Analysis Paralysis

“Some men have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to, when all they need is one reason why they can.” – Willis R. Whitney — Underneath the quote the author goes on to say… “Give yourself a reason to follow and fulfill your dream. All it takes is one.”

So true.

Ok, so have you been stuck lately? And, wondering… how do you get to what you want… while navigating the curve balls life throws at you? What if you’ve got the reason… it’s just trying to figure out how to get there, that’s causing you to get stuck?

When I get stuck… it’s usually that I get stuck in the thinking… through all the different directions I could go in: get my Master’s degree in Social Work, get a certificate in Event Planning, informational interviews, work in event management with non-profits or restaurants, who I can identify… organizations/people to work with or partner with, what way s can I identify to gain experience, new people to network with… I get overwhelmed just thinking about all the things “I could do.”

There is a phrase for it. It’s called “Analysis Paralysis”.

You get really good at thinking through all the ways you can get it done. But, you get paralyzed in the doing.

I imagine myself like Spider Man… having the ability to shoot fast a web (from each wrist) that will stick to any building I aim at. But… there are so many options. So many buildings. Which one is the right one? Which one is a safe one to land on? So… I sit on the rooftop overlooking the city pondering. What do I do? Which way do I go? Which building do I jump to?

So, what I’ve figured out is… the more I stare at what’s ahead of me. The more daunting it becomes… the more overwhelmed I feel… and the less that actually gets done. I worry about all the possibilities… the directions to take… and the deadlines that go with it.

The longer I look over the city and ponder which direction to take… the more comfortable I get on the rooftop I’m currently sitting on. Even though, I don’t like where I am. Sound familiar?

Analysis Paralysis

Want to know what I’ve learned?

You can’t do it all… and you can’t do it ALL right now. It’s OK to let somethings go. Do one thing at time. Commit to doing one task a day… start it… and finish it. It will feel like in the beginning… that you aren’t getting much done. But, over the course of a week or a month… you’ll have gotten a lot done. It will FEEL good! And… it may open up doors to new opportunities, you didn’t expect.

As time progresses… you’ll feel much more capable of taking on more than one task a day. But, if you’re stuck… you’ve got to start with something!

Give yourself some grace as well. It is true that sending a non-perfect resume is better than no resume at all.

Tackle your big stuff first. What does that look like for you? For me, it included getting a new cell phone carrier and calculating mileage for taxes. Networking with key people. Responding to emails. Finding courage and the motivation to walk through fears — to be able to ask for what I want. More importantly, contacting key people and introducing out-of-the-box ideas — that helped me get closer to what I want to do.

And, if you need to, make a pact with yourself, “if I can send one resume, ask for something that helps me get closer to what I want to do, set up a informational interview, or complete one big project each day… then, with my time afterwards… I can focus on something fun or a project around the house”.


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