What is the decision paralysis, how to solve and master it. You’ll gain clarity and better time management.

Tuesday afternoons are always great at work. Life is back to its usual routine after Monday’s consultation madness has ended. My friend (“spiritual brother” and co-worker), whom I eat lunch with, has shared more clever and innovative ideas for the future, which he does often. I envy how he projects himself to anticipate the future, as if a traveler had jumped in time to whisper it in his ear! He tries to get me to do this, but I don’t learn quickly, even if I try.

On a Tuesday afternoon, I am in my best mood and state of mind compared to any other day. Today the sun is making timid appearances with fine rays competing with London’s gray mistiness, it was almost spooky. I did my consultations and soon had the pleasure of welcoming Dan, 34, who has been separated for about a year with two children. At the time, I consulted him for transient insomnia.

– Hi Dan, how are things going?

– Hi, things are fine, but I am a little tired and have a hell of a sore throat. I’ve even tried honey, thyme, and paracetamol. I came to see if I need antibiotics or have angina.

– Ok, I will do a quick test.

(Rapid Diagnosis Tests prevent unnecessary over-prescription of antibiotics, which can be harmful in the long run)

– OK, the test is negative therefore it’s acviral pathology. This is super, just hang tight and I will prescribe you with two more boxes of paracetamol.

– Super Doc, that reassures me about my health. Lately I’ve been feeling—I don’t know how to put it—a little bad, a little stressed

– A little sore and stressed?

– Yes, I feel like I don’t know where I am going with my life.

– But you want to go where and towards what?

– (Laughs) nowhere doc, I don’t even know if that is the problem. I just have a lot on my mind. I didn’t think it would be so hard to find someone, I don’t know if I can do it. A few months after my breakup with Carla, I found someone, but I wasn’t ready. Now, it has been a year and I am still alone.

– Sounds like, even if you know it’s better to be alone than to be with someone you shouldn’t be, that this loneliness is really weighing on you and making you question your worth.

– It’s true, people around me, including my ex, move on so easily. But not me.

– Does the fact that your ex moved on so quickly make you question if her feelings were real for you?

– To be honest, I never really thought about it. I don’t think it’s…uh, in fact, I don’t know, I don’t know… This question can indeed explain why I torture myself

– Torturing yourself?

– Yes, all these questions about not moving forward hurt me, and with online dating, everyone is showing the ‘good’“… pff it’s difficult! I considered leaving after I told myself it was possible to just meet people. As soon as I find someone, I detach. I am fed up with not knowing what to do anymore, I am so disoriented.

– Dan, there are several points:

Diagoras Cemetery > what people don’t say

Core values > do not betray yourself

Decision paralysis > overthinking

Self-esteem > do not forget to take time for yourself

– Wow Doc, you lost me on the way!

– I may have lost you, but I won’t abandon you. We will go through this together.

The Diagoras cemetery, or the confirmation for reason. Of everything that my spiritual brother teaches me, it is his knowledge that makes me the most thankful! He made me discover technical literature. I was the “platonic reader” of Racine, Verlaine, Hugo, Coelho, Zafon, Eco, and more!

I can’t thank him enough for introducing me to Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Beyond his sharp claws against many of his peers, Taleb was in constant search of the truth. His book, the Black Swan, deserves your full attention. He recounts the millennial old story of Diagoras the Atheist. Diagoras was shown tablets depicting devotees who prayed and survived a shipwreck, being told that prayer protected them from drowning. Diagoras then asked to see the tablets depicting those who prayed but did not survive. This is the cemetery of Diagoras (CD).

This anecdote shows us how disconnected we are from reality. We see things the way we want to see them. We also only see what others want to show! When we compare ourselves to others (which is a fundamental error), we are comparing ourselves to an ideal that others are convinced is true about themselves: This is GD (Grand Deceit).

People want their life to be seen a certain way by others, which is reflected by what they post. What about the posts that they wouldn’t want others to see? What do those unpublished, potential posts say about their lives? We can only see a false and biased version of reality, but we can’t consider the bigger picture: it is GSCD (Grand Self-Centered Deceit).

I call the last one the Envious Error: EