Analysis Paralysis is a term that I had never heard of before until I met my wonderful husband Graham over 12 years ago. Since being married to him though I have heard him use this phrase over and over on many occasions. The first time that he mentioned it I gave him a very quizzical kind of look like “what are you talking about?” I soon learned that the phrase is something that I would continue to see and learn more about as time has quickly moved forward.
Well, what is Analysis Paralysis anyway? Well, according to Wikipedia, the definition of this phrase is “the state of over-analyzing or over-thinking a situation, or citing sources, so that a decision or action is never taken, thus causing a type of paralyzing outcome.”
In my mind, it means you are basically trying to talk yourself out of every good thing that could happen in your life. Perhaps that’s an extreme but I do know by myself that there have been plenty of times where I “what iffed” myself to death by thinking about it way too hard. I need to stop doing this.
Here is where I think age is starting to play more of a positive role in this area. I have always second-guessed myself in so many aspects of my life. I am realizing this year especially that I need to stop doing this to myself. The only person I am really hurting is me. Other people don’t really care if you analyze yourself to death. They will keep marching on to the beat of their own drummer and not give it another thought.
So, how am I beginning to see that my over-40ishness is helping me to see a new light. Well, for one thing I realize that I’m on the other side of the proverbial fence now. I am actually closer to retirement than the other way around. I never knew I would even start to think about, much less utter, the word ‘retirement.’ I mean, who wants to think about that. The word retirement automatically conjures up images of sitting down, propping your feet up, and never doing another lick of work again, which actually doesn’t sound too bad now that I mention it. Anyway, I digress.
The point is that I have put a label on the word ‘retirement’ and I should not have done so. This in no way means that you stop doing anything whatsoever for the rest of your days. Quite the contrary, many people are just getting their second wind as retirement approaches. I, for one, hope to be one of those people. I am determined to turn over a new leaf and do my best to approach that time of my life as a positive thing not a negative one.
This in turn makes me think about the phrase in the post, Analysis Paralysis. I basically suffered with this thinking about retirement and I have also suffered with this in other areas of my life too. Will I be able to get on that airplane and make it to Cleveland, Ohio for a library conference? Can I put all my energy and efforts into getting into graduate school since I really wasn’t that smart and didn’t make the best grades in the world in undergrad? Am I doomed to get cancer due to the fact that my mother has suffered through three bouts of it in her life?
Well, the answer to all of these questions is: yes, yes and no. I made it to Cleveland and lived to tell the tale. I made it into graduate school after three tries and I’m very proud of my accomplishments in that area. Finally, I could easily sit around and stew that I am going to automatically get cancer but I choose not to. I am taking all the necessary precautions not to and taking all the preventative tests.
The overriding point to all of this is that if I want to do something amazing in life I need to stop over-thinking it and just do it. I know I borrowed the Nike logo, shame on me. However, they really do have a point. As long as you sit back and tell yourself you can’t do something, then you probably won’t be able to do it. If, however, you decide that you can indeed make a big change in life and take a chance, then who knows what may be possible.
Just think, a few short weeks ago I tried to talk myself out of starting my own blog. Maybe it will be a success and maybe it won’t. If I don’t try though, I will never know for certain and I might lose out on one of the best moments in my life. I’m still not sure which way my blog is going to go or what I will decide the focus of it will be, but for now I’m just happy to start writing again and hopefully as I do I will figure out the new course that I want to chart.
So long for now and happy blogging….