Underthinking

Some of us suffer from overthinking. We think long and hard about things, blow them up out of all proportion until they become impossibly complicated, to the point of overwhelming us, sometimes before we’ve even got started. There is a lot written on the topic and many people freely admit to struggling against this bad habit.

Well, I think there is an equal and opposite problem – that of underthinking. When faced with the same situation, some people don’t think about it at all. They charge ahead regardless. As a result, they can grossly underestimate the scale of the challenge, under prepare and then come a cropper. We do not hear about this problem nearly as often as overthinking, because the people who suffer from it simply don’t think very much about it. Of course they don’t.

It’s all a matter of confidence. A lack of confidence on the one hand, and an overconfidence on the other. I’m going to guess the latter is every bit as common as the former. I don’t have any data to prove this, but I have thought about it a lot.

Note: photo from Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash


Published by Peter Runkel

Being quite reserved, I have always been interested in those people at the other end of the spectrum - the ones with an unswerving self-belief, sometimes apparently quite out of proportion to their abilities. I wanted to be like them - their lives seemed so much easier by comparison. Now, having thought about it, I’m not so sure I do. I think they have also got it wrong, just in the equal and opposite way. And it's actually about finding some sort of balance.

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