Do you suffer from Analysis Paralysis?
A condition I first heard about in relation to tabletop board gamers, analysis paralysis is when you’re unable to make a move because you just can’t decide what to do.
Overthinking. Perfectionism. Procrastination. Analysis paralysis shows up in many guises and in many parts of life, including dating, sex, and relationships.
Sometimes, you just want to know what to do to get the desired outcome. A recipe, as it were. You know, because if you press apples, the result is ALWAYS apple juice.
What’s the recipe for squeezing the juice out of life? Out of social interactions? Out of our careers? Where all that unnecessary fibre can be skipped over in favour of sweetness.
I’m in my own analysis paralysis at the moment. From this decision diamond, there are so many… options. Most of them with good outcomes. To PhD or not to PhD? To move or not to move? To settle for ok things or gamble on amazing things?
It’s an interesting space to be in, analysis paralysis. I imagine that this happens to you, too. And as far as I can tell, there’s a few things that are at work when analysis paralysis shows up:
- Lack of self-worth: Sometimes, analysis paralysis turns up because we have little faith in ourselves as we are, and so we try to make the best plan, to override human flaws with mechanics and process.
- Lack of discernment: Can you tell the difference between what you want, and what you think others want of you? Analysis paralysis can strike – hard – when we’re trying to foresee and predict people’s reactions and focusing on that, rather than on what we want.
- Lack of control: Analysis paralysis can also put us in a bind where we just can’t decide and are waiting to figure out how to control the outcome. As in – “I’ll do that PhD when I know, for sure, that it will pay off.” This keeps us stuck, because there is no certainty.
What this all sums up to is this: analysis paralysis is a manifestation of Outcome Dependence.
Outcome dependence hurts us, in life generally, and in dating, sex, and relationships in particular. When we hang our self-worth on the outcome of any given interaction, we set ourselves up to hurt.
Outcome independence is the single most important skill that you can develop to have more of what you want and less of what you don’t in dating, sex, and relationships.
The good news is this: outcome independence is a skill that you can develop. It’s something that you build within you rather than take from outside, which means that it is yours.
I’m making a short 3 email intro course to Outcome Independence, which will be freely available to anyone, as well as developing the first Rejection Rx webinar. For more details about this, be sure to sign up for my newsletter!
So, Analysis Paralysis and Outcome Independence. I know, right? But fear not – sometimes, there are steps you can take to help yourself in the field of dating, sex, and relationships that are a bit more process oriented.
While not an alternative to developing Outcome Independence, having information on best practices can help to support you while you build this skill.
This week, I covered one such best practice. It concerns increasing your chances of getting a second date and following it can REALLY help:
Simple. Straightforward. Actionable. And a great place to start practicing your Outcome Independence. When you ask for the second date at the end of the first, it’s a little vulnerable. It means sharing with your dating partner what you want – to see them again – and gives them the chance to respond with a no. It’s a rejection risk.
And at the same time, it’s EXACTLY the kind of situation that Outcome Independence applies to. When you ask that question, are you equally happy with a yes or a no?
Know that, if you get a no, you will be ok. It’s not a referendum on your value as a person. It’s your dating partner being honest with you. Saving you time. And honouring themselves. It’s how you form relationships of all stripes – one night stands, summer romances, and lifetime partnerships – with someone that really wants to be with you.
ACTION FOR THE WEEK: Have a go at an analysis paralysis audit. Go take a walk (it’s Autumn, it’s wonderful to look at nature changing) and ask yourself – “Where am I stuck? What decisions am I putting off making?”
Then, think about where you might be thinking that your self-worth depends on the outcome. Why? What is the story you are telling yourself? And what would you need to feel ok regardless of the outcome?
Again, on theme: So you want to have a second date with someone. Apart from the tips in my video, what else can you do?
Most importantly: Don’t mess up the first date.
Wondering how to do that? Check out this episode of the Get Sex Smart podcast, where Dr Valeria Chuba and I break down how to have an AMAZING first date!
If you have any burning questions related to dating, sex, and relationships, don’t forget to share them below!
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