How to Win the Fight Against Analysis Paralysis

Editor’s note: Today’s Post is from our PhREI Network partner, Jordan Frey MD, The Prudent Plastic Surgeon.

Analysis paralysis is one of the hardest things to overcome when becoming an investor. Jordan shares how analysis paralysis has impacted him personally and how he has overcome it. Jordan also reveals the hard truth that analysis paralysis never goes away but you can get better at managing it by adjusting your mindset.

Published by The Prudent Plastic Surgeon on March 9, 2021

Analysis paralysis can seriously impede our ability to make progress in our lives. Personally. Professionally. Financially. With friends, family, colleagues. The list goes on and on…

It is also super common. I have never asked one person who hasn’t admitted to suffering from analysis paralysis in one form or another.

And it is hard to resist. Evolutionarily, analysis paralysis makes sense. We are a loss adverse species in which losses hurt a lot more than wins give us pleasure. We are hardwired to scrutinize the decisions we make with an emphasis on not making the wrong one.

analysis paralysis
Don’t let analysis paralysis get in your way!

And that is what the driving force of analysis paralysis is…fear!

How often have you seen someone that is deciding between two good things? It really can be anything.

Maybe it’s something serious like the decision to pay down debt or invest in index funds…both options are great.

I hate to admit it but I even experience analysis paralysis about some pretty dumb (but very good) things, like what do order for dinner…sushi or burgers? (Just ask Selenid, it drives her absolutely nuts.)

For a person on the outside of the situation, it’s so easy to realize that either decision would be fine, great even. It can even be kind of annoying that the other person doesn’t just make.a.decision.

But when you are the person stuck in the decision, your brain tricks you into feeling like this is the most important thing in the world and it can be hard to disengage and move forward.

The bigger the issue, the tougher it is to break free

This isn’t so much a scientific fact that I can prove. But rather an observation over my lifetime.

Usually, I can break out of the food decision pretty quick when Selenid just yells and me and snaps me out of it.

But it was much tougher when we were deciding to sign the contract on our first investment rental real estate property.

It was a huge leap into the unknown in our life. And even though we had prepared beforehand, it felt scary. Our Neanderthal brains started screaming warning sirens.

But, we went ahead and did it. And it turned out great!

Let me touch on an even more personal example

The decision to have children.

My wife and I always knew that we wanted multiple children. It wasn’t even a question and we were both so on the same page.

But, the tough question then came…when?

I was in the middle of my plastic surgery residency. Selenid was in the middle of her PhD program. We lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment in New York City. Finances were already tight (mostly due to my ignorance).

We did so many pro/con lists, both mentally and otherwise. We talked about why it made sense to start having kids now, why it made sense later. On and on.

We ended up having two children during our residency and PhD program, respectively. Our kids, Samuel and Emery, are the best parts of our lives.

So, how did we overcome the analysis paralysis?

I’ve just provided two personal examples of analysis paralysis impacting my life and, if Im being honest, impeding my success.

I could give hundreds of more examples and I’m sure these have jogged your brain of a few examples from your life.

If we had given into these brain traps, our lives would be worse, not better. The irony is that our brain is trying to protect us through these mental exercises.

I can sum up our strategy for defeating analysis paralysis in just three words and one cliche…Just.Do.It.

I know that seems almost insultingly simple

But this is really what we did and what we continue to do when we recognize that we, or one another, are going down this road.

In regards to our start in real estate investing, we trusted ourselves and moved forward into the scary financial unknown. When we decided to learn about real estate investing, we made a decision to follow it through. (You can start to learn what you need to get started here!) We prepared and when we got to the point of no return, we trusted our part selves that told us we could do it.

And we did it.

We did the exact same thing in a much less informed way when deciding when to begin having kids.

If you have children, you know that there is no preparation that can even begin to get you ready. But we trusted ourselves as loving and successful people that could provide an excellent live for our children while also balancing our professional ambitions.

Now, this is not to say that achieving this balance was easy. It was super hard. It took a LOT of mindset work, particularly on my end. But I trusted that I could do it and so I did.

analysis paralysis
The absolute best

The same can be said about real estate investing. I’m not trying to say that it became easy once we pushed through analysis paralysis. It was hard work that is becoming more passive for us. But we trusted that we could figure not out and be successful so we did and are.

Analysis paralysis doesn’t go away

Like so many things in this world, analysis paralysis is not one of those things that you conquer once and for all.

It’s a constant effort.

But it does get easier. Once your have developed the tools, you become more adept at implementing them when the time arises.

Selenid and I definitely still felt that analysis paralysis before submitting the offer on our second investment property. But we moved forward. We are moving towards closing now. It is a decision that will accelerate our wealth, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be scary!

We also felt it about deciding to have our second child, Emery. We were both still in training in New York City and it seemed like all our time was spoken for. “Are we crazy?!,” we thought. But we used our mindset strategies to overcome and guess what…we became better than ever!

What about analysis paralysis in the negative?

Sometime, you may be facing a tough decision. And the right answer may be to not move forward or not do something. This is what I mean by analysis paralysis in the negative.

And this is totally ok.

Do not feel that just because your are experiencing analysis paralysis means that you should just leap without thinking or preparation. Sometimes the best thing is to keep the course. Sometimes more preparation is truly needed.

The key to overcoming is trusting yourself

You need to learn to trust yourself. You will know what the right move and decision is. Your heart or gut or soul or whatever you want to call it will Abe telling you. Meanwhile, your cavewoman brain will still be wrestling to try and protect you.

I’m no GI doc, but I say trust your gut.

Two great ways to get started with this mindset work is to:

You can definitely do this on your own. However, if you would like to have all the information right away in a clear, organized fashion, my course, Graduating to Success, will help you achieve these goals and many more! Learn more here!

graduating to success course
analysis paralysis

What do you think? When have you experienced analysis paralysis? How did you overcome it?Let me know in the comments below!

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