you. What color is it? What form is it showing you?

2) Take its pulse. Is it vibrant and alive? Or does it feel strangled and weak?

3) Ask your project what it wants you to do. Listen to the answer without reacting. Just take in the information.

4) Say “thank you” to your project and come back to yourself. Make some notes.

If you’re still unsure, then try taking a few baby steps (less than 15 minutes; easily affordable; not too scary) toward your project and see what happens. If the universe comes rushing at you with bushels of support, then GREAT!


And if you make a few starts and it’s all knees-and-elbows and missed calls and weirdness, then drop it — now is not the right time for this project. Write it down and put it in the “Genius Ideas – Fomenting” file.

(You do have a file like that, yes? Or a shoebox? If not, you should get one. It’s important for every idea to have a home

You’re Just Never Satisfied, Are You?

You’re Just Never Satisfied, Are You?

Almost Perfect, Except For Just This One Thing… by samanthabennett222
Create a  Customized T Shirt  At  Zazzle
See more Words To Live By T-Shirts   “>Just A Little Divine Dissatisfaction


You’re never satisfied, are you?

Even when something is great, you are always thinking that it could be just a skotch better.

You are always revising.

Your whole life is brief, fleeting moments of satisfaction that only serve to punctuate the endless wash of “if only.”

The grass is not only greener on the other side, it is richer, thinner and better-looking as well.

You just can’t leave well enough alone, can you?

Guess what:  nobody can.

Human beings are especially designed to be dissatisfied.  We are in a near constant state of dissatisfaction.  Dissatisfaction is what we do best.  Our brains are constructed to be always ticking along, thinking, “How could this be better?”

And, perhaps more importantly, “How can I be better?”

We are always seeing something that isn’t there and wishing that it was.  And artists are more dissatisfied than anyone else.

Artists are better than anyone at seeing a new solution, a new means of expression, a new version of perfection.  Artists specialize in seeing what’s not there.  Out of nothing, artists create something.

This nothing-into-something business is what people talk about when they talk about miracles, and artists do that sort of miracle more often than most.  Of course, mothers and fathers do it, too – that’s why we call it the “miracle” of birth.

Talk about nothing into something: first there was nothing and now there’s a whole new person in the world!  And good cooks do it, naturally.  And gardeners.  And children do it constantly.

So this chronic dissatisfaction you are feeling is not a bad thing.  It is Divine Dissatisfaction.  It is the restless spirit of creativity calling you to action.  You are being called to create.  You are being called to reveal the miracle within you.

So, next time you feel like you are an empty well under a clear blue sky, remember: There’s Nothing Wrong With A Little Divine Dissatisfaction.

What are you divinely dissatisfied with today?  And what do you think you might do about that?

By the way, you may buy the shirt above by clicking here.