Analysis paralysis (or paralysis by analysis) describes an individual or group process when over-analyzing or overthinking a situation can cause forward motion or decision-making to become “paralyzed,” meaning no solution or course of action is decided upon.
At some point, everyone experiences confusion which can lead to analysis paralysis. What’s important to remember is recognizing the triggers and developing strategies to move ahead.
Recognizing and strategizing to overcome analysis paralysis
Belief the outcome has to be perfect
Ah, yes believing everything must be perfect or why bother. This rings true for me. Eleanor Brown says:
Perfectionism leads to procrastination which leads to paralysis.”
Once we come to terms and admit there is no such thing as “perfection” we can make decisions and move forward. The end result may not be what we want, but we realize taking action to move forward is better than doing nothing.
My business coach knows I’m a perfectionist and deep down I know there is no such thing as being “perfect.” I’m learning to “let go” and make decisions. I’m the queen of putting things off because of my fear of failure and not being good enough, not having a perfect speech, and oh, what if I offend someone?
So what do I do now? I apply for guest appearances on podcasts, I write blogs, and I do live videos even if everything isn’t exactly in place. Why? Because doing nothing is worse than making mistakes.
Over-analyzing increases anxiety
It’s true. The more we analyze whether or not our blog or speech is going to resonate with the audience the more we allow anxiety to take over. If I allow it, it can take me hours to write a blog. Hours. It’s ridiculous.
So what am I doing to alleviate the paralysis? Planning blog topics and implementing a timeline. We plan our marketing topics out three months ahead of time and I also give myself a writing timeline. Instead of allowing four hours (yep, four) to write a blog, I give myself two and move onto the next project.
Why plan and have a timeline? For me, planning ahead of time decreases the anxiety of figuring out what I’m writing about. It also gives me time to research. By implementing a timeline it’s easier for me to focus and write about what I know to be true and finish the project instead of rethinking and rewording…
Too many options
Who would have ever thought having too many choices can cause indecision and disappointment? Eva M. Krockow, Ph.D., contributor in Psychology Today, discusses how having too many options leaves people with feelings of disappointment and dissatisfaction. In her article, she uses the example of ordering a drink at a coffeehouse. I can really relate to this. I remember my first encounter at a coffeehouse. The thought of ordering a drink paralyzed me. It was like answering multiple choice questions on the ACT!
Did I want almond milk, skim milk, whip, no whip? What’s the difference between a latte and a cappuccino? It’s great to have options, but having too many options can lead to no decision. For instance, the first few times I went to Starbucks I ended up with an unsweetened green iced tea. This led to disappointment because I really wanted a Salted Caramel Latte, skim, no whip. Having options is great; the key is keeping it simple and focusing on what outcome you want.
Whether you’re ordering a coffee or writing your manuscript, or entering the publishing phase for your book, keeping it simple alleviates anxiety.
It’s okay to be confused. The important issue is finding the answers for your “peace of mind.” Sign up below for a complimentary strategy session. We’ll help you find the answers to move forward Making Your Book Your Business.