Paralysis by Analysis

March 30th, 2010

Feeling stuck and frustrated?  These two feelings often go together and are often inextricably linked.  Generally you feel frustrated because you are stuck, and there is a simple explanation for being stuck – it is because you’re not moving!  It’s easy to blame other people, our environment, and circumstance but actually, the source is usually us.  The good news is that means we can do something about it.

Feeling stuck, being stuck in a rut, groundhog day, going through the motions…. they’re all euphemisms for the same phenomena, and often stem from needing to do something different and making a change, but not doing it.  It could also be thought of as resisting the flow of life.

Change can be scary, even when we want to change, and/or know we need to change… even when we realise the benefits of change will leave us in a much better space.  Because of fear we try and prepare ourselves well in order to ensure the change is successful.  Such preparation is useful to a point, but it is easy to overdo it and end up stuck in the no-man’s land known as ‘paralysis by analysis’.   Spending too much time preparing for every possible outcome and trying to get all your ducks in a row, is actually a pointless exercise – the ducks always move. 

And so it is with life.  Everything is dynamic, constantly moving.  Like a game of chess, every move has the potential to completely change the game.  To plan all your moves at the beginning of the game would make it necessary to play entirely by yourself and control all the conditions.  Not only would this be boring and lonely, but you may miss out on better opportunities that are only made possible by another player’s moves.

So all you need to know is the first move.  Then you assess the best move to make next once it is your turn to move again.  The possible moves change all the time and can’t necessarily be planned in advance.  If you don’t know what the first move should be, or feel like you can’t make a good move, then just make any move.  This is kind of like a reshuffle.  Sometimes there are no great moves to be made, as in any game.  But by at least making a move, even if it is sideways, then you keep the game moving and change the dynamics which may open up a better move for the next turn.

So if you’re stuck, move!  Any move is better than staying stuck.  Take a leap of faith and do something.  Movement builds momentum.  The first step is often the hardest and requires the most energy.  Once you are moving it is easier to keep going.

© Jacqui Thomas 2010, All rights reserved.