Analysis Paralysis – Good name, bad experience.

Over the last few years, I have learned more about myself, business and life than I ever could have imagined. Looking back now, it often felt like I knew more than I actually did at certain milestones, but as we’ve heard time and time again, “every day is a school day”. I’m someone that prefers to learn by doing, rather than in theory. One thing that slows us down, and in some cases, completely prevents us from learning, is overthinking, also known as, analysis paralysis! And when I say learning, I’m thinking about more than school, college, or any lessons for that matter. I’m thinking about a wider range of learning. From figuring out your favourite drink to buying your first horse, or starting your own business!

You want to make the right choices, so it’s normal to weigh up your options. But what if you bounce options back and forth for days on end and then end up exhausted and unable to make any decision at all? Your levels of anxiety can increase hugely, which leads to a whole other list of less desirable outcomes. If you were given the option of doing that at the start, do you think that would be the choice you would make? If you ask me, done is often better than perfect, and perfection is like a hen’s teeth, impossible to find!

Myself and Shane will always start with WHY, as you saw in previous articles by us, that time we both wrote the same article and didn’t tell each other until it was too late. So ask yourself, “why do I have analysis paralysis?” Is this such a life-altering decision that I feel like I’m playing God? If that’s the case, maybe you need to talk to others about it, don’t be afraid to ask for help with big decisions. Give yourself a time limit, whether it’s 10 minutes, 10 days, or 10 months. Give yourself a deadline! Or maybe this decision is completely insignificant and you have overthought the whole thing? Well if that’s the case, just make a decision and deal with the consequences. They could go either way, but at least you’ll know for the next time and you won’t waste any time then!

How can we simplify decision making? 

Start with the process of elimination. Too many times, I have gone over multiple options in my head, and by the time I go through them all, I forget exactly where I stand on each one. So get a pen and paper, or type up your options on your phone/laptop, and get rid of any options you know won’t come out on top. By clearing out the clutter, you’ll think more clearly and you’re “perfect” choice will be much more obvious. And as I was saying, if it’s a small decision, just MAKE A decision. So what if it’s the wrong one? We need to make mistakes, it’s how we learn!

Practise decision making

Have you ever seen the film “Yes man”? If you want to see how someone’s life can take an unbelievably positive turn by quick decision making, with the answer always being yes, then give it a watch. I actually tried this out for a few weeks a couple of years ago. I put myself under some pressure timewise, but I had serious craic doing it! It’s not something that I would be able to do long term, but it completely opened my eyes to all of the opportunities that are there if we stop overthinking things!

Take a step back

I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve figured out solutions while doing something totally off-topic. Your mind often needs to take a look at things from a different perspective, and it’s difficult to do that if you’re in the depths of a rabbit hole! It’s almost the equivalent of getting a fresh set of eyes and is invaluable if you ask me.

Stay POSITIVE!

Rather than thinking, “the last time I went to that event I fell off twice in the warm-up” Try and think, “Ok, the next time I go to that event, I need to make sure that my horse and I are in the right headspace, we have done plenty of homework and we’re going to celebrate every small win we have on the day!” I promise you’ll enjoy your day 10 times more.

And I’ll leave you with what I think is most important, something I remind myself of every day. Go with your gut. You have those feelings for a reason!

Sidenote: Anybody who is trying out quick decision making, or even going as far as being a “Yes Man” or a “Yes Woman”, please let me know! I’d love to hear how it goes for you!

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Analysis Paralysis – Good name, bad experience.

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