One nasty habit that keeps people stuck is overanalyzing everything. Overanalyzing transforms little issues and situations into big problems and overwhelming challenges.
Overanalyzing is like yeast; it makes things grow and grow and grow until something cute and small becomes monstrously huge with fangs and claws.
Overanalyzing turns positive situations and relationships into negative ones by focusing on faults, shortcomings and drawbacks, all of which pile ever higher as the over analyzing continues.
People who are prone to overanalyzing never fully allow themselves to enjoy the moment. Everything in their life must be scripted for them to feel safe and happy.
Their feverish need for security, which is driven by fear, compels them to overanalyze and deconstruct everything before it happens.
Paralysis by analysis robs them of precious life .
Very little gets done and dreams are left at the starting gate.
These dear people remain stuck, trapped, and frustrated, but at least they’re safe (which is usually just a self-imagined illusion).
There is a HUGE difference between thinking things through and overanalyzing.
A wise person thinks through the situation, relationship or opportunity from all angles within reason.
Here’s the main difference: People who think things through actually move forward once they’re research is completed, whereas people who over analyze stay frozen by inaction because of all the scary “what-ifs?”
Overanalyzing kills your dreams, joy and happiness.
Here are four ways to overcome overanalyzing and start living your life.
1) Expand Your Perspective – Consider The Big Picture
One of the best things you can do is to ask questions like these:
Will this really matter in five years from now?
What will I lose if I don’t do this? What will I gain?
What will I miss out on if I don’t move forward?
What are some possible consequences? What are some possible rewards?
How might my life become worse? How might it become better?
If it’s clear that you will gain more than you will lose, and your life will be better, then it’s probably time to move forward, so get on with it already!
2) Create A Launch Window For Go/No-Go
When NASA reaches for the stars, it uses a launch window for when it’s safe to launch; after the situation is analyzed, it’s either go or no-go. Simple. Effective.
Create your own go/no-go launch window by giving yourself a limited amount of time to make your decision.
People of inaction give themselves an unlimited amount of time to make a decision.
An easy way to start practicing a decision-window is at a restaurant; give yourself thirty seconds to look at the menu and decide what you want.
For bigger decisions, take a few hours.
For life-changing decisions that might affect you greatly or those closest to you, consider limiting your decision-window to a few days or a week; don’t let it drag on.
Disclaimer: These time frames are random and for example only. Don’t follow them blindly; create your own.
Consider your life, situation, personality and temperament in crafting your own set of decision- windows for making small, medium and large decisions.
Setting a time limit makes you come to a decision one way or the other.
3) Reduce Stress
Stress can have a negative influence on the decision making process. If you’re not a quarterback in the NFL, as a general rule of thumb you will make your best decisions when life isn’t blitzing you. You perform best when feeling relaxed and calm.
Here are some ways to reduce stress:
- Start your day unhurried. Do what you can the night before to be better prepared in the morning or get up twenty minutes earlier.
- When you open your eyes in the morning, list three things for which you’re grateful; start on a positive note because this sets the tone for the rest of the day.
- Chunk down big to-dos into smaller tasks. Even Tom Brady chunks a one hundred yard drive into forty downs (4 downs per ten yards).
- Take time outs. Give your mind and nervous system a break for a few minutes throughout the day. Breathe, laugh or go outside for five minutes of fresh air and sunshine. Upon returning to work you’ll see things more clearly and be more positive.
- STOP information overload. Only check emails once you get to work, mid-day and before going home for the day. Otherwise it’s death by in-box, and the very things you should’ve gotten done remain undone at the end of the day, which creates all kinds of crazy for your life and relationships (and your next pay raise or promotion).
- Take five minutes to create/review your schedule for the next day before leaving work. It creates momentum, clarity, organized thinking and action. You will hit the ground running the next morning. Say goodbye to spinning your wheels and being the constant victim of that person who walks in and says, “Do you have a minute?” No. You don’t. You’re in the middle of living your life and have important things to do. Ask if they can meet after work for a few minutes, or later once you’ve completed your deadline.
4) Acknowledge That There’s Only So Much You Can (or want) To Control
Focus your time and energy on what you can control. Don’t waste your life force on what you can’t control or don’t want to control. Trying to control what you can’t control is a recipe for chronic stress, fatigue, regret and frustration.
In this post, we’ve discussed how and why overanalyzing keeps people from pursuing their dreams by keeping them stuck. Also, we recommended that you create a decision-window where it’s go or no-go. Lastly, we gave you four ways to reduce stress levels in order for you to be calmer and more relaxed to make better decisions.
Consider everything we’ve shared in this post, what’s one thing you’d be willing to do right now that you KNOW will improve your life? You’ve got thirty seconds, go!