Episode 6 | Thinking on Purpose

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Today on Braving Business I am sharing my method of "thinking on purpose." I believe that if you want to become successful, this method needs to be the foundation of your action. Overthinking is a tactic that many of use when we are trying to complete a project or task that is really important. However, it usually leaves you exhausted, feeling powerless and is a stand-in for real, production action and thinking. So tune into Episode Six of Braving Business to learn the difference between thinking on purpose and overthinking, and how you can use this method to get further in your life, business, and creative projects.

What is thinking on purpose?

  • Happens at a set time, for a set amount of time.

  • Is very helpful to begin any new week or project.

  • Is not catastrophizing (ie, obsessing about the worst-case scenario)

  • Allows you to tap into a calm, courageous and confident mind.

  • Can be done when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

  • Is productive even if your brain tells you you don’t have time.

  • Is necessary if you’re going to evolve or grow your business or life into something different.

  • Allows your brain to stop Overthinking because you can tell it that you’re getting to it so it doesn’t have to worry.

What is overthinking?

  • something our brain does when we’re worried

  • a habit we practice over and over and over

  • a buffer- something our brain goes to to deal with emotions that we don’t want to feel

  • inaction that masks itself as productive action

  • exhaustingCome hang out with me on Instagram! You can find me posting daily on my personal page @stephanie_sheldon or on the business page, @clevelandflea.

How I do thinking on purpose:

  • I put time on my calendar (usually 1-2 hours)

  • I don’t do any other work- it’s really hard because I have so much to do and during this practice, my mind really wants to go to all the stuff I have to do

  • I decide at the beginning what I want to emerge with after an hour or so. What would be really good to walk away with AFTER my time of Thinking on Purpose? A blog post? A plan? Clarity? A podcast outline? A decision?

  • I coach myself through spending time right here, right now doing this one thing

  • I ask myself what’s most important about the problem / project I’m working on

  • Why is it important to my life or business that I’m taking time doing this anyway?

  • What feels scary or worrisome about the project / problem?

  • What’s my ideal outcome of the project?

  • What’s truly the worst-case scenario?

  • And then I get into the thinking about the actual project / problem. I try to understand it from all angles. What do I need to answer that I don’t know yet? What is holding me back from getting answers?

My tips for trading overthinking for thinking on purpose:

  • Keep a running list of stuff that you want to get answers to or think about but then let it out of your mind

  • When you’re focused on one thing, stay focused on that one thing for the time you decided you would

  • Decide at the beginning what success looks like in that thinking session

  • If other stuff comes up, just note it in your Later category on a piece of paper or wherever you take notes

  • If you get overwhelmed, pause for a minute for a quick walk or stretch or breathing. If you’re new to this you might experience anxiety at changing how your brain works. And THIS is the magical part. Reassuring your brain that this way makes more sense and is better for you anyway.

  • Stick with it but don’t be mad at yourself if you don’t always walk away doing it perfectly. Done is better than perfect anyway.

If you enjoyed this episode, please take a moment to share on your IG stories! Just take a screenshot of the episode, upload to your stories and tag me at @stephanie_sheldon. This is such a great way to show your support and helps more people find Braving Business.

Thank you for listening and I'll see you next Thursday for a new episode!

Katherine Tackett