It’s a Thing: Analysis Paralysis and the Impact on You

There it was again. A writer describes how characters take over.1 You’ve probably heard it too, a writer, an artist describes this influence that changes their concept of their plan and how they work with it. I find the same thing from a blog post to a presentation, even a yoga class. I have a plan, I get started and along the way things shift. Well, this is the time of year when those who make new years resolutions may falter falsely. You may not be on track for what you planned; but, did you start?  Once you start, you can see what works and what doesn’t. What interests you and what doesn’t. Course correct as necessary. This can only happen once you start.

Start scares people. Start has it’s cousins, doubt, fear and but. Start does’t need a plan, it needs an end, some kind of goal and why. After that, it is just step by step. You have to take that first step, without it, you cannot know what is next. Think of the end, don’t try to plan, but visualize the goal, and take the first step. The path will not reveal itself until you start. What you have put off, not because of “start”, but those pesky cousins of doubt, fear and but. This week, consider that first step on the path.2

I often thought about black hardwood floors for my office. The first step? There are apps in which you can see your room with different flooring. Now that I can see different floors, next step, find what I like, check availability, get cost, get permits…and so on. At any point I can stop, go or take an entirely new approach.

West Flooring Visualizer

0Analysis paralysis (or paralysis by analysis) describes an individual or group process where overanalyzing or overthinking a situation can cause forward motion or decision-making to become “paralyzed”, meaning that no solution or course of action is decided upon within a natural time frame.

1Akwaeke Emezi to Trevor Noah in conversation about her novel, “You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty,” said the novel started with the idea the main character was going to have a hot girl summer, “…and then I met the character and she said I have depth you can only dream of.” The book became a different story about grief.

2It’s a step and it can be imperceptibly small to anyone around you. Don’t make this hard.

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