Are you stuck? Do you spend hours scrolling through Netflix without being able to choose a show to watch? Do you walk through the library shelf, unable to pick a book to take home with you? Do you stare at the Tim Hortons menu for way too long only to walk away without buying something even though your stomach was rumbling from hunger?
If so, welcome to the Analysis Paralysis Planet! There are way too many of us in here!
If you’re an inhabitant of this planet, it means you probably spend hours upon hours thinking about the decision you want to make, exhausting your brain by filing through all the possible options, only to get confused and arrive right back at square one. Except, this time you’re tangled up in the messy thread ball of thoughts that you don’t know how to get out of.
But fear not friends! After years and years of getting stuck in research and incessant analyzing mode, I’ve finally found a solution to this madness, and the answers are deceivingly simple:
1. Change your mindset about yourself. Here’s what I mean:
Repeat this to yourself (as many times as you feel the need to):
I. am. not. god.
This means you’ll never be perfect, and you can’t always make perfect decisions. You just don’t have the capacity to! Now, before you get disappointed over this, let me remind you why this is a good thing.
Now that we know we’re not gods, we can give ourselves the room to finally make imperfect decisions. But here’s a thing, we’re still stuck so tightly in that maze of thoughts. So how will we break free??
Well, there’s a solution for that too. See my next point.
2. Pick something. Just pick something! Even if you think it seems uninteresting, imperfect, or simply not up to your taste or standards right now, pick something.
So now you’ve randomly chosen a Netflix series to watch, or a book to read, a goal to work towards, or a drink to try. Now stick with it. It’s okay. Choosing something that’s not the best for a few hours or days or weeks or months won’t kill you. In the grand scheme of things, you’d be wasting more time trying to choose something than experiencing that thing anyway.
Congratulations! You have now successfully acquired new data about your preferences about a new decision you made!
But wait! Now you feel unsatisfied about what you chose. Is there a solution to that?
Yep, you bet there is!
3. Own your decisions. Once you’ve made your decision, own it and follow through with it. Consider it a little experiment you ran for a very short time of your life.
Bought something really random from an online store? Own it. That was you. You did it. So how do you feel about it now? Do you regret it? Cringing over it? Or are you enjoying it to your surprise? Why do you think you feel about it the way you do?
Whatever the reason may be, however you end up feeling about it, take ownership over your decision. And if you really want to, you can incorporate how you reacted to that thing into making your next decisions.
Perfection in every single aspect of your life is totally overrated. Try exploration and experimentation instead. Nothing wrong with trying new things, and liking or not liking those things. You don’t always have to know you’d like something before even trying it. You don’t always have to know you’ll succeed at something before giving it a shot. Imagine the number of things you’d miss out on if you keep holding yourself back like that!
Sometimes it’s better to just pick up a book, hate it, keep reading it, and then make fun of it later 😁 At least you did something! And you never know, you might even end up stumbling upon something cool or useful unexpectedly.
TL;DR – your brain isn’t helping you pick something, so pick something imperfect for it and stick with it to find out how it turns out. Keep repeating. Action. Action. Action!