Paralysis By Analysis: Why You Can’t Ever Get Ahead

“Success is built sequentially. It’s one thing at a time”. 

The first thing I teach all my coaches when they start at my gym is how to simplify the way they instruct in the group class.

Most new coaches tend to talk so much that they end up confusing the athlete. In return this causes the athlete to overthink the movement given all the information the coach has provided them. We call this response by the athlete, “paralysis by analysis.”

So instead, I teach our coaches something I call “The One Thing Method.” I ask the new coach if you could only tell the athlete ONE THING to help improve their overall technique what would it be? Not only does this force the new coach to be more purposeful with their words, but it also simplifies our coaching method at the gym. The benefit to the athlete is that they can focus on ONE THING at a time until that flaw in technique improves.

One of the biggest things I struggle with personally is that I’m so competitive and expect so much of myself that I try to do many things. This causes me to overbook myself and cause more stress in my life that I recognize is unnecessary. I end up overthinking and overworking myself that I paralyze my ability to do anything really well. So although I might be busy, I’m not productive.

Applying the ONE THING method in my personal life helps me center myself on the things that are most important to me and guides my decision-making process so that I don’t end up overbooking myself. I’m not perfect. Some days I take on more than I should. Those days are great reminders why doing too many things is as ineffective as the new coach who says too many things. In the same way, a coach may paralyze the athlete for saying too much, I end up paralyzing myself by doing too much.

I can’t promise that applying this technique to your life will bring sunshine and rainbows but it will force you to be honest with how effective you actually are. As the joke goes “I wanted to figure out why I was so busy, but I couldn’t find the time to do it.”

Figure out the ONE thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary. That’s the road to happiness…at least for me.


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