I have this problem. I have had it my whole life. It’s something I’m working on. It’s not easy…especially when I depend more on my previous experiences than on what my gut is telling me.
Let me explain with a real life example.
One of my most pressing desires at this moment is to write a book. I have started three or four projects, but I’ve not gotten too much completed. Before I sit down to write, I have all kinds of idea going through my head…the creativity flows. Excited, I sit down at my computer or with my journal, ready to take the ideas flooding my brain and give them life.
Then, all of a sudden, after I’ve written a few paragraphs, I start to think, “Wow, this is crap. I can’t believe I’m writing such crap. Who’s going to read this? Is this even interesting? Do I really want to put all of this work into something that noone’s going to read anyway? Why kill all of those trees.” I try to fight through it, but I get tired, and I walk away, thinking tomorrow is another day.
This is what I call analysis paralysis.
It affects other areas of my life too. Relationships. I meet a guy that I really like. We have a lot in common. We are very compatable. We become friends. Then I start thinking of a hundred reasons why he shouldn’t like me. “I had that boyfriend who cheated on me. I guess I’m not as smart or funny as he seems to think I am. I’m not really all that attractive. I’m not successful. I’m kind of crazy.”
Eventually, I pull away because, before something has even begun, I’ve been through the whole process.
I used to justify my bad behavior as logical. Why set myself up for disappointment? Why put my heart out there only to have it thrown onto the ground and stomped upon? My life isn’t that bad, is it?
But, stepping back, I can see how my analysis paralysis has controlled my life. Sure, there is the chance that people won’t like my book. But, there is also a greater chance that a few people will like the book. Maybe he will break my heart. Maybe I’ll break his. But no risk = no reward. Right?
This is where I am right now. In case you were wondering. Which you probably weren’t 🙂 OR maybe you were. (There I go again! Haha)