Questioning Paralysis


I have a lot of questions. Most of them, I keep in my own head and mull over (unlike one of my sons, who blurts his out continuously. I’ve recently concluded that we have very similar minds, but his volume is turned up!)

Questions can lead to paralysis. As in, “until I figure this out completely, I don’t know how to move forward.” Spent a lot of time in that spot in the past. It’s not healthy.

It is possible to have unresolved questions and still move forward. In fact, many of our questions never resolve themselves until we move forward, and learn the answers through experience, not solely via mental gymnastics.

I remember when I started my own business 6+ years ago, I figured I had about 80% clarity on what I was going to do, and the rest would have to come by the marketplace telling me what I should be doing. And, it did (and continues to).

Faith and courage mean taking the next step when the map isn’t entirely clear. <— Click to Tweet

Perhaps the best and most productive resolution for the New Year is to take action, and let the answers come into focus gradually.

Something I’m still learning.


About Steve Woodruff
Steve Woodruff is a blogger, a Connection Agent, and a consultant in the pharma/healthcare industry. He specializes in helping people and companies make mutually beneficial connections.

3 Responses to Questioning Paralysis

  1. Scott says:

    Steve, I think we all deal with fear…fear of making a mistake, and that has gotten worse over the last few years. I can remember past bosses telling me “if you aren’t making mistakes, you aren’t trying hard enough”. It was an encouragement to try new things, expand your knowledge through experimentation. It’s not like that anymore.

    I think due to the economic stagnation, negative business climate and the fear of losing a job that could take years to replace, even the hint of a possible mistake can be catastrophic.

    Precisely at the time we need innovation, risk taking and experimentation paralysis is the political and business practice of the day.

    For those of us that work for ourself or an organization that is willing to take a chance and risk something without catastrophic consequences, we are truly blessed.

  2. Joe Cascio says:

    I certainly struggle with the analysis paralysis problem myself. One attribute I see in almost all very successful entrepreneurs is the willingness to go forward into an unclear future. In fact, they seem to relish the unknown and are energized by it. They’re not stymied by the possibility of unforeseen problems. To the contrary, they seem to like tackling them. I always thought my issue with this has to do with the fact that I’m an overly analytical thinker. It’s interesting to see that more intuitive thinkers, which I think of you as, have the same problem. I wonder if this has more to do with introversion vs extroversion as we both tend toward the former.

    • Joe, I’m blessed/cursed with both an intuitive and highly analytical mind. The analytical part (joined to an inward focus) can get me into troubled waters at times. Still very much a slowly recovering overthinker…

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