2019-10-02 - Stop Overthinking
Have you ever been practicing something and found yourself overthinking it? As a member of more than one choir over the years I recall moments of overthinking my breathing spots. Instructors would go over the best places to focus on a breath, to allow for desirable results in hitting notes and getting though phrases without sounding as though we were all gasping for air like an athlete during the final fifty yards of a marathon. And while in the end it worked well the process could be tedious and challenging. When I played on the basketball team, the coach had us working on doing proper layups. She got us to focus on the right foot leading off for a left-side layup then the left leading off for a right-side layup. The proper footing better ensured a consistent successful shot in game time. For a while, many of us, during practice, seemed more inclined to have increased failed attempts as opposed to successful ones - apparently, we were still overthinking the operation. Similarly, while working to improve my typing speed and accuracy, I have found some things getting into my head and slowing me down, increasing my number of errors and reducing my speed. Reading a sentence's or paragraph’s content too closely or noticing its length hinders my usual speed and increases typos. Attention to the difficulty level or trying to correct an error also hampers progress. Whether it is related to childhood corrected dyslexia challenges or just the typical insecurity during the learning process - or both - overthinking it will not help. What did help was switching to different quotes more frequently during practice, not allowing time for too much thought of content, avoiding checking the difficulty level until having completed the exercise, not doing corrections in practices, and limiting the training time to reduce hand cramping and anxiety. These steps have led to yet another success after a good amount of daily practice. And before long, I will be less likely to overthink my speed, accuracy and overall ability, but instead will master the physical act of sharing a collection of characters under keystrokes combined to convey entire thoughts.
Faith and walking it out, for me, went through a time of overthinking as well. Early on, I was keenly aware of changes I needed to make, but also discovered more in the process that I did not realize could affect my faith-like thoughts and not just actions. The process, which has been lifelong, started with me believing it was possible and that the path I chose to follow was in fact one that would take me where God promised - eternal life. If I did not believe it to begin with, my walk would show no progress, and there would be no evidence of faith in my actions. Just as when typing, if I did not believe I had learned where the keys were, then the proper result would be a jumbled mess of nonsensical letters. When I focus less on trying type perfectly, the result is less in need of correction to properly express the thought. When focusing less on my own desires, flaws, and needs, I find the conclusion is my faith gains strength, my needs are fulfilled, desires are achieved, and flaws are addressed and forgiven.
During typing practice, God reminded me that just as faith grows, so can our abilities in temporal activities. He reminded me to trust him and trust myself, because my strength begins with him. Along with many years of typing, combined my additional weeks of extra exercises more recently, have reinforced a skill I can better use remaining on this path. In our weakness, his strength shines through. Yes, we need to learn, and often that includes quite a bit of practice with failures along with victories, but after a certain point, we just need to stop overthinking it! Have a little faith, and tell Satan to “get thee behind” in Jesus’ name. 😊
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Hebrews 11:1-3 KJV)
All scripture references from King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted