If you’re stuck in the grips of over-analysis, you know it. Even in your sleep*, your mind won’t stop replaying scenarios, strategizing, mindreading, predicting, comparing, second-guessing, and cross-referencing. You analyze everything to death because you want to figure things out, avoid failure, and achieve your goals. But the outcome you achieve is the opposite. You aren’t able to figure things out to your satisfaction, so you feel like a failure, and you’re blocked from achieving your goals. Ouch.
Note: Over-analysis is usually one of the key culprits contributing to disturbed sleep, migraines, distractibility, and the inability to focus. Most people who suffer from over-analysis also suffer from constant worry, as they tag team each other. Below this video I’ve provided a link to another podcast I’ve done about worry. LINK to podcast on Worry
7 Things Over-Analyzers Need to Know
Gloria Steinem says, “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” So here we go.
- Analysis paralysis is being run by faulty core beliefs
Over-analysis is an outdated subconscious coping strategy that’s commandeering your rational mind, stunting your intellect, and seriously undermining your life. It has its roots in the core beliefs you formed in childhood as a way to live up to expectations and gain approval: “I must be right” and “I can’t fail.” Because you have to be right and you can’t let yourself fail, you find the process of making a decision excruciatingly difficult or impossible. When you’re faced with making a decision, you begin a stressful process of gathering and analyzing as much information as possible. But because each new additional piece of data alters the whole context of what’s being considered, you don’t know when to stop analyzing. You gather more and more information to consider every angle of the situation. And as a result, you get trapped in a never-ending analysis loop which blocks your ability to ever arrive at a solution or make a decision that feels complete and satisfying.
- You’re avoiding feeling pain
While “living in your head” is a common result of excessive analyzing, it may also be providing you with specific benefits that you may not even realize. If you’re like many people I’ve worked with, you’re unknowingly using over-analysis as an avoidance strategy. You keep yourself so busy and preoccupied analyzing that you avoid experiencing the emotions you learned in childhood are unacceptable or dangerous, such as anger, hurt, or weakness. Your analysis might also be used strategically to deny or keep distance from other parts of your mind that may be holding onto intense, repressed emotional discomfort or pain. You stay stuck in your head to avoid feeling either current pain or past pain. So your pain just stays stuck – locked in and locked down. It never gets dealt with. Whether or not you realize it, this internal dividedness is grating on you. It’s causing you stress that you may be experiencing as distractibility, tension, nervousness, agitation and irritability, like there’s a stone in your emotional shoe.
- You’re emotionally disconnected
It’s not your natural, healthy state to be cut off from your emotional self. Clearly, there’s nothing balanced about being trapped in over-analysis. You might feel disconnected and not totally in your body. Or half in and half out. Uncomfortable in your skin. Clients have described feeling “dead from the neck down,” or “not totally here.” In this state of dissociation, you’re blocked from truly feeling and experiencing emotional connection, not to mention feelings of intimacy, passion, joy, or spontaneity. You simply can’t feel what you can’t feel. Thinking your feelings is very different from actually viscerally feeling your feelings. And in this disconnected state, you’re also blocked from recognizing intuitions and other subtle conscious perceptions or impressions. So much information, meaning, comfort and love are being missed or watered down! If left unchecked, this kind of internal divide will take its toll. Distraction and avoidance-based analyzing can eventually lead to emotional and physical symptoms and dysfunctional relationships with yourself and other people.
- You’re comprehension is compromised
Your rigid analytical mindset won’t allow you to see, accept, or know what you don’t believe. Your closed circuit beliefs only seek and validate information similar to your own analytical logic, criteria, and beliefs. Any information that doesn’t fit into your specific predetermined ideas and premises will be blocked, distorted, rejected, or invalidated. That means you can’t really consider what other people are saying if it doesn’t match your preconceived thoughts and beliefs. Consider these scenarios. Either you won’t be able to hear what the other person is saying and be met with exasperation: “You’re not listening to me!” Or what they’re saying won’t make sense to you, and you’ll be met with frustration: “You don’t understand me!” Or you’ll hear what they’re feeling and thinking and conclude that it’s invalid and be met with anger: “You’re invalidating me!” Do these reactions sound familiar? They’re all valid. This is what happens when you mind is being run by a very powerful protective part.
What also happens is that your fixed mindset causes you to miss seeing subtleties and nuances in situations – the spaces in between black and white. You judge too quickly. And you leap to conclusions based on your previous perceptions, mindsets, and decisions. Because of this, people may perceive you to be oblivious, uncaring, rejecting, harsh, single-focused, and controlling.
What also happens is when you’re presented with new information, you may feel afraid, indifferent, irritated, or just unable to comprehend what’s being said. You can hear the words, but they just don’t compute.
- You’re uber controlling
“I must be right” is one of your survival coping strategies. You have to be right to be okay. Your need to be right carries an intensity that’s palpable to people around you. You’re not easy going. You’re not able to go with the flow. You likely believe that going with the flow is for stupid people who don’t care. You believe that you know what’s best or right. You have to. You also believe that there’s a right way and a wrong way to do things. And you get highly frustrated when things are done the “wrong way.” So you find yourself either butting heads a lot with people, or people tip toe around you. They compensate, adjust, and adapt to your way of doing things to avoid facing your criticism and invalidation.
- You’re not much fun to be around
Life is stressful for you and those around you. If you’re like most over-analyzers I’ve worked with, you operate from the unspoken belief that making a mistake or asking for help means you’ll be perceived as stupid. So you do everything possible to avoid screwing anything up. And you think people who are okay with making mistakes and asking for help are stupid. (The people in your life know you think this.)
You’re often not very fun to be around because any time you are presented with doing something for the first time, you get stressed out. You don’t embrace that opportunity as a fun and interesting adventure of discovery and learning, but rather, you resist it and brace yourself for it. In your mind, if you can’t master the thing the first time you do it, you’re a failure. Remember the core beliefs running your mindset: you must be right, you must do it right, and you must not fail. Most over-analyzers I’ve worked with admit actively avoiding trying new activities for fear of looking incompetent and stupid. They also un-coincidentally describe tremendous tension in their body, often in the neck and shoulder areas.
- Ambiguity stresses you out
One of the most interesting but rarely discussed effects of excessive analysis is the inability to handle ambiguity. Time and time again, I’ve seen that over-active analyzers use black and white categories to sort information. Everything has to be ordered and properly categorized. You assess and judge things to be good or bad, acceptable or unacceptable, logical or illogical. Information that falls outside of these rigid dichotomies can create confusion and tension for you .
Over-analysis was kicking Ellen to the curb in University. On one hand, her ability to do literary analysis was praised and rewarded by her fellow analytically obsessed colleagues and professors. Yeah analysis! On the other hand, she was a walking head with limited ability to function normally in her personal life. She remembers seeing the movie, Castaway, with Tom Hanks, and feeling agitated for much of the movie without understanding why. At the end, someone innocently asked her if she liked the movie, and her head felt like it was going to blow off with stress. She didn’t know if she liked the movie! She did like aspects of it, but she disliked others. And because her analytical mind only had two sorting categories to choose from – I like it or I don’t like it – and neither described what she thought, she felt agitated and upset. She had no category for “I don’t know” or “kind of.” So she remembers telling the person that she didn’t like the movie, just to relieve her tension.
Maybe you can relate. There’s a kind of robotic thinking that occurs when over-analysis is running you. When you encounter ambiguities, you might find yourself labeling them “illogical” because you have no other category to place them in. This kind of black and white structuring can severely limit your growth and learning. And it can restrict your ability to explore and enjoy the rich paradoxes of life.
If you’re like most people, you’ve been equating over-analysis with just looping thinking and indecision. You haven’t associated it with why people accuse you of being critical, controlling, and invalidating. Why communication is so difficult. Or why you’re a ball of stress who’s not much fun to be around.
If your analysis has gotten to the point where you can recognize yourself in this podcast, you don’t have to continue to live this way. I can help you. If this information sounds a tad personal, it’s because it is. I, myself, was controlled by over-analysis for many years until I found freedom with Core Belief Engineering. I’ve overcome it and I’ve helped many people overcome it. I can help you do the same.
If your mind currently feels like a train, I can help put you consciously back in the driver’s seat. I can help you re-engineer the limiting core beliefs of your analyzer part so that it can become a productive, effective, powerful partner to your conscious mind. So it can aid in decision-making, perform clear analysis when required, and know when to stop analyzing. (Yes, that’s possible!) In its healthy state, your analyzer will include intuition and emotion in its evaluations, along with rational and logical thinking. And as a result, your entire mind will be more able to embrace the unknown, learn new ideas, and develop beyond any previous limitations. Your self-awareness and personal efficacy will be strengthened, your mental, emotional, and physical stress will be reduced, and your relationships will improve. Your intelligence will be freed and your self-trust and confidence will soar.
Everyone has issues. I can help you resolve yours.
If you’re ready to break through your excessive analysis and set yourself free, call me and let’s talk. REQUEST A FREE CONSULTATION