When starting something new, especially something ambitious or difficult, it’s a good idea to start with a bit of research. What do experts recommend? How have other people succeeded? Is there one approach that clearly works better than another? Is there someone who can coach or advise you? These are all great questions and they deserve some attention before you invest too much time and money into something. People who jump into things too fast often waste time by making obvious mistakes they might have easily avoided with some forethought. However, you can go too far in the other direction too by getting bogged down in research. At some point, you just have to get started.
Don’t Let Perfectionism Sabotage You
We always want to give ourselves the best chance for success, whether we’re trying to start a new career, get in shape, or recover from addiction. It’s normal to want to gather some information before getting started but it’s also easy to fall into one of two related traps. The first is analysis paralysis. This is when you get so caught up in the details of your research that you never actually get started. For example, you want to get into shape so you start reading some stuff. Before long, you’re inundated with complicated and contradictory information. You feel like you have to sort it all out or else you might make a big mistake. However, most of that stuff is irrelevant. If you’re mostly sedentary now, then literally any activity will be an improvement. You don’t have to be an expert to take a walk or do a few pushups.
Similarly, with addiction recovery, you don’t have to have it all figured out beforehand. Experts still disagree about the best methods for addiction recovery but that shouldn’t stop you from getting started. If you feel like you drink too much, try going all day tomorrow without drinking. If that doesn’t work, try talking to your doctor or look up the nearest AA meeting. All of these efforts will give you more information that will help you find the right approach for you. If you keep waiting and doing research, you may have fallen into the second trap, perfectionism. You may be so afraid to fail that you put off trying, using research as an excuse. Figure out the important things but set a time limit. Commit to taking action toward getting sober by the end of the week, for example.
You Can Never See the Whole Path
To get out of the trap of analysis by paralysis or perfectionism, it’s important to remember that you will never be able to see the whole path before you start. You might feel like you have to know what’s ahead and by knowing you can assure your success. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. You can usually only see a few steps ahead at the most. Take the first step and see what happens. New options open up to you as you go. It helps to find a guide, but often you have to take at least the first step on your own.
Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon uses cutting-edge techniques in individualized programs to help men achieve freedom from addiction. Taking a holistic, sustainable approach to the inner and outer effects of addiction ensures you or your loved one will emerge with the confidence and skills to manage your addiction independently.
No one is beyond help- our Admissions Counselors are available 24/7 at (503) 850-2474