Have you ever heard of analysis paralysis? It’s when one is so afraid of making the wrong choice that they overthink and overcomplicate something. They get stuck in limbo while the issue at hand seems to grow bigger and bigger. Some get stuck for hours, others for days or weeks!
But it doesn’t have to be that way! Below are some tips to make the process much quicker and far less mind boggling. Not every strategy will work for every situation but choose the ones that apply to you and see how much easier it is to get off the fence.
Give yourself time to think it through and get clear about what you really want
For small but important decisions, give yourself about 30 minutes to de-stress, and think through several options. For more epic decisions, it’s better to give yourself hours or even days to weight out the repercussions of your choices, and then the repercussions of them.
Research proves that stress can often destroy the ability to make great decisions. Being under pressure can kick in the fight or flight response and no one makes their best choices when they feel desperate. There isn’t enough time to think about the unintended consequences that should be factored in when making a choice.
Spend time thinking about what you really want, and why. A great strategy is to ask oneself what they want, and the what do you want as a result of that. There is no limit to how deep you can take this. Finding what is called the meta- outcome will reveal your deeper values and make coming to a decision easier. Sometimes there’s a much easier way to get to the ultimate desired outcome.
Think through your options. Are there other ways of reaching your goal?
Sometimes we do what we’ve always done simply because we’ve always done it that way. Deep down we know there is a better way, but we just don’t know what it is. When we slow down, we can see alternatives and compromises that we couldn’t in the heat of the moment. While doing something is better than doing nothing about 90% of the time, there are times when it is better to not take action at all. Consider what the outcomes will be if you do nothing at all.
Are you doing what you really WANT or what are you simply SUPPOSED TO?
Once you identify what you really want, listen to your inner “voice” and make sure you are doing what’s best for you! Sometimes we unconsciously try to please others, such as a boss, parent, or spouse, that we do something purely out of obligation. While well intentioned, making decisions based on someone else’s values is generally does not serve us.
Don’t be afraid to make a mistake
There is no such thing as a mistake if you learn from it. The fear of making a mistake can be crippling. Learning to appreciate mistakes will give you inspiration to try step out of your comfort zone and try new things.
- Ask yourself” what is the worst-case scenario?”. Is anything ever really catastrophic? Who do you know who made mistakes before achieving success? What mistakes have you not only recovered from but thrived after?
- Don’t attach to outcomes. Whatever you decide to do, have a playful attitude towards it. Have a sense of humor. There is an element of risk in anything we do to pursue success. Look to see how stumbling blocks spark change and growth.
Talk it through and if needed, ask for perspective
Sometimes we just need to talk-it-out with someone who is detached and will allow us the space to explore. Simply hearing ourselves “think out loud” often reveals the answers we seek. At the end of the day, the decision is yours but there are times when feedback is helpful. Just remember to be true to yourself and your values.
Recovery and Personal-Growth Coach www.healthytothecore.net