When in Doubt, Do

Analysis Paralysis

One of the most insidious obstacles to achievement is our tendency to give in to the pessimistic voices in our heads that advocate caution and forethought before making decisions. Instead of accepting failure as an inherent possibility in any undertaking, we tend to espouse inaction in order to weigh every fact against possible outcomes. We are thus predisposed to devising excuses for our indolence.

Admittedly, further deliberation is justified in some cases, but with a vast majority of our decisions, we tend to overestimate the stress we might experience after making a difficult choice. The longer we spend on making a decision, the less productive we are. Beyond a reasonable amount, obsessing over choices causes analysis paralysis, as in the fable of the fox and the cat.

Idea for Impact: No good comes from hesitation and inaction. The only things you will regret in the future are the things you don’t do today. So, instead of dragging it out, act decidedly on an opportunity before it ceases to be one. Take a few low-risk steps and watch your confidence grow. The consequences are likely to be far less extreme than the cost of comfortable inaction.

Follow the “10-Minute Dash” technique to get a task going and overcome procrastination.


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