42 Overthinking Quotes for Getting Focused and Taking Action

Updated Dec 5, 2022.

Overthinking is a toxic trait many people possess – even without knowing it. Have you ever heard someone tell you that “you overthink too much”? You are not alone. More adults (even youths) tend to overthink every day.

Overthinking is a habit you tend to develop over time if you're not careful. At this point, you need some overthinking quotes to help you catch yourself off the thinking track, retrace your steps, and take action. Not only can overthinking give you a headache, but it can also affect your professional performance. Overthinking eats that deep.

This article covers over 40 powerful quotes on overthinking to remind you of what you will lose when you overthink. These quotes are simple wise words to help you get back your focus and start doing instead of thinking.

You will also learn HOW to stop overthinking before it ruins your business and your life!

Best Overthinking Quotes to Make You Take Action

In severe matters like business and finances, we tend to overthink a lot. It isn't easy not to. There are many factors to consider and challenges to deal with when building that startup, handling that project, or trying to win over a client. You want everything to go as planned, but you cannot stop thinking that something might just go wrong.

But overthinking is not a key characteristic of successful entrepreneurs and business professionals. When you overthink, you realize that maybe starting that business might not be a good idea or handling that client may be the worst decision ever. Then you stop and are back to wishing you could take a step forward. It hurts a lot.

Let's take a look at these powerful quotes to inspire you to stop overthinking, maintain focus, and start taking action.

“The more you overthink, the less you will understand”
— Habeeb Akande

Overthinking leads to unnecessary worrying. The more you worry, the more you create false imaginations about situations. You end up evaluating the case in a negative light. This will only hinder you from seeing how to solve the problem.

This overthinking quote from Habeeb clearly explains that it is difficult to decide when you overthink everything. You become indecisive and confused. You can only understand a problem and find possible solutions when your mind relaxes and analyzes the situation.

“Overthinking ruins moods and kills good vibes”
— Supa Nova Slom

Most people refer to overthinking as analysis paralysis. When you overthink, your energy levels drop. It makes you second-guess your actions, and you spend too much time in your head, replaying the situation as a disaster movie.

The more you overthink, you get yourself stuck in a loop that ruins every enthusiasm you had about starting that business. You second-guess your actions and your abilities to succeed. Unfortunately, this doubt also rubs off on your entire team, affecting the whole team's spirit.

Paradox of Choice
Source: Medium
“Overthinking is parasitic. It is viral. It is deadly, even”
— Genereux Philip

The reason you overthink is that you are trying to get it right. Handling a business or making a decision is not child's play, so you want to make sure that you have carefully thought everything through. But trying to “carefully think” can lead to overthinking.

Just because you do not want to make an error you might regret, you try to avoid risks. But these risks are part of the adventures you encounter in business. As an entrepreneur, you are faced with so many risks, which shapes your growth and knowledge as an expert. Avoiding risks makes you small and less competitive.

“Thinking will not overcome fear, but action will”
— W. Clement Stone

Everyone has an inner critic, and there is nothing wrong with it. But it becomes bad when we start criticizing every little detail negatively and being extra-cautious. Instead of just thinking, take action. Decision-making and entrepreneurship are all about taking that bold step. Your feet will not move by just thinking.

Maybe you are too scared to write that business proposal or start that blog; overthinking about the consequences or what will happen in the long run will only make you feel like you shouldn't move forward. This is where fear and doubt settle in to ruin the vision you already have.

“Stop thinking, and end your problems”
— Lao Tzu

Overthinking only adds to your problems by making you more stressed about existing issues. Working under stress poses a significant challenge to your productivity. Statistics have shown that every year, businesses in the U.S lose over $300 billion due to stress (which is mainly caused by overthinking). Can you imagine how much loss that is?

Instead of working on the problem, you stop to check and recheck every factor and possible solutions. You delay any action needed to solve the problem and imagine how that solution would fail. As you are doing this, you are wasting more time and giving chances for the problem to escalate till it poses a threat to the success of your business.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”
— Albert Einstein

As an entrepreneur or business professional, you are a solution provider, not an overthinker. You cannot solve a problem by focusing only on the issue and not the solution. The first and most crucial step is to take action.

Most times, repeatedly rethinking the past mistakes you have made can only cause you to make more mistakes instead of correcting them. It is more like licking old wounds and making them fresh again.

“Don't get too deep. It leads to overthinking and overthinking leads to problems that don't even exist in the first place”
— Jason Engay

It is easy to slip into overthinking mode. You can quickly come up with imaginations about situations going so wrong and assuming that they are true. For example, when you keep going over a particular thought about your business as an entrepreneur, it gradually grows into extreme negative thinking.

The effects do not happen immediately, but like cancer, they take time to grow and expand till you are left with an avalanche of negative thoughts.

“What if instead of wasting our time overthinking, we focused on the good we might do?”
— Anna Bogel

Overthinking makes you less productive. It first starts affecting your daily identity before it starts hurting your business and finances. People who overthink agree that they are often fatigued – even if they have done no activity.

Because your mind is too busy rethinking conversations or worrying, there is no more space available for new ideas or innovation to develop. So you are left stuck in one place.

“The best things happen when you are not overthinking it”
— Ben Zobrist

Not everybody is adventurous or risk-taking. But every once in a while, it is advisable to throw caution to the wind and take that bold leap of faith. You will be amazed at what you will discover.

“Remember, talking about the thing isn't the thing. Doing the thing is the thing”
— Amy Poehler

Talk is cheap. Everybody talks but not everybody does the work. Doing is where the action happens. If you keep doing and are not getting any results, it is time to change the tactics. Instead of thinking and worrying, reevaluate your steps and try another approach to solving the problem. You can only improve when you do.

“Overthinking leads to paralysis by analysis. It's important to think things through, but many use thinking as a means of avoiding action.”
― Robert Herjavec (Author, The Will To Win: Leading, Competing, Succeeding)

This interesting overthinking quote clearly conveys that your overthinking habit can cause a pause in your action. Why? Because you probably have so much conflicting information in your head that you do not know what to do or what action to take. As a result, you are stuck in one place instead of deciding and moving over to the next phase.

“Spend eighty percent of your time focusing on the opportunities of tomorrow rather than the problems of yesterday.”
— Brian Tracy

One of the consequences of overthinking is that you will lose out on incredible opportunities for your business and personal growth. A mind that overthinks is closed to new opportunities and will not find new ways to solve arising problems. As you are too busy thinking, you are not focused on the current tasks in front of you. It is either they are neglected or done haphazardly. The results? Nothing positive.

“We can talk about it, dream about it and dissect the fine print. In the end, only action satisfies our longing.”
― Gina Greenlee (Author, Postcards and Pearls: Life Lessons from Solo Moments on the Road)

It is okay to plan and strategize, but the real action begins when the work starts. Many entrepreneurs and business founders have fallen into the trap of living in a dream because they are stuck in the loop that overthinking causes. They were probably worried about problems that didn't even exist and ended up causing more problems for themselves than they imagined.

Create a schedule – a time for planning and a time for implementing it is during the planning phase that you are allowed to think and make decisions.

“When you begin to worry, go find something to do. Get busy being a blessing to someone; do something fruitful. Talking about your problem or sitting alone, thinking about it, does no good; it serves only to make you miserable. Above all else, remember that worrying is useless. Worrying will not solve your problem.”
— Joyce Meyer

Overthinking brings fear of moving forward. The problem is that you start to compare your abilities and grow your insecurities. This is the time to focus on your strength and invest time and effort into developing yourself. When you are focused on growth, you feel energized and powerful to take that bold step forward. That is the first step to solving a problem.

“The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

The ugly truth is that overthinking makes you useless. You are hindered from maximizing your full potential. There is absolutely no one who has never made a mistake in his life. It is only a mediocre mind that worries about perfection before ever doing anything.

“Turning pro is a mindset. If we are struggling with fear, self-sabotage, procrastination, self-doubt, etc., the problem is we're thinking like amateurs. Amateurs don't show up. Amateurs crap out. Amateurs let adversity defeat them. The pro thinks differently. He shows up. He does his work, he keeps on truckin', no matter what.”
— Steven Pressfield

A proactive mind is not afraid of taking risks, but a reactive mind is. Overthinking delays the productivity of the mind and causes it to be reactive. Because you are stressed from worrying, you leave the more important tasks undone. When this happens, you find out that you are running way behind time. Your competitions are probably one step ahead of you and win over your customers' loyalty.

