“The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates
As an analytical person, I would tend to agree with Socrates. Those who will not examine their lives tend to keep repeating the same mistakes. Yet, in this article, I’d like to issue a caution to my fellow analytically-minded readers. If you’re someone prone to self-examination, this is for you.
There comes a point where over-examination and too much analysis can be detrimental to our progress. There really is a thing called analysis paralysis where you can’t move forward because you’re too busy trying to examine the past or the present or what might happen in the future.
In my experience, the really awesome happenings in life were not orchestrated by me or my analysis. I simply chose a path the best I could, got into motion on that path, and doors of opportunities began opening as I moved my feet.
Many of us stay in analysis until we feel we or our idea are “perfect enough.” I have news for you. You and your ideas will never be perfect enough – and they certainly won’t reach any form of perfection if you don’t get out in the world and start acting upon them.
Sometimes we stay in analysis mode too long because we aren’t sure where to go. The more we stir the pot, the more confused we become. We’re waiting for that big heavenly download or vision to reveal to us the correct path.
Here’s the rub… rarely do we ever catch a big vision that propels us forward without taking a few steps down a path or at least making a clear choice about what path to take. A wise gentlemen I know once said,
“Revelation comes as you use your agency to move your feet.” – Mark E. Mendenhall
Analysis Vs. Self-Criticism
The challenge many of us have is that we do not realize that analysis is only one part of the process. There comes a point that analysis must lead to action. In and of itself, analysis does not create or produce anything. It can formulate ideas for improving what is produced or created, but analysis is only a tool. When used correctly, analysis is like a laser beam that tells you what to cut away and what to keep.
This is rather a simple example, but Sunday I was making a French Silk pie. It’s a favorite with my boys, but I hadn’t made one in about a year. I was talking with my dad while making this pie, and ended up mixing my butter, sugar and melted chocolate while the chocolate was still hot. This made the combined ingredients turn into a soupy consistency when it should have been fluffy instead.
I thought for sure I’d ruined the pie. It was late at night, and I didn’t have enough butter left to start over. My first instinct was to berate myself for being so sloppy, not paying attention, messing up the pie, etc. Why hadn’t I been paying better attention? Had I allowed the berating to transform into full-blown criticism, I could have jumped to the conclusion that I’m a horrible mom for messing up the family favorite.
Fortunately, I didn’t do that. I stopped fussing at myself, analyzed the situation, and thought, “Hmmm… the butter just needs to get hard again.” I stuck the soupy mixture in the fridge, let it harden up, then whipped it as it should have been whipped. The pie turned out perfect.
Notice that analyzing the situation enough to find a solution is a healthy way to use our examination skills. You find a solution and go into motion with the solution. Sometimes your solution works, and sometimes it does not. But finding a viable solution through analysis is much different than berating oneself or going into full blown self-criticism. Neither of those lead to better results.
Many of us have spent so much time analyzing that we’re now cutting away at our own hearts, our own flesh, our own sinews and bones, our families, our loved ones, our homes, and our relationships. The tool that was given to us to create solutions and new and better things has now turned destructive and dangerous.
There can be too much of a good thing. I’m not saying to throw away the tool. I’m just saying use it wisely, compassionately and in balance.
Are You Over Analyzing?
Here are a few indicators that analysis has become counter-productive:
- Your analysis becomes criticism.
- You live so much in the past you can’t enjoy the present.
- You have a hard time forgiving yourself or letting go of your past mistakes.
- You have a hard time forgiving others and are still harboring ill will toward them.
- You stay in analysis that never leads to decisive action.
- You use analysis as a way to pretend you’re doing something, to hide from the greatness within you and the divine destiny you have ahead of you.
- Analysis has become a stalling tool.
If you feel you might be stuck in analysis paralysis, I’m willing to bet that you are good. You have done the work you need to self-improve. It’s now down to the doing. My advice:
Don’t make life so difficult. God loves you the way you are. Love yourself the way you are. Dream. Have fun. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Love your life and what you can create.
Life is a big sandbox and God doesn’t care whether you build a castle today or a mote tomorrow. He wants you to use your creativity and self-expression to have fun and build! He wants you to be the wonderful, beautiful you and show up in the world. As you do, He’ll orchestrate the right people and circumstances to lead you where you need to be. You bring your goodness and your beauty and let Him bless everyone around you through your touch.
Breakthrough Analysis Paralysis
Nothing holds entrepreneurs back like decision-making paralysis. Obsessing over which path to take kills time and creativity and keeps you from making progress toward success. The answer? Fast decisions and fast action. But this is a challenge for many entrepreneurs.
In this audio we’ll work through…
- fear of regretting your decision later,
- fear of picking one thing and missing out on all the other possibilities,
- fear of being disappointed in your choice,
- fear of suffering the ramifications of a wrong choice.
Many people suffer from decision paralysis because they were punished or judged for “wrong” decisions in the past.
If this is you, get this powerful energy-shifting module and breakthrough the fears associated with indecisiveness. In no time, you’ll be making wise, swift, and informed decisions that keep you moving forward along the path to success.
Audio Length: 60 minutes
MP3 Audio recording and Affirmation PDF
Featured Image Copyright: Ivelin Radkov / BigStockPhoto.com