When we’re faced with doing something that’s outside our comfort zone, whether it be making the jump into starting a business, or literally jumping out of a plane to do a sky dive, most of us have a tendency to overthink before we act.
It’s a perfectly natural response. In these situations, our limbic system, i.e. the part of our brain which controls things like our fight or flight response is screaming at us to move away from danger, while at the same time, the more evolved, conscious part of our brain (the part which makes us human) is trying to reason that what we’re planning to do is actually a good thing. The end result is we end up going round and round inside our heads, thinking but never actually doing.
Because our limbic system is very powerful, it has a strong influence on our behaviour. This defence mechanism worked really well back when we had to fend for ourselves in the jungle… it kept us alive! But the problem is, in 21st century life we face a very different set of challenges which often conflict with what our primal instincts are programmed to tell us.
In order to succeed in business, we often need to do things that the primitive part of our brain interprets as dangerous.
A prime example here is public speaking. For most people, the thought of standing up in front of a room full of people to give a speech sends their limbic system into a full on panicked flight mode, even though we know it to be completely irrational.
So how do we overcome this inner struggle and get on with taking action?
The answer is simple…
The faster you act, and the less you deliberate something, the less likely you are to be halted by your emotions, and the more likely you are to get it done. It’s just like ripping off a plaster.
So next time you want to do something that scares you, don’t overthink it. Just empty your mind, count down from 5, and do it.
You’ll be amazed at how well it works!