Sowmya J Krish

The Analysis paralysis

If you are one of those geniuses who can make a decision in a jiffy, this blog is not for you. However if you are like my husband, an over thinker wanting to analyse every possibility for flaws, gaps and assured success before you will even consider taking the next step, come right in!

So this term ‘analysis paralysis’ is a legit psychological term I believe. Now I am not much for all this mumbo jumbo labels but it does give you a picture of what happens. Pretty much stuck at the analysis stage that one does not move on to the next step. What usually happens is then that according to the time pressure or otherwise, people usually choose to let go of an opportunity or experience, or they just pick one and hope it works for the best.

My way (well, not that I am claiming to be a wisdom guru here or anything) consists of understanding what is happening. In my experience and of observing others, this whole analysis paralysis happens because of 3 things:

1. Getting caught up in the chatter of the mind

This is quite easy to understand. You ask yourself a simple question ‘Do I want this?’ and the mind goes.. ‘Well ok, I guess you could have it but wait a minute, remember what this other person you chatted with 6 months ago said about this? And maybe it is not such a great idea but then remember you always wanted to give this a shot so possibly it could work.. but well.. and on and on.. and on.. until.. well does it matter anymore?!’

See what I am saying?

2. Fear of making ‘mistakes’

You will know when I am being wry because you will see quotes around labels/terms I do not very much care for. So yes ‘mistakes’ is a perceived thing. What we all fear is the underlying feeling that comes when we make a so called mistake. Now this feeling can be different for people based on their own unique experiences and their mindset, but commonly the feelings that come up are guilt, sadness, frustration, disappointment etc. What we are truly afraid of here is the discomfort that we associate with these natural feelings.

3. Not being tapped into our real needs

Now let’s say you were very clear that you needed a book. Would you go to the shop and contemplate, do I need a book? Or can I just get a piece of paper? Or maybe the post-its would do. Ooh that planner looks amazing! What? £20 for an 80 page notebook. What is happening to this world? And so on. I may have a taken a simple example here, but you get my drift. When your need is clear – say for example you say, I need a 100 page plain notebook that has cheerful artwork for me to do my daily journaling in, that makes it so much simpler right?

So here is this self proclaimed guru’s guide to dealing with analysis paralysis of all levels.

Step 1: Get very clear and as detailed as possible on what your need is.

Step 2: Look for just that (yes you may get distracted with that 500 page workbook that seems interesting, in which case, go back to step 1 and clearly state your need again, and if necessary upgrade it).

Step 3: Honor that need, without the fear of making a mistake (because now there are no mistakes) and with a much reduced chatter from your mind (or none at all if you are one of those cool ones).

Have fun!