Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Analysis paralysis

I get a number of emails from people who tell me how they have been planning to make the leap to homesteading, self-supporting farming/gardening, moving to the country, or whatever. But I notice that many have been stuck in the planning stage for years or even decades. The common denominator seems to be a fear of failure, or perhaps an inability to conquer inertia. I see statements like....

....I want to do it right the first time. 
....I don't want to waste my effort (time, money) doing it wrong. 
....I'm going to quit my job so I need to get it right from day one. 
....I'm planning the best way to do it. 
....I'm working on designing the perfect farm. 
....I'm figuring out exactly how much of the various foods to grow so that I don't have too little of some or too much of others, 
....I don't want to make mistakes of buying the wrong livestock (or substitute equipment, farm, land, equipment). 
....I only want to build it once.
....I'm looking for the perfect farm (house, land, location). 

This is classic Analysis Paralysis. 

This affliction seems to be common, at least in the people I've met or talked with. I see people who never get past the planning stage. It's not that they've given up on their dream, it's just that they have to get it perfect before they could even consider moving onto the next step. If course, it's never perfect enough. 

Years ago I often hid behind Analysis Paralysis to avoid the discomfort of failure, ridicule, criticism.  But about 15 years ago I managed to break out of paralysis. Nowadays I'm more apt to say, "Sure, what the heck. Lets give it a try and see what happens." My current attitude has its downsides too from time to time, but I greatly prefer it to Analysis Paralysis. 


  1. I met my partner, got so sick I almost died and then I broke free of Analysis Paralysis. There's nothing like a good ole near death experience to make a person see the light. My partner and I were already planning our escape but after I recovered we just looked at each other and said time's a-wasting! 6 months later we were caretakers on a big ranch and I was out of the corporate world. Now that we've made that leap successfully we're working on our next leap and this one sure won't take as long as the first leap.

    When we think about how short life is there's really no rationale for hesitation. Just plan as best you can and trust yourself. I agree that there are ways to make anything happen and that over planning speaks of some inner issue that needs to be addressed.

    1. Wow, good for you! Glad to hear that you took the leap. I agree with you, life is too short to be wasting time. I'd rather make mistakes, back up and try again rather than totally miss out. I hear too many people voicing regrets for not doing stuff.