Analysis Paralysis, per Wikipedia, is ‘the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.’
The text conversation above ensued after I received my progress pics from my personal trainer, Joe Dantrassy (sidenote: if you are looking for a personal trainer in San Diego, he is the man). I switched from cycling last year to starting mostly strength training and cardio in January. The goal was to reshape my body: add muscle where I desperately needed it, tone, slim down, and look fit. We all want to look good naked, right?
Joe takes photos every week and usually I never want to see them, especially the past few weeks as I dealt with stomach issues leaving me feeling less than good about myself. I felt relatively good this week as I finally have all that under control, so asked him to send my pictures over. What ensued was an onslaught of emotions: disgust, sadness, disappointment, and, the immediate reaction of “ugh, I hate myself.” Let me back this up with the fact that I took a month off of working out consistently, and did not start back to five days in the gym, six days of cardio minimum, until about four weeks ago. Since then, I’ve been busting my butt trying to get into “the best shape of my life.” In any event, my legs tend to get swollen quickly – especially in the heat – and the best thing I can do to describe it is by calling it heat edema. Mind you, I’ve never had extremely defined muscles in my legs – ever. So working on them with the added edema issues has been frustrating. I had just texted him and told him that I HATE my legs, and his reply was “the question is, what are you going to do about it?”
I almost replied “work harder” but that seemed misleading – I have been working as hard as I can over the past few weeks. Adding “more consistently” seemed more valid. Then, I thought of the book I am currently reading, The Will to Win, by one of my favorite Sharks – businessman and racing enthusiast, Robert Herjavec. Robert is intensely passionate and competitive, and has proven it by building an extremely successful business, investing in many others, and focusing on his family at the same time.
In the book, he discusses the advice given to him by his racing coach. When he is on that track, he needs to think about his competitors JUST LONG ENOUGH to figure out how he will advance, and then take action. If he waits just one milli-second, that tiny amount of time can determine whether he wins or loses. He compared this to business and making a sale: think about your competitors long enough to determine their position, and then quickly determine your steps and take action.
When you are constantly trying to better yourself, YOU are your own competition. I am competitive to a fault and I feel that is what drives my success in many ways. I used to get stuck in “Analysis Paralysis” – thinking too much, too long, without taking action. Most of us need to stop thinking and start doing. You may have heard “where focus goes, energy flows”. I 100% believe this. When I focus on all of the things I am not happy about or the things that are out of my control, it takes focus away from what I’m going to do to get to where I want to be. This is true in many aspects of life.
1 – Determine the position of your competitor.
2 – Decide what you need to do to get ahead.
3 – Take immediate, decisive action.
If you can follow these without getting stuck in paralysis by analysis, knowing you will either win or lose, and being prepared for any result and how you will learn from it, your chances of success will grow exponentially. Agree? Disagree? How do you motivate yourself when you feel like you aren’t making progress towards your goals? In my next post, I’ll discuss how fear keeps us from taking action and techniques to start thinking fearlessly.
As a side note, in my last post I was excited about getting ready to Ride Down the California Coast in the CCC. Unfortunately, I had some training setbacks and am not going to be able to participate. I want to thank my friend Anna K, whose little girl I counseled at Juvenile Arthritis Camp last summer, for her donation. Her donation is still going to The Arthritis Foundation which helps organize activities throughout the year for the over 300,000 kids that have Autoimmune Arthritis AND adults with Arthritis and related diseases, as well. If you didn’t know that Kids Get Arthritis, too, you can find more info on their website, http://www.arthritis.org.