Rather than worrying over what could have been done, plan what can be done right. Every moment in business is essential for your startup's future.

“Less thinking, more living.”
― S.R. Crawford (Author, From My Suffering: 25 Ways to Break the Chains of Anxiety, Depression u0026 Stress)

The best way to stop overthinking is to unclog your mind and relax. Take a break from that scenario playing in your head and focus on something different. If your business is what you are worried about, take a moment to chill out and hang out with friends. By doing so, you are allowing your brain to relax and revitalize. Then come back out and draw out an action plan.

“The truth is that there is no actual stress or anxiety in the world; it's your thoughts that create these false beliefs. You can't package stress, touch it, or see it. There are only people engaged in stressful thinking.”
― Wayne Dyer

You are the one in control of your actions, including overthinking. If you want to stop overthinking and start taking deliberate steps towards growing your business, it is up to you to do so. Take out time to analyze your thoughts. Are they negative? How productive are your thoughts? And how do you approach a situation?

With the answers to these questions, you will be amazed at how your thoughts have been gearing in the wrong direction.

“A negative mind will never give you a positive life.”
– Anonymous

You can only think positive when you see positive. As a business owner or CEO, the way you see and handle situations affects your employees and your business as a whole. Part of your responsibility is to make tough decisions and give directions. But if you are an overthinker, you are very likely to reduce the effectiveness of your entire team.

“Stop overthinking. You can do it.”
― Avina Celeste

Everyone has a tiny bit of self-doubt. It is like an inner critic that analyzes everything you do. Many of the great men in business (and life, in general) were probably not sure of the results they would achieve, but that didn't stop them from going for what they wanted. And guess what? They succeeded. Instead of doubting your potential, put it into action and see how far you can go.

Acknowledge your successes as an entrepreneur and in other areas of your life. You will finally realize that there really isn't anything to worry about.

“Worrying is like paying a debt you don't owe”
– Mark Twain

Overthinking makes you worry about problems that haven't even happened yet. It is great to plan ahead but dumb to worry ahead. The difference between planning ahead and worrying ahead is that the former lets you create strategies and possible solutions to any potential problems that may arise in the future.

However, worrying ahead means overthinking what would go wrong in the future without doing anything about it. Instead, you spend all your time thinking and imagining over a thousand bad things that can happen.

“Worrying is a form of betting against yourself.”
– Karen Salmansohn

Overthinking is more like self-sabotaging. You escalate your weaknesses and create more insecurities for yourself. Being a “perfectionist” doesn't help. Perfectionism is one of the biggest challenges of quick and effective decision-making. Insecurity often causes perfectionism. You want everything to be perfect, and if it is not, you start to worry and regret your actions.

“Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but doesn't get you anywhere.”
— Erma Bombeck

Ever heard the phrase “busy but unproductive”? This is precisely what overthinking causes you to be. You become so preoccupied, but at the end of the day, you are still at the same spot – no advancement.

Understand that you will not get it right all the time. There will always be a time you make a mistake, but contrary to what you think, these mistakes will not destroy you. Instead, they will help you learn and grow. As you learn from your mistakes, you are more open to future opportunities with solid knowledge of handling these opportunities.

“While you were overthinking, you missed everything worth feeling.”
― Nitya Prakash

The beauty of starting a business is that you get to nature your business and watch it grow. You get to see the company solve people's problems and bring in more profit. But overthinking robs you of that exciting feeling of satisfaction. It makes you feel like something will definitely go wrong, and when it does, it would be too much for your business to handle, and it will collapse. This is a crippling thought you need to avoid very fast. When your mind is full of negative thoughts, you miss out on the positive feelings of success.

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done.”
–Bruce Lee

The more overthinking you do, the more you procrastinate. The more you procrastinate, doing essential tasks, the more these tasks pile up and become too overwhelming. As they become more overwhelming, you start to overthink how there is so much to do. This is how the cycle continues till you do nothing and are stuck with nothing but problems.

