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3 ways to stop overthinking and make a decision already

Bonjour, Mon Cherie! Amanda Cherie here: music artist, TEDx speaker, and freak in the spreadsheets


As a business psychology pro, I help Fortune 150 leaders analyze effectiveness. I also help them overcome analysis paralysis to get to the bold money moves. Then I go from transposing data on computer keyboards, to transposing notes on a piano keyboard. 


But rewind from hippie-dippie hybrid Amanda giving university talks to future leaders on how to overcome analysis paralysis so they can get on with making bold business decisions. Tiny Amanda could choose the perfect blue glitter gel pen, no problem. But her response to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up” was always “How much time do you have?” Like most kids, the list was broad and seemed to only grow with time. 


When picking a college major, I was torn in many directions: business, a science, or something creative. Choosing a grad school major was even harder. And don’t even get me started on choosing concentrations within your chosen major. Oy. Effing. Vey.

You know the struggle, Mon Cherie. The tough choices seem to just keep coming. It’s decision after decision in your personal life, academic life, work life, side hustle life, down to what you’ll have for dinner and what you’ll wear when eating it. 


You feel overwhelmed. You feel a sense of urgency to act, yet terrified of making the wrong decision. You’re in that “refuse to play in guessing games unless I’m the winner” head space, to quote the song “Can’t Logic” by moi. 


Here's the thing though, there are no wrong decisions. Sure, you may fail. That's OK, Mon Cherie. It’s all part of figuring out what exactly it is that you DO want to be doing. Don't make your decisions even harder by being terrified of making the wrong one. 


Here are 3 ways to beat analysis paralysis so you can break through the BS, and get on with living your best life. But before we start, pause. Take a deep breath. Relax your jaw. Lower your shoulders. K…


1. LET GO OF PERFECTION. 


If you’re like me and like to control things in a Hey, Universe... “I solve for X and wonder Y you don’t stick to it” kind of way (shout out to “Can’t Logic”)...


Reminder: perfection is impossible. And 100% crystal ball prediction is impossible. There is no perfect formula, Mon Cherie. 

If you’re waiting for the perfect algorithm to flawlessly figure out the future, grab your skinny popcorn and rewatch Friends yet again because you’re going to be waiting for effing ever. And your FOMO on the right decision will quickly turn into missing out on real life opportunities.


The best you can do to be a baller decision maker is to become a bangin’ educated guesser. 


So go ahead, analyze the “what is.” What do you know? What things are constant? But remember you can’t analyze your way to a perfect answer. That’s where creativity comes in. At some point you have to transition from “what is” to “what if.” What can you change? What possibilities can you imagine that don’t exist yet? 


Leave room to experiment and try new things. Even if you fail. Even when it’s scary as hell. 


2. IDENTIFY THE REAL GOAL. 


It’s easy to lose sight of the ultimate objective of the decision. 

If you’re picking a new graphic tee, the low-level goal is to be a decent member of society, obvi. Beyond that you may want the shirt to be soft AF. But the highest-level desire may be to express your personality with a bold image or message. (Shout out to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.)


Ask yourself, what’s the thing behind the thing? Meaning, what is the greater significance beyond face value? What’s the deeper need or desire I’m looking to fill with this decision?

Decisions are like croissants. They often have more layers than you can see on the surface. 

You’re not just buying a concert ticket. You’re investing in an experience. You’re not just paying for a haircut. You’re spending time talking personal life and pop culture with your therapist-I-mean-stylist, and leaving feeling dope AF. 


Understanding the deeper goal beyond the decision can help to create clarity in which option is most aligned with your ultimate desire. 


3. MAKE IT SIMPLE. 


I’m all for drafting a solid plan or creating a mind map to organize your buzzing thoughts. But lists can get way too long, way too quickly. 

This happens in the business world all the time: grid lines, bar graphs, and fictitious numbers to make leaders feel safe about their decisions. But what leaders sometimes don’t realize is that the spreadsheets are basically bowling bumpers. The strike bowl comes from the throw, not the bumpers. 


Similarly, the plan helps you stay on track, but it’s only as valuable as the action you take. 

The more time you’re spending on 90-bullet lists, the less time you’re spending actually doing the things that will get you to the goal. Think of it like a personable budget. It’s less about the plan, and more about the choices that align with your ultimate goal, IRL.

To break through the BS, ask yourself how you can make things simpler. Even the big decisions can sometimes be simpler than we may make them - maybe not easier, but simpler.


If you’re ready to get on with a decision already but still feeling stuck... letting go of perfection, identifying the ultimate goal, and simplifying can help you to get past the analysis paralysis. You can turn that energy into productive problem solving, and feel like a calm force doing it. 


If you want a song that you can dance to and (not over) think about, I’ve got just the thing for you: my new single “Can’t Logic.” 


Can’t Logic” is a pop dance hall anthem about overcoming overthinking. It’s about trying to navigate life, love, and your own mind. It’s kind of like if the line ”to be or not to be” from Shakespeare’s Hamlet were a pop song. Throw in some 80s-esque drama, set it to Drake-esque beat, and you’ve got “Can’t Logic.”

Trust me, Mon Cherie. If you need a mental espresso break, listen to this song and see how you feel after. You may find that it becomes your go-to track for your next workout, poolside contemplation, or morning self psych-up session. 


Every time you listen to “Can’t Logic,” you will literally have my voice in your head cheering you on as you make bold moves that feel right to you. And if you fail, that’s okay. Get back up and repeat. You can also listen to “Can’t Logic” on repeat, but ya know, totally your decision. ;)


Listen to “Can’t Logic” on Spotify or wherever you listen to your music.


If you want more motivation, plus more bold blends of psychology and not-basic pop songs, let’s stay connected. 


Sign up now for unlimited candy for your ears and coffee for your mind, on me!


XO

Amanda Cherie

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