Saturday, May 3, 2014

Overcoming Analysis Paralysis

Talking with a friend the other day, we got on the topic of being overwhelmed with "stuff" and how it can inhibit moving forward. Analysis paralysis refers to the dynamic of considering what needs to be done to move forward and suddenly finding you've generated a list as long as Benjamin Franklin's kite string. Of course, there is a metal key attached and lightning hits, and you are shocked into a state of paralysis. There's so much to do that you find you can't do anything to move forward - you're "stuck" in a state of overwhelm, not knowing what to do first, or how on earth you'd ever get it all done.
To help you get past this moment, allow me to quote Kris Kringle in Santa Claus is coming to town, speaking to the Winter Warlock - "put one foot in front of the other, and soon you'll be walking out the door..."
Consider the physical or physiological state of paralysis. Someone suffering from paralysis generally doesn't one day just get up and walk. Recovery usually starts with the discovery and realization that there is noticeable feeling somewhere. "I can feel my toe!" From there, there is the attempt and eventual success of moving that toe. Once that milestone is achieved, full recovery is more possible and more likely, and certainly encouragement and motivation are heightened.
Take that same approach as you coach and heal yourself from your paralyzed state. When you look at and consider your heavy and long list, there is undoubtedly something, maybe something that seems insignificant, that you could do. My mantra is: "something you can do today, immediately, without delay." When such an opportunity is identified, you've recognized feeling in your toe. Now you can move that toe (do that thing) and you will be on your way to recovery. Once that task or to-do is complete, you can identify the next thing, or another thing. Better yet, having completed that first task, other connected tasks will now be easier to do and complete. Like dominos all lined up, you'll see the next one fall, and the next one - "and soon, you'll be walking out that do-o-oor!"
Finally, the same electricity that originally shocked you can now work to your benefit as you are able to harness its power to help you surge forward in your efforts. Your newfound positive attitude will be electrified and you will immediately be on the road to success from its power.

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