Adam Grant explains how to stop overthinking

Adam Grant explains how to stop overthinking

16.08.2022 Off By manager_1

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It can be easy to get overwhelmed in a world that is filled with endless amounts of information and updates. It’s easy for you to get stuck in a rut, worrying about the right choice. There are experts who can help you overcome the horrors of overthinking. Our team spoke to one such expert recently.

Adam Grant has made a career of understanding how brains work and explaining how to change them. This helps people live happier, more fulfilling lives. Professor, social scientist, and public speaker, he has written many bestselling books including Think Again, Originals and Give and Take.

Grant shared his top tips on how to overcome overthinking every day. This is no matter what type of thinker or thinker you are.

How to tell if you are overthinking things

We spoke with Grant about his two-question approach to deciding whether he’s overthinking decisions. “The first question you should ask is how important the decision that you’re about making is.” he stated. Ask yourself what the stakes are. The second question is: How reversible can this decision be? Is it a locked or revolving door?

These questions will allow you to clarify how crucial the decision you are making and whether there is a way to change it in the future. He says, “If you are dealing with a highly consequential irreversible choice, you need to pause and reflect on it, because it really does matter.” In those situations, you cannot easily change your mind tomorrow. If you can relax one of these conditions, if the stakes or the likelihood of reversibility are higher, then you should probably just act on the best information available. As long as you don’t doubt what you know currently.

Grant explained that the two-question framework creates four quadrants according to your answers to each question. This proves that only one quadrant is possible (the scenario with high irreversible stakes), where you have to think again and again about making a decision. The other scenarios show that you can think and make a decision, then move on with your lives.

How to tell the difference between reflection and rumination

A good way to reduce your overthinking is by learning to distinguish between reflection and rumination.

Grant stated that reflection and rumination are different because you gain a new perspective or insight when you reflect. This is something I recommend to leaders and students a lot. Take the time to reflect on the situation and make a decision. Then, ask yourself if you had a eureka moment. “Did I find a new lens?”

Grant explained that if the answer is “no”, then you are probably ruminating and it’s time for you to change your thinking. He suggested that you read something or talk to someone else. You have to push yourself to expand your comfort zone or gain a new perspective. This rule seems to be extremely beneficial.

It is important to hold yourself accountable for making these changes in your mindset. It might be worth getting an accountability buddy if you have trouble putting these new mental frameworks into practice.

Grant stated that if you are having difficulty with any of these issues, it is important to find a partner who has the same struggles. You can give your partner permission to change topics or change ‘stations. You don’t just sit and repeat the same song over and again. It’s possible that we need to do this with our own thoughts more often than we currently do.