So often my clients are haunted by the “why” question. Why am I anxious or depressed? Why can't I relate well to others? “Analysis paralysis,” getting wrapped up in a problem, turning it over and over in your mind, can make the problem look bigger and worse than it actually is. In this state of mind, you're more likely to start looking for reasons that nothing can help your problem and you're stuck with it.
Traditionally, therapy, especially psychoanalysis, focuses heavily on the answers to “why” questions. One of the biggest criticisms of therapy in general and psychoanalysis in particular is that it takes years to work. Most modern therapies, including the methods I use: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness-based Therapy are effective at putting a problem in perspective then moving on to a resolution
Self-help expert Tony Robbins wrote “never spend more than 10 percent of your time on the problem, and spend at least 90 percent of your time on the solution.” I would go farther and say once a problem is understood, you really need to spend 100 percent of your time on the solution.
Analysis paralysis is a kind of self-defeating fantasy that saps us of our power to change. Why not use the powers of imagination for good. If you spot yourself mulling a problem over with no end in sight, stop. Instead imagine -- vividly -- what it would be like to have the problem behind you. How would you feel? What would be possible? What would be different in your everyday life? Even without a workable plan, the vision of a solution can give you the confidence to take the first step.