How to Overcome Analysis Paralysis
Updated: Feb 19
Analysis paralysis is often rooted in anxiety. There is a need to feel like you are making “the right decision” and it leads to overthinking and overanalyzing. This creates a barrier and leaves you paralyzed, stuck, and even feel like a failure because of it. As a result, there is no decision made or you end up going with what others have influenced you to do as default. This can lead to a lot of self-doubt and even more indecisiveness. How do we overcome the cycle of analysis paralysis? We have to start by recognizing when it is happening.
This thinking pattern becomes automatic because it has become engrained over time. It has served a purpose to protect you from making a ‘wrong’ decision, but it can prevent you from making any decisions at all. The anxiety and worries about making the wrong decision causes so much distress and you start to feel like the only way to feel less anxious is by having more information and analyze even more. However, it only feeds the anxiety making it more intense rather than soothing it. Pay attention to your thoughts and acknowledge when this thinking pattern is starting. This allows you the opportunity to try to interrupt the thought process. When there is no recognition of the thought process, you can’t do anything to overcome it. By having recognition and awareness, you can work to find the gaps where you can change the thought process and, therefore, your reaction/response. This is easiest done with the assistance of a therapist because they can approach it in an unbiased way to help guide you through the process of untangling the web of thoughts.
Take some time to think about how important the problem is for you. With anxiety (which drives analysis paralysis), everything feels important. In trying to assess how important this decision is, consider the bigger picture. How will it impact your life in a week, a month, a year? Confront that worst-case scenario. Often, we want to avoid facing the worst-case scenario, but that only continues to be in the back of your mind continuing to wreak havoc on your life and even manifesting physically for you. How likely is it that the worst-case scenario will happen?
Consider what is causing concern for you in the decision-making process. Is there an expectation from others that you are afraid you won’t meet? Are you worried about rejection from others? In my experience, many people who tend to struggle with analysis paralysis also struggle with being free to express their true self. They weigh their words and worry about each action/word and how the other person will respond or react. It is not your responsibility to predict and know every situation. That is impossible and the only way that you can live your life and not fear the “wrong decision” is by working to be vulnerable to speak up and speak your truth in a respectful way.
To try to overcome analysis paralysis, you have to be willing to put in the work and practice making decisions quickly. Again, therapy is a great tool that can help you change these patterns in a long-lasting way. Certain types of therapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can provide tools and techniques in challenging, reframing, and dismantling the thoughts that are leading to analysis paralysis.
Finding a therapist is a difficult process and can feel really overwhelming. However, taking all these things into account can help set you up for success and help you find a therapist that is a good match for you. To start your search, you can use directories such as therapy den or psychology today,. If you are interested in getting started with me, you can now book your free 30 minute consultation online!
To find a therapist best suited for you, using a directory such as mental health match, psychology today, or therapyden. To connect with me, you can book your free 30 minute consultation on our website or feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Although I am a therapist by profession, I am not YOUR therapist. This article is for informational and educational purposes only, does not replace therapy and does not establish any kind of therapist-client relationship with me. I am not liable or responsible for any damages resulting from or related to your use of this information. To see more information about our disclamer(s): https://www.mindfulsolutionscorp.com/disclaimers.