Overthinking and Grace, Part 1

I am a profound overthinker. I can put off an important decision almost indefinitely simply because I don’t want to make the wrong decision. And I can get pretty down on myself for doing this, which actually makes me do it more. I worry that I am overthinking, so I actually overthink about overthinking.

When I go to write an article on my blog. When I come up with a new comic idea. When I want to share art. When I want to start a conversation. Yes, I do these things often, but the number of times I don’t because I’ve talked myself out of it are innumerable.

When I overthink, I am trying to keep from making a mistake. But it is far easier to learn by doing something and correcting once you see the results, than waiting until you are sure you’ll get it perfect to try. I know this. I teach other people this through art. If you wait to show me your drawing until you have it just right, you will never show it to me, and I will never be able to help you improve. Same thing with singing. I have worked with choral groups, new singers just starting out, and they want to sing really quietly so they don’t mess up the person next to them. But if I can’t hear them, I can’t bring everything together. There will be flaws that persist, that basically are just put off until later.

So, you have to give yourself grace. It is more important that you begin the work than that you spend years learning everything you can before attempting it. Learn as you go, and practice. Practice. Practice. Write your blog posts. Share your art. Sing loud. Give yourself grace to make bold mistakes and learn from them.

5 Comments

  1. Natashya Newman
    May 22, 2020

    This is so true. It’s difficult to force yourself to say yes. Yes to submitting that draft you don’t feel is perfect. Yes to teaching that class when you think you’re too rusty. Yes to traveling with kids, even if you’re afraid of handling all of that on your own. And yet, I have found that I rarely regret saying to yes to these kinds of chances and risks. They’re rarely easy, rarely turn out perfectly, but always force me to grow. This was a wonderful reminder of that!

    Reply
    1. jilllorraine
      May 24, 2020

      We’re never really ready right? It’s like waiting to have kids until you have enough maturity, money & time to manage them.

    2. Janet Pierce
      May 24, 2020

      A good example for me is: I’m the Event Chair for 3 Arts and Crafts Fairs, right? The past president commented frequently that I had made the events into a monster because I went over and beyond what was needed – “Overkill”. I have changed a lot for the events, but it seems that the vendors AND the guild members like it overall. They keep voting me to continue what I do. Since I was voted as VP (duties include being in charge of exhibits and events), a lot has changed – overkill. We now have people to help unload cars, packets with a map of your booth location, your name tag (for security reasons) & menus & an envelope to write your lunch order on & put your money-and yes, even an ink pen provided-so there are people available to do this, booth sitters and insurance. Also in the packet is an application for our next event. We don’t help to load cars because that is a puzzle to get all your stuff back in your car. We send them a postcard after the event thanking them for coming. So there is some extra things involved, but the vendors Love it and that is what counts. It helps to bring them back. :)

  2. Janet Pierce
    May 18, 2020

    I’m not necessarily an overthinker …. I’m an overkiller. Do they go hand in hand? I come up ideas to make something better that really doesn’t need to be done because it really is fine the way it is. Did that make sense??

    Reply
    1. Jill
      May 18, 2020

      That is so interesting! I’m going to have to think about that one. But not overthink…

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