As you declutter your mind, declutter your task lists too. Take time out to focus on finishing those tasks. If you need to create content for your blog or write a business plan, do it while you still can.

“Rule number one is, don't sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it's all small stuff.”
– Robert Eliot

Don't be too focused on a problem or situation. No situation lasts forever. What matters are the deliberate actions and decisions you take to develop your skills and abilities.

For example, If your financial goals are not looking achievable, it is not the right time to start feeling sorry for yourself and worrying if you will ever reach your goals. It is the time to start looking for new opportunities and creating new strategies to achieve your goal.

”People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.”
– George Bernard Shaw

People who can't let go of the past tend to overthink. They can't move past a mistake and look forward. Even when the error doesn't have much effect, they still see it as too big to let go of.

Overthinking weighs unnecessary burdens on your shoulders. You become incapable of growing your business or thinking clearly. This is the time to let go of the wishes and regrets and face reality.

“Don't brood. Get on with living and loving. You don't have forever.”
– Leo Buscaglia

Part of the reason for overthinking is the negative stories you tell yourself. The way you think affects your business and those involved in it. As an entrepreneur, you need to develop the right entrepreneurial mindset, and defeat is not one of them. Even if your business is just a startup or still small compared to other top businesses, you should focus your mind on your strengths, not weaknesses.

How you repeatedly describe yourself, your team, and your business will also affect how you think. It is a cycle that doesn't stop till you change it.

“Overthinking isn't a switch you turn on and off. As with any skill, managing your overthinking is a lifelong practice, a muscle that you develop and flex over time.”
— Rachel Simmons

Like every other harmful habit, overthinking does not end overnight. You have to make intentional efforts to stop it before it ruins your life. This also means that you should watch yourself and note when you catch yourself overthinking. Also, form positive habits of doing things at the right time (no procrastinating) and speaking positively (no negative talk or self-doubt).

“Overthinking saps your energy. It's like a hamster on a wheel — running fiercely but reaching nowhere.”
— Anonymous

Maybe your marketing techniques have yielded very little to no fruits, and you are already getting so worried. It is easy to hold on to the hurt and believe that no one would ever buy what you offer. But you are wrong if you do this. Instead, take some time to read and study ways to improve your business. It could be by reading brilliant business books or courses on identifying your target audience. Whatever it is, let go of the past and focus on getting things right. Overthinking and worrying will sap out any enthusiasm to succeed.

“Awareness is the beginning of change. Before you can begin to address or cope with your habit of overthinking, you need to learn to be aware of it when it's happening.”
— Lolly Daskal

One of the essential steps in stopping overthinking is to become aware of your thoughts. Often, people who overthink do not know they are doing it. They are not mindful of the negativity of their thoughts and how it keeps occupying their minds every time.

Be more self-aware and conscious of how you react to things and situations. Are you the type that likes to revisit past events and wish things went differently? Are you always caught up in the moment of the consequences of an action and find it difficult to move forward? When you notice these things, it's time to start working on your worrying habits.

“If you treat every situation as a life and death matter, you'll die a lot of times.”
— Dean Smith

Although you need to take your life and business seriously, you should not take everything too seriously. Overthinking too much about what happens in your business can make you inferior to your competitors.

Making assumptions is another major cause of overthinking. You may assume that your startup is nothing compared to other top brands in the same niche as you. However, you would forget that these “top” brands were once startups like yours, and they scaled through. You should not take every failure or mistake you make too seriously, else you will always have a headache.

“Overthinking, also, best known for creating problems that are never there.”
– David Sikhosana

Overthinking is one of the many reasons why over 20% of businesses fail in their first year. Because you are so worried about what could possibly go wrong in your business, things will actually go wrong. This is because your focus isn't on what you do right but on the things that have gone wrong. You are too into your head to even notice what is going on. Try focusing on one thing at a time.

“We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden assigned to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday's burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.”
– John Newton

Each day has its own task. Whether you are working towards achieving a goal or managing a project, your focus should be on the tasks of the day. Don't ruminate over past mistakes or worry about the results. What matters are the actions you are currently taking.

“Overthinking is the biggest cause of unhappiness. We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.”
— Buddha

What you think affects what you say and how you act. Overthinking brings unfulfillment and dissatisfaction. It always hurts to worry and second-guess your results. The biggest mistakes business professionals make is always second-guessing their abilities and making decisions based on fear. The fear of the unknown is strong enough to kill any business enthusiasm you might have.

“You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr

In business, the results of a decision can be uncertain, but that doesn't mean you should stop. After weighing your options, you pick the best decision and go with it. Always keep an open mind. Stop overthinking business decisions. It is okay to think every thought, but it is not okay when all you see is fear and worry.

“It (Overthinking) steals time and energy and rarely produces anything worthwhile. And by exhausting you in the process, it makes you more susceptible to its close relatives, anxiety, and depression.”
— Ryan Howes

Overthinking and worrying about the results of your business can make you feel so uncomfortable that you start to lose interest and feel incapable of ever performing well. About 62% of business owners feel depressed at least once a week. The more challenges you face in business, the more depressed you are likely to become when you overthink.

“If you consistently focus on ruminating and make it a habit, it becomes a loop, And the more you do it, the harder it is to stop.”
— Thomas Oppong

Overthinking makes you focus on the things you cannot control. Because you cannot control them, you can do nothing about them except to worry and regret them. However, it would be best to focus on things you can manage to improve your business.

For example, you want to launch the opening of your physical store in 3 weeks, but you are worried that the rain will prevent people from showing up. While you cannot control the weather, you can make arrangements to ensure that the rain will not spoil your store's launch.

“One tip that I've learned that did more than detox my mind from overthinking is to turn my often worrisome thoughts about the future into effort and work.”
— Bob Miglani

The same energy spent on thinking and worrying becomes very useful and productive when you put it into action. It's incredible how much you can do and change.

“Give yourself a break. Distract yourself with something fun that can lift your mood. It may seem like sticking a band-aid on a broken arm, but finding some distance between yourself and your stressors and then filling this space with activities you already know will make you feel better has been shown to create greater levels of happiness and lower levels of stress.”
— Elizabeth Scott

You are often overthinking a situation because you are always facing the problem. Find a distraction to help take away your focus from the problem. When you do this, you will see that what you thought was a big problem wasn't so serious after all. Then you can quickly figure out solutions to solve the challenge.

“Our brains are complicated mechanisms, and overthinking is a natural outcome of it. There is nothing wrong with overthinking a bit, but continuing fixating on any kind of thought is unhealthy.”
— Jim Kwik

Overthinking is unhealthy for you, your business, and those around you. It always leaves you second-guessing every decision you make and regretting every action you take. You become a pessimist that no one wants to be around and incapable of sticking to a decision or having confidence in yourself.

“Stop waiting for the perfect moment. There is never a perfect time to start a business, get married, have kids, start writing a book, or do anything else. If you start overthinking, you will never get anything done.”
— Anastasia

Anything that needs to be done should be done now. There is no right time to start. Yes, you have drawn your plan, set your strategies, and have it all figured out in your head. The next step is to take action. Stopping to think, rethink, and worry about the outcome will discourage you from going for that big step. Feel free to make mistakes. When you do, you will get up and continue like nothing ever happened.

Stop Overthinking and Take Action

Overthinking doesn't help your business. Instead, it takes so much away from you and reduces your productivity. The more you overthink, the less active you become. The best way to overcome the overthinking habit is to stop worrying and take action. Don't assume you know what will happen; do it. Your business will only thrive if you let it.

Aiming for excellence is great, but when you are too fixated on perfection, you end up causing more harm than good. Your mindset should be positive and proactive, not the opposite as an entrepreneur. You need to be active and ready to take on any opportunity that may come to you. Overthinking does nothing except harm you and all that is around you.

Read these overthinking quotes every day to help remind you to always stay focused and not worry about problems that do not even exist yet.

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Anastasia Belyh

Editor at FounderJar

Anastasia has been a professional blogger and researcher since 2014. She loves to perform in-depth software reviews to help software buyers make informed decisions when choosing project management software, CRM tools, website builders, and everything around growing a startup business.

Anastasia worked in management consulting and tech startups, so she has lots of experience in helping professionals choosing the right business software.