Monday, July 13, 2009


I passed my cruising certification with a good dose of humility. The practical part was relatively easy, but the written test was more difficult. I think that I have always over thought questions, even when I was taking tests in college and graduate school. I tend to see the question from different angles, second guess myself and get hung up.

It's been over a year since I took any kind of test (the first sailing certification test last year). Maybe my brain just doesn't work as well as it used to but when faced with multiple choice questions, I tend to go into over analysis. And the questions I missed were ones that I over thought.

I tend to do that over thinking with a lot of things in life. I certainly have over thought relationships and second guessed the meaning behind words and actions: She said "A" but maybe she really means "B". You know that kind of thinking that drives me and everyone else nuts. It's the "what if" scenarios that I'm setting up and reading more into something than is there. In short, as my father would say, I'm making things difficult for myself. Over thinking doesn't give me any clarity but instead clogs my thinking with negativity.

And then there is the "This sounds right and looks right so I'm just going to do it" kind of thinking. It means that I move ahead and devil take the hind most. It doesn't work that well on tests either as I'm either not reading the question right or am rushing through and not thinking clearly. This approach leaves many wrong turns in life and wrong answers on tests.

I think that the best thinking comes in the context of reality when I don't necessarily follow totally along logical lines but "gestalt" things a bit and keep my head and heart in alignment. I'm just thankful I don't have to take any more tests anytime soon!

"Over thinking, over analyzing separates the body from the mind.
Withering my intuition, missing opportunities and I must
feed my will to feel my moment drawing way outside the lines."
lyrics from Tool off Lateralus.


  1. I tend to shoot first, ask questions later. Not always so least I don't have to worry about over thinking!

    My new mantra has been "Thy will, not mine" and that is helping to keep me in check lately.

  2. Syd,
    I am an overthinker, too. I am less so, though, now that I am older. My head was a mess as a teen/young adult.

    Glad those days are gone and that now I can realize when I'm doing it and nip it in the bud. I just tell myself--you're on the thought train again--time to get off.

    Love to you. Have a great week.


  3. I can't tell you the number of faces and mouths in my life from which I've heard some variation of the words: "...but, that's not what I said..."

    I'd like to believe that I'm getting better but my bad habit does still definitely come and go...

    Glad I'm not alone in this...

    Blessings and aloha...

  4. P.S. - next time you take a picture of an answer sheet, could you please use a wider lens? I can't imagine that I'd ever take the same test as you but I'd really do better, I'm sure, if I just studied your answers rather than figure it out on my own...

    ...I knew you would...

  5. I like to study something before acting or answering. Sometimes that's good, sometimes not so good.

  6. I think it is called perfectionism. I suffer a dose of it myself. By the way, congrats.

  7. Oh darlin', we gotta get it JUST PERFECT don't we?
    You are very brave to continue to learn new things. I think it's fabulous.

  8. When I first got into AA, I was told quite often that I had "analysis paralysis". I didn't understand what the heck it meant and now I do. I try really hard to "keep it simple" and not over-analyze everything.

    Glad to hear you passed despite all your thinking. :)


  9. Way to go, Syd! Sailed right through that testing stuff???

    Yep, I'm also a member of the AA Deep Thinker's Club. God knows I try (to think less) but it's very difficult for us "Sensitive, intelligent teddy-bear-types" -grin! analyze less!

  10. yeah, it is possible to overthink. glad you passed though. with a 'lesson' unexpected.

  11. I know the over thinking of questions syndrome for tests. I'm still traumatized from all the tests I had to take to get out of college. Those 500 level class tests hit hard.

  12. Over-thinking gets me every time. Thankfully I can now realize when I am doing it and I try to move on to a different project, question, anything. Then I come back later to the matter that I was over-thinking with fresh eyes, hopefully.

    Congrats on your test! I had no doubt!

  13. I swing between "act now, think later" and getting caught in overthinking and analysing to death...trying to find a middle ground.

  14. Congratulations!

    I too am an over thinker, and I should know by now to go with my gut instincts, when I don't I usually fail and it's always another lesson learned or not learned as the case may be.


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