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  1. #1
    Patron Saint Of Smileys Gloriana's Avatar
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    Default How to DO instead of THINKING

    Ok, I am your typical-ass INFJ in that I THINK about things rather than taking action WAAAAAY too much.

    Here's the thing (this may have something to do with those Ni/Fe letter thingies, but I am not educated on those), back in Sept 2008 my husband cheated and left. I was a broken zombie for about a week or so, but then it was like BOOM, I just got up and DID THINGS. Maybe survival instinct due to trauma, but it was like I transformed into a different person for about 3-4 months.

    It was like 'fear' ceased to have meaning and 'hesitation' even less. I just jumped into everything; social groups, every job I saw in the paper I applied for, taking long walks in areas I'd never visited before, starting conversations with complete strangers, and much, much more. I was in so much pain obviously, but the upside to that was it was like suddenly I had these super powers to stop second guessing myself and discern what I needed to do without my usual 'thinking session' beforehand.

    I admit fully that this tendency to overthink is a hindrance, I repeatedly fail to take more action because I've thought myself into the paranoia and uncertainty. I get tired of it more than those around me do (I just don't think they realize it! lol).

    It sounds nutty, but as horrible as those first few months were, I actually MISS them in some ways because now it's almost a year later and I'm finding I'm pretty much back to my overthinking self. It's more excruciating than ever because now I've seen how much I can get done when I'm not thinking so much. Rationally I KNOW just DOING will work out better for me. I'm better at it than ever before, but damn I still think myself into paralysis/aloofness way too much. Old habits die hard, I tell ya.

    Any of you fellow NFs conquered the whole "Doing-VS-Thinking" battle? What techniques did you employ to re-wire yourself to DO rather than fall back on the overthinking?

    I just don't want to wake up in ten years like the rest of my family. They are definitely the thinking types who have missed out on EVERYTHING just to avoid those potentially hurtful situations. Like, they've spared themselves pain that can result from taking risks but they've also spared themselves the happiness too. I don't want that to be me!!!!
    "Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get, but if you work really hard, and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you...amazing things will happen" --Conan O'Brien

  2. #2
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Well the last time I've gotten out of that depressive paralysis by analysis mode was by (guess what?) MORE thinking. Simply reminding myself sitting around moping is unproductive. You're stuck... thinking anymore isn't going to help. Once you've convince yourself it's pointless to further analyze anything, the next obvious step is action... any little step helps.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    I'm not really a big over thinker.
    But i'm definitely a big sitter-arounder.
    I find a to-do list helps get me off my chair.
    (Even if the to-do list involves fun things)

  4. #4
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Try doing things one step at a time? I'd think the mental block about getting out and doing things would lessen dramatically at the experience of knowing they were fun.

    I'm a very get-up-and-go person, and if I see my friends struggling with that a bit, I don't hesitate to invite them out with me and tag along with me It's easier with company.
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  5. #5
    PEST that STEPs on PETS stellar renegade's Avatar
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    I find myself doing the same thing, shortnsweet. I don't feel so weird now that a fellow ESXP has confessed to the same thing! Well, I'm not really just sitting around doing NOTHING, but I'm on the computer alot. It's able to keep my attention for long spans of time, but really I'd rather be out and about. It's much more fulfilling. That's why I'm moving.

    btw, Gloriana, what you did in those few months sounds like a very healthy reaction. Good on you!

    The best way to stop thinking and just do something is to just do something and stop thinking. I mean, really. You just have to let the prospect of it entice you enough, and go out and do it.

    Realizing that your over-thinking things is a dead end might help, too.
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  6. #6
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    I don't know. Sounds like a flawed way of going about life. A Nike commercial ideal that doesn't work well in the real world.

    If you just do without thinking, you get in trouble. No, you think it through long enough to get a sense of what's going to happen, THEN do. That's the trick, though... you can't cut out the doing part, or keep going back to formula. You have to think and THEN do as a process. If you commit yourself to that process, you WILL end up taking action. Just make sure you're committed to the process.

    Go like:

    Idea-think-plan-do.

    Don't go:

    Idea-think-plan-think.

    Once you feel that second "think" coming on, fight it. Force yourself to do instead.

  7. #7
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    I don't think that there is a definitive way to "conquer" the over-analyzing curse we have. Or at least I haven't found it yet. It's a vicious cycle. A long period of thinking, followed by the action period. What has helped me sort of get out of it is drowning myself in action, forcing myself not to think and just follow a plan to do things. It really does get into another cycle but unfortunately, it's not lasting and it's back to thinking again.

  8. #8
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sky is BLUE! View Post
    What has helped me sort of get out of it is drowning myself in action, forcing myself not to think and just follow a plan to do things.
    See, I'm not so sure I'd ever want to do that. Drowning yourself in action sounds very undesirable. I'm rather lazy, and I prefer to use the minimum amount of action possible to accomplish a given task (for instance, sometimes I scroll down the page by pressing the arrow key with my toe rather than sitting up to get closer to the computer). I like efficient, effective action that I get results from and can do consistently, rather than just a flurry of meaningless action.

  9. #9
    Phantonym
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    See, I'm not so sure I'd ever want to do that. Drowning yourself in action sounds very undesirable. I'm rather lazy, and I prefer to use the minimum amount of action possible to accomplish a given task (for instance, sometimes I scroll down the page by pressing the arrow key with my toe rather than sitting up to get closer to the computer). I like efficient, effective action, rather than just a flurry of meaningless action.
    Oh, I totally get that. For me it's not something meaningless. I make elaborate plans about how to do things with minimum effort and maximum efficiency. Drowning myself in action is all about following that said plan with precision, not allowing myself to think about anything else that might distract me. I can't keep this up for very long, though.

  10. #10
    Senior Member sciski's Avatar
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    I've heard that forcing yourself to sit still and not do anything for half an hour will make you so annoyed that you'll actually get up and do something after the half hour. Could backfire for an Ni Dominant though.... Maybe you need to drag it out to 24 hours of lying prone on the floor or something.

    What I've done is sign up for lots of interesting hobby courses. Sign up with a friend so they will push you into i) going in the first place, and ii) keeping on going. This will hopefully build your confidence and then you get to meet people, which opens up new opportunities, etc etc etc.

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