Don’t Over-Analyze the Poop

My name is Lisa and I am a recovering Over-Analyzer.


It all started a lifetime ago as a Compliance Officer.  It wasn’t my fault, really.  I had the natural inclination to analyze and view a situation from different perspectives but that first foray into the financial industry flipped the switch and it took on a life of its own.


It was imperative that I be able to review transactions, situations, statements and inquiries quickly and from all sides.  I had to be able to play the “what if” game to protect and counter possible negative actions and effects.


I was depended upon for taking anything someone said and translating it into a “it could mean this or it could mean that” and plan appropriate actions from there.


It made me damn good at my job.


As I continued along my journey within the financial industry my skills were honed, the over-analyzer continued to grow and became even more prevalent – it started seeping into my personal life.


I had a divorce and my son grew into his teenage years – the over-analyzer served me well.


Owning my own business and being a coach for those looking to secure a position or move along their career path it continues to serve me well.  I am able to play devil’s advocate for my clients which enables them to fine tune their message and value.


I am able to take a statement or unconscious body movement and give the possible translation options to my clients helping them understand their communication and more importantly how to move forward in a clear and direct manner.


It makes me damn good at what I do.


The problem surfaced when I realized that I was unconsciously over-analyzing everything.  Oh, I mean everything.  Trust me kids, when you start analyzing the actions of your dogs you have crossed a line.


My dog did not poop in the house because he was plotting some revenge against me or marking territory against the others – nope, he pooped because when he was outside five minutes earlier he simply forgot.


Yes, I have two dogs that I have to remind them, every morning, to go poop outside before they come back in.  They forget.  Seriously.  I am not making this up.


Every morning they run out to the backyard, pee, then run back up to the door all happy, tail-wagging and proud.  I look at them while pointing out to the yard and say, “Go poop.”  Off they go, run to the back yard, do their business and run back up to the door all happy, tail-wagging and proud again.  They forget to poop.  Every morning I swear I hear neighbors laughing at me.


When the over-analyzer was first released it was a tool which helped protect my brokers and my office.  It was a defense mechanism.  I could be prepared for worst-case scenarios and  make sure everyone came out unscathed.  Somewhere along the way it was adopted into my personal life as that same defense mechanism.


The problem I realized when I was analyzing the pooping actions of my dog was that it prevented me from living in the moment, seeing the positives and enjoy the flow.  Just clean up the stupid poop and move on.


Now I don’t worry about people’s actions and what if’s.  I take it at face value, in the moment, it is what it is and move on.  It has been incredibly freeing, let me tell you.


And after years and years of employing over-analyzing I think I have earned the right or ability to be able to tell others – stop doing it.


Okay, I don’t know if I have exactly earned the right; however since I realize that I am a recovering over-analyzer and see the benefits of completely not analyzing I’m claiming the right.


When you are in the transition process and an event or non-event happens do not over-analyze it just go with your gut and the flow.


Example 1: You applied for the job but did not hear back and it has been a week – do you contact them?

Over-analyzing: Maybe you haven’t heard because they are not interested so maybe you shouldn’t.  Maybe you haven’t heard because they are completely inundated with resumes so maybe they haven’t even read yours so you could be bugging them before they even know who you are so you shouldn’t contact them.  Or…see how it can be exhausting.

Gut: Yes, contact them, the worst thing they can do is say “bug off”.


Example 2: You had an interview now what?

Over-analyzing: I think I should send a thank you note; however, I don’t know what to say.  I don’t know if they are considering me or how I did in the interview, I think I messed up, maybe I should correct what I said, what if they didn’t like me – would this look like a suck up move….

Gut: Send a professional thank you note thanking them for their time, re-iterate your interest in the position giving reference to ahigh   pointin the interview and close by telling them you look forward to speaking with them soon. Move on.


You cannot be responsible for the actions of others, hell sometimes people aren’t even responsible for their own actions so why should you own it?


Go with your gut with what is presented at that time, act in a manner which you feel is appropriate and move on.  Life is so much easier, stress free and less poop.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.

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