I’m a compulsive over-analyzer. Rarely am I able to just “let things go” when I should. Instead, I dwell. I pick apart. I dissect until whatever it is no longer resembles itself. I think way too much.
The human brain has a remarkable ability to find order in chaos. I blame my need to over-analyze on this biological fact. I think, ultimately, I’m searching for some sort of reason in an unreasonable world.
In business they call it analysis-paralysis: becoming so obsessed with understanding what happened in the past and why that you fail to actually move forward. You simply become stuck in the analysis phase.
The search for meaning and understanding is a noble one and I’m not suggesting it should be abandoned completely. But there’s a point when we simply have to let go of the past. We have to accept what has happened and where we are, and we have to move on. Otherwise, we become frozen. We keep searching for something that may or may not exist and, meanwhile, the rest of the world carries on.
Whenever I’m stuck in analysis-paralysis, I remind myself of a few things I’ve learned over the years:
- Sometimes, the obvious explanation is the right one.
- Sometimes, there is no meaning.
- Sometimes, you’re not supposed to understand.
- Just because it takes a long time to come to a conclusion doesn’t make the conclusion any more “right.”
Stop analyzing. Stop planning. Stop searching for meaning and Just. Move. Forward.
Often, it’s only when you stop thinking and start doing that things become clear.
Recommended Reading: Decision vs. Action: A Key Distinction for Success