Do You Suffer From Analysis Paralysis?

I got some tough love from my mom at dinner last night, and (for the most part) it was well-deserved. I’m two years out of school, ready for the next thing, and feeling a little overwhelmed about finding that thing because jobs are hard to find and lots of people have the same dream I do. I don’t know exactly what my next move should be. I wish someone would just tell me. Send me an invitation, perhaps. Even a Facebook event would be appreciated, despite how annoying they are. I know I want to write full-time, but now I have to find a way to make that happen. Are you at this point too? It seems to be pretty common right around the two year post-graduation mark.

I was talking to my mom about various topics including: the difficulties of balancing a relationship and two developing careers, how hard it is to find a job, how scary it is to pick up your whole life and move for a job when you can never be totally sure that the job will be a good fit, how finding a job is like a full-time job, etc.

My mom brought up a great point. She said I overanalyze more than anyone she knows and that I’m starting to suffer from analysis paralysis. She explained that I’m very good at talking myself out of any situation because of things that haven’t happened and may not ever happen.

For example: I read a job posting that sounds like something that I’d enjoy. But…but…the job title doesn’t sound exactly correct. And the location? What if I can’t find an apartment! Or a roommate! What if the job doesn’t pay enough for me to live? What if I’m not qualified? Okay, this will never work. I’m not applying for this. Rinse and repeat until I’ve ruled out every single job posting that I previously thought about applying for.

This has become a big problem for me, and without fully realizing it I’m making myself stuck in one phase of my life. Mentally I’m ready to move on. I’m scared, but I’m ready. But physically (and also a little bit mentally) I can’t get myself to move on. I can’t hit send on that application. I can’t type up that cover letter. Why? Because I’m giving myself analysis paralysis. I’m thinking about all the reasons it might not work, instead of just hoping and trusting that it will. Instead of leaving it up to the company to decide if I’m qualified, I’m assuming I’m not. Instead of thinking about all the thousands of people who have moved to new cities and found roommates and apartments, I’m assuming I’ll be the one person who can’t and doesn’t and ends up living under a bridge while she commutes to and from work every day. I have completely analyzed myself to death.

My mom said something to me last night that really hurt me, but also made me realize how much I need to stop this analysis paralysis. She said, “If you don’t change something, you’re going to be at this job in this city forever.” Her words stung, but she’s 100% right. If I don’t stop freaking myself out and just trust myself a little more I will absolutely get comfortable here and find a way to talk myself out of ever taking another job. I don’t want that. I’m young. I want to be a full-time writer. I need to see new things and take chances. No more analysis paralysis. Which is why I’m going to work to live by that quote you see in the picture. “If you never try you’ll never know.”

Do you suffer from analysis paralysis? I think it’s pretty common, especially when you’re still working to become fully self-confident and independent. How do you cope with it?

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