Just See How It Plays Out


Just See How It Plays Out

You and I probably overthink 10x more than we should. (It wouldn’t be called overthinking if you thought just the right amount.)

While writing this article, for example, I kept wondering how I should lead the introduction. It’s sometimes a good thing to overthink while writing.

But this “superpower” hinders me in just about every other aspect of my life.

I worry about silly things that I have no power over. I scare myself with what could go wrong instead of encouraging myself with what could go right.

And these fears become excuses and justifications for why I shouldn’t put one foot in front of the other.

The funny thing is, my worst-case scenarios rarely play out in real life. It almost always goes better than I expect.

This is what you should tell yourself every time you catch yourself overthinking:

Let’s see how it plays out.

Lean back and snack on some popcorn as you watch the dominoes fall.

This is not an invitation to be reckless.

It’s a mindset and a phrase that is saying to yourself “I don’t know how it’ll turn out. Why assume the worst? It could be wonderful.”

This mindset helped me a lot these past two months. With so many things to overthink, no one phrase has been more helpful (except maybe IDGAF.)

Since reminding myself to wait and see how things play out, several things have happened:

  1. I’ve stopped worrying about things outside of my control
  2. I’ve stopped creating scenarios in my head that drive me crazy (they rarely come true anyway)
  3. I’ve been able to enjoy the moment that’s unfolding now
  4. I’ve been able to focus on what matters because I now have extra head space
  5. I’ve started trying new things and determining via experience if I’d like doing something vs. automatically assuming I wouldn’t

Sometimes we can’t help but overthink. Do it then.

Get it all out of your system. Spin that hamster wheel in your head all you like.

Once you’ve covered all your bases and thought of every conceivable way things could go wrong, kick back and snack on popcorn. Watch.

Things rarely ever go as horrible as you’d expect.

Just see how it plays out.

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Vincent Nguyen is the author of Self Stairway and founder of Growth Ninja, a digital marketing agency that specializes in Facebook Ads. Voted "Most Guapo" five years in a row (lost during 6th year to a hand model.)

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14 responses to Just See How It Plays Out

  1. The phrase, “see how it plays out,” is a good distancing technique because then it’s like you’re an observer and that helps reduce the emotional intensity. I like that phrase!

  2. This reminds me of the 3-second rule that pickup artist use when approaching people or as Richard Branson says, “Screw it, let’s do it.”

  3. Ah overthinking, bane of my existence and a cornerstone of anxiety :p.

    Yesterday I went to get groceries and saw a girl I wanted to chat up. By the time I had walked a bit, stopped, looked up at her, looked away, put my bag down, started walking away, and then said “F IT!” and started walking to the spot I saw her… She was gone. I’ve run into this before, but it was just another lesson – do it now, you never know where she’ll be.

    Then I saw a stunning girl who could have been a model in line at the store. This time I said “NO, SCREW THIS I’M GOING”, went up to her and told her she was attractive and that I wanted to meet her. She was floored that I came up and had a HUGE smile on her face…. but she then told me she was there with her husband. Oh well!

    We spend so much time thinking about what will happen. But we aren’t Madame Zorba and can’t predict the future. We can do the best we can to plan, take necessary pre-cautions, and then trust that no matter whatever situation arises, we can handle it.

    I’d add that to a good list of affirmations: “No matter what happens, I will handle it. I’ve handled way worse things in the past, I can handle whatever happens :).”

  4. Just read Ramit Sethi’s latest article and this one line stuck out to me most. Ties directly into what I discussed here:

    “At least once, I say yes, then I decide if I like it.”

    That’s EXACTLY the mindset I’m trying my best to continue practicing. This sort of thinking gets you out of your comfort zone and into some pretty interesting adventures. It also gets you out of making excuses for yourself as to why you shouldn’t do something.


  5. Good topic, Vincent. Over thinking can definitely be a problem for me sometimes. I used to be really bad about it actually because I always wanted to make sure that whatever I was about to say or do was “perfect.” Thankfully I’m better about that now. I find that’s it’s best to just let it go and, yes, see how it all plays out.

    • I’m with ya. I still catch myself trying to say things that are just perfect (and I always fall short!) Nowadays, I say a lot of stupid things but I also get a lot more “high-quality” things out of my mouth as a result of going for it anyway.

      Sometimes people laugh at me but other times, they’re laughing with me. Either’s good.

  6. It took me a while to write a comment, because of you guessed it over-thinking but I really wanted to post a comment. This is something I have been wanting do to for a while now, I have downloaded your guide and I receive your articles on a weekly basis and every time I enjoy reading them. But this article really struck a nerve, I don’t know I just cant stop myself from over-thinking which leads to worrying, and just like you said it rarely ever goes as horrible as you’d expect. I just want to say thank you for this article and for your bravery, you’re an inspiration. I hope one day to inspire others in such a positive way. Until then I will just sit back and see how it plays out.

    • I’m glad you left a comment despite the over-thinking! How many times did you erase the comment only to start over again? 😉

      In all seriousness, I’m repeatedly over-thinking, snapping myself out of it, over-thinking again, etc. The phrase/mantra is still good enough to get me out of it in that present moment but it’s something I’ve got to keep repeating to myself.

      Guess what I’m trying to say is this:

      It’s alright to be an over-thinker. Don’t let it stop you from taking action though. Snap yourself out of it over and over again if you need to.

  7. I overcome this by another line “You never know if you don’t try.” It also helps me persevere, all in all, I don’t know how the things will work out, if I don’t keep plugging.

  8. Hai

    Such an amazing and true post. Personally i am an over thinker too. But its only when we stop all those thoughts and start taking action that anything gets done. Action is the key.

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