Do you go around in circles, collecting data, running what-if scenarios, deferring decisions till the last minute, and sometimes never taking action at all?

This is a cognitive bias called ‘information bias’ or ‘analysis-paralysis’. You keep researching options to make sure that you are making the best choice. You think so much that you end up actually doing nothing.

This overthinking stresses you out, impacts your confidence, willpower, and creativity. It becomes a vicious cycle holding your self-esteem to ransom all the time. 

Given below are 3 signs that indicate that you are stuck in analysis paralysis, allowing you the opportunity to shrug yourself out of it – 

  1. You seek certainty – You keep evaluating alternatives to be sure to get the best result. You keep looking for information to compare different probable outcomes. The fear of what you might be giving up if you make one choice freezes you, and you keep deferring the decision. 
  2. You want to get all your ducks in a row – You need to feel ready before you act. You believe you will know when it is the best time. You have a list of ideas and aspirations that you have never acted on. Sometimes, you delay decisions so much that you miss the bus.
  3. You want everything to be perfect – You want to put up your best show, but you are your harshest critic and never measure up in your eyes. As a result, you never submit your proposal, never share your strawman. You want to dazzle the world with your output, but you hide in the background. 

Remember, nobody wants to make the wrong decision, but you don’t want to take so long that you miss opportunities. Next time you find yourself thinking about the same facts over and over again and not acting, use the following reflection prompts to move forward – 

– What is your end objective from this exercise? 

– How important is this decision?

– Will this impact you a year from now?

– What is the worst thing that could happen?

– What are your options in the worst situation?

– What is an adequate solution vs the perfect one?