There are those who like to rush into things, and those that like to take their time to prepare before making a move. It’s not like everyone is either impulsive or very anal about things – it’s a sliding scale – but being on one of the extremes can have certain benefits. Overthinkers might have some problems because they don’t like to just jump at opportunities, but they also have a lot of interesting traits that can help them become successful.
1. They always have a ton of to-do lists, spreadsheets and planners
If you are prone to over thinking, chances are you’ve always got a list or spreadsheet within arm’s reach, and it’s not just for everyday to-do’s. Let me give you a personal example: while the average blogger will have 3-4 things on his “set up a website” list that he or she will go over in a couple of days, I would go through an extensive checklist before even deciding on a host, and I’d get stuck on simple web design choices for days. This can actually be a good thing when it comes to staying organized in the workplace. Over-thinkers tend to make good project managers.
2. They know that fortune favors the prepared
Getting an assignment done in time requires some careful planning and plenty of focus. This is something that most people can’t get right, so they end up rushing projects, pulling all-nighters and producing sub-par results. People who like to go over everything several times and explore every detail will be better equipped to handle any task (even if it is kind of a last moment thing) simply because they prepare for all kinds of situations well in advance.
3. They can see both the big picture and the little details
While it is often enough to do some quick research and get a basic feel of things to be able to complete a project, those that put in a bit more effort into even the simplest tasks are much more likely to get noticed by higher ups. This obsession with details also helps when learning a new skill like playing an instrument or dancing, because it allows you to approach things very systematically and focus on the best methods.
4. They are perfectionists
It may take a perfectionist a bit more time to get things done, but he or she will gladly cut into their free time when learning something new or working on a project. Employers tend to value the extra devotion and passion that some people put in. At the same time this means that an over-thinker is going to be much better at performing boring tasks and working on making small improvements all the time. They won’t stop until they truly understand the theory and all the nuances of what they are doing – so they will be able to attain better results, as well as teach others.
5. They are surprised by very few things
Some of us don’t like to go into any situation blind and will at least do some basic research and get some practice in before taking on a task. The best thing about this is that very few things will be able to throw you off your game, whether you are on a job interview, a date or a business meeting.
6. They don’t post pictures and statuses that would harm their reputation on social media
It seems a bit unusual to most people that someone would spend 10-20 minutes thinking about how to word their status update on Facebook or choosing just the right picture to share, but this can actually work to a person’s benefit. Being careful about what kind of image you are presenting on social media can actually help you land a job or impress new acquaintances.
7. They have multiple skills and interests
Do you know what happens when you spend an inordinate amount of time learning about a topic or trying to always be well-prepared to handle all kinds of situations? Well, you end up picking up multiple skills and become quite knowledgeable on a variety of topics. Being a sort of a jack-of-all-trades can help you move up the corporate ladder, and it makes you a much more interesting person overall.
8. They are good at following rules
Over-thinking has a social component as well, i.e. you tend to be very particular about social conventions. One of the reasons for exploring different scenarios over and over in your head is that you don’t want to come across as rude, dumb or clumsy when interacting with others. You end up learning the rules and conventions for different situations very well, and you get quite good at following the rules. This allows you to quickly pick up on what others expect of you and adapt your behavior to suit the situation.
9. They can learn from their mistakes and move on
The thing that brings people down the most when faced with failure is that they simply cannot accept the fact that they messed up, and end up beating themselves up, going through all the things they could have done differently. Well, if you are the kind of person that obsess over every little detail, when something goes wrong you know there is absolutely nothing else you could have done differently to prepare you for it. It ends up being easier to accept things for what they are, learn from the mistake and move on.
10. They are ambitious and dedicated
It may start out as a matter of precaution (i.e. you start to focus on every minor detail and prepare excessively before every undertaking because you fear that you might fail or disappoint), but over time your obsession turns into dedication. You start to develop a wide knowledge base and tons of useful skills, which in turn makes you more confident and your ambitions grow with every passing day. These traits are essential for any entrepreneur looking to make a name for him or herself.
As you can see, being somewhat obsessive and over-thinking things can actually be a beneficial trait. Those that measure several times before they cut, then stop and measure some more, then go find a better pair of scissors and cut ever so carefully, these are the ones that have a distinct advantage when it comes to achieving big life goals.
Featured photo credit: beautiful girl sitting alone autumn morning via shutterstock.com