Hi I’m Jean, and I’m an overthinker! You too? Welcome to Overthinkers Anonymous. This is episode #47 of the Art of Homeschooling Podcast!
Ha. I totally made that up you know! But here’s my observation ~ many of us homeschoolers tend to get stuck in overthinking mode.
Reviewing, ruminating, overanalyzing, and becoming paralyzed by indecision.
Why Do We Overthink Things?
On this episode of the podcast, Overthinkers Anonymous, we’ll dive into what overthinking is and what drives it. And how to let it go so we can overcome decision fatigue and stop feeling so overwhelmed. You’ll find highlights here as well as resources to explore.
Homeschooling can feel like a big responsibility. Because it is!
I know, I certainly felt that way. Wanting to do it well and give our children the best. And for goodness sakes, we don’t want to mess things up!
All of those seem like really good thoughts, really good motivators. But they often cause us to stay stuck in overthinking. This is something that seems to especially plague women.
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Here is author Anne Bogel’s definition of overthinking from her new book, Don’t Overthink It:
“When we talk about overthinking, we’re talking about those times when we lavish mental energy on things that don’t deserve it.” ~Anne Bogel
Welcome to Overthinkers Anonymous!
I have a few considerations for you to contemplate:
- Overthinking can be a way of procrastinating. When we don’t feel ready to take action, when we feel uncertain, or even reluctant to move forward, overthinking can become a form of procrastination. We can change our mindset, just like changing a habit, and it’s just a matter of being more conscious and intentional with our thoughts.
- Taking action is often the only way to know if what we’re considering is a good idea or not. Because clarity comes from taking action! And in homeschooling, it’s the doing that counts.
- Homeschooling involves thinking, doing, and assessing. We tend to do way too much thinking, not enough of the doing, and very little assessing. You can bring balance back by focusing on the thinking, feeling, and doing of decision-making.
3 Ways to Stop Overthinking
- Consider, then just decide. It can help to set boundaries or give yourself a time limit for how long you’ll think about something. You might set a timer for 10 minutes to consider all of your options, then it’s time to decide. And promise yourself you’ll then STOP thinking about the topic. Whether it’s choosing curriculum or resource, deciding on a daily schedule, or picking an activity to start your homeschooling morning, you can just decide. And then give yourself a date when you’ll check back to assess the action you chose.
- Let go of trying to find the one “right” way to homeschool holistically. This idea keeps us from taking the step from thinking to doing. It can cause us to be so tentative that we waffle and our kids feel our uncertainty, our unsteadiness. Our children can pick up on this energy and this can sabotage even the best intentions.
- Remind yourself: Overthinking erodes our confidence. We need more courage, not less. So I invite you to approach of your homeschooling lessons with a mindset of curiosity, to try things out and see how it goes. Replace worrying “Is this right? Is this the way I SHOULD be doing this?”, with “I wonder….”
Let Go of the Tendency to Overthink
Now, if we can identify overthinking and consider the root cause, we can choose our thoughts more intentionally. After all, our thoughts create our emotions which in turn create our actions. We can ask ourselves, “Is this thought serving me right now?”
If it is, keep it. If not, consider trying out a different thought.
Getting our mindset right and ready to homeschool takes a little awareness and conscious consideration on our part. And I invite you to choose your thoughts with intention.
Just don’t overthink it! Because overthinking is exhausting and keeps us stuck in the repetitive and unhelpful space of constantly second-guessing ourselves.
So let’s join together in Overthinkers Anonymous and agree to choose intentional thoughts over the automatic ones that sometimes show up and keep us stuck. To replace worry and overwhelm with curiosity, confidence, and ease!
I’ll leave you with a poem I wrote at the summer Taproot Teacher Training a few years back…
Searching and searching…
We all do it.
We keep searching.
“What if I just haven’t found it yet?”
The truth is, we have enough.
Right here, right now.
We don’t always need more.
Because what your children really want
More Inspiration Here
Listen to Episode #31: How to be More Decisive as a Homeschooler for some homeschooling mindset tips to empower your decision making.
There’s support in community! If you find this episode of the podcast helpful, there’s more inside the Homeschool with Waldorf community membership. Come join us!
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