A common cause that blocks one’s ability to achieve success, happiness and fulfillment in life is the tendency of falling into over analysis. The ability to examine and analyze complex problems and situations is an important skill, yet, it becomes hindrance if it’s done too much.
My first job, after getting my Professional License in Accountancy, was Associate Auditor in a Big Four Accounting firm, Ernst and Young Philippines. Being an external auditor, it is a common practice to examine and analyze thoroughly the financial business transactions of a company under audit. And the deeper you examine and analyze, the more audit findings you get to report.
After that job, I’ve worked in a multinational oil firm and handled inventory reconciliation analysis. Again, having strong analytical skill was crucial to the job because the job needs to find and resolve the discrepancies in the inventory, and its equivalent financial amount. It is known to most accountants, even IT (information technology) personnel, that inventory is the most tedious and stressful account in financial reporting. So it does require having a lot of patience if you are handling inventory analysis.
Having a strong analytical and problem-solving skill was a huge advantage for me when I was still working in the corporate set up as a Professional Accountant. However, it became a hindrance when I apply it in my business, as well as personal life.
How Over Analysis Hinders a Person’s Growth, Happiness and Success?
Last year, I finally decided to retire from employment, or my corporate career, in order to pursue my goal of becoming an entrepreneur. My first year of entrepreneurship became very challenging for me. Major reason was because of my high analytical skill, which used to be an asset, but now has turned to become a liability.
It became a liability because I tend to do what I’m good at, and that’s to analyze things thoroughly. And as a result, I fail to act fast and be more efficient with my time. In the process, I’ve missed to see and grab a lot of opportunities that passed me by.
After a year since I’ve retired and took a full-time entrepreneurship, I did an open and objective analysis of my progress, physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. And I was saddened by the result of my findings because I didn’t meet the targets or goals I’ve set for myself. Again, I did what I was good at, I’ve analyzed my situation. I’ve reflected on what happened, what I did wrong or what I didn’t do.
At first, my self-analysis and reflection made me depressed, I felt like a loser, a failure. I cried for days. I felt giving up my goals of entrepreneurship and just go back to employment.
However, one day, after reflecting and controlling my emotion, I was able to let go of my anxiety and look at things in a simple perspective. As I let my mind think objectively, I’ve realized and learned what caused my minimal progress. And I’ve found out it was because of too much analysis.
I’ve discovered that I’ve planned, studied and analyzed more than I’ve acted. And since my mind is always working and analyzing too much, I got easily tired and stressed which eventually it paralyzed my productivity. Of course, when you are not productive, nothing happens to your goal or what you want to achieve. I became a victim of a common saying, over analysis leads to paralysis.
But thanks to such experience because it again taught me a valuable lesson on productivity and life in general. And that’s to keep things simple. Avoid over analyzing things.
When I’ve stopped over analyzing and kept things in simple perspective, I’ve became more productive and successful. One by one, I was able to meet my targets and goals.
To Prevent Over Analysis, Keep Things Simple
In entrepreneurship or life in general, over analysis is not a good practice. Because you cannot wait for things to be perfect or completely error-free before you can move on to act on important things.
It’s good to have plans and analyze your action steps moderately. However, learn to be flexible and avoid over analysis so that you can move on and act fast.
Remember that those who succeed and ends up happy in life are not those who have supreme intelligence and analytical skills. They are the ones who know how to keep things simple and flexible enough to grab opportunities.
This is why there are a lot of smart people who graduated with honors and attained master’s/doctor’s degree but are still unsuccessful and unhappy with their life. Oftentimes, their lack of success and happiness roots from too much intelligence which tends to induce them to over analyze things.
For a final note, let me leave you this phrase to ponder:
You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could’ve, would’ve happened… or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move on.― Tupac Shakur