How To Get Beyond Analysis Paralysis

Analysis paralysis

Since opening my practice, a year ago, I have been inundated with information from various sources.  These sources are touting the next great practice coach, quick marketing tips to fill my calendar, the best HIPPA compliant email, web service, and every other practice tool available. All this information, while helpful at times in growing a practice, can also be overwhelming. This flood brought me to a place of an analysis paralysis. While I am sure you are all familiar with the term, here is my quick definition. Analysis paralysis is over analyzing or overthinking a situation or the information presented to us, causing us to freeze into inaction. During this past year, I have spent too much time in the paralysis phase and needed to find my way from the inaction to the action phase. 

Here are 3 ways that I found helpful to get beyond analysis paralysis.

1. Let Go Of The Fear

Fear can be debilitating and cause us to freeze up. What I found was that, not only was there a mass amount of information to consume, but then what was I supposed to do with it? As therapists, we help people see changes and move past their fears, yet with all that was coming my way, I was not taking my own advice. Let go of the fear!

To let go, we must do our own work and decide what it is we are trying to grow and why. By taking this step, we can create a stronger picture and foundation for the type of practice we want. Letting go is about trusting in ourselves to know that we got this. 

We must remember that we are uniquely positioned and qualified to do great work. The work that we teach and share with our clients. It is the same work that we can do to take the next step.

2. Filter Out The Noise

I believe that, once we move beyond fear, we then must filter out the noise. If you did your work and became clear on the type of practice you want to grow, then getting rid of the information you do not need will be easy.

For example, unsubscribe from email lists that are wasting your time. If you are not into social media, you do not have to use it. Having a mentor is great, but you do not need to sign up for every growth webinar that exists. Focus on what will work for YOUR practice, synthesize that, and get rid of the junk. 

3. Do The Work

This one is the biggest in my opinion. Since I opened my practice, I have been carrying around a page from Entrepreneur magazine that just says, “Do The Work”. It acts as a reminder to not be afraid, tune out the noise, and just get into the grind.

What has been most helpful is to just jump into an idea. That does not mean it is not calculated and thought out, but there is a tipping point where overthinking just gets in the way. If you have an idea, briefly sketch it out and then just execute. You can correct along the way if need be.


Courtland McPherson is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in psychodynamic psychotherapy. In addition to holding certificates in ‘Advanced Clinical Practice’ and ‘Clinical Issues in Adoption and Foster Care’, he was a trainer for the Providence Men’s project. He is a clinical supervisor and case consultant. Past speaking engagements include ‘The Art of Listening’ and have addressed such topics as trauma, how to overcome fear, and pathways to a meaningful life. He is working toward a doctorate degree in psychodynamic psychotherapy with research focused on social connectedness.

He spent his early adult life as a volunteer firefighter performing rescue operations on a ladder company. Now he is a terrible guitar player, aspiring runner, avid adventure seeker and lifetime learner of all things fantastic. He owns and operates Little Red Telescope, a private psychotherapy practice.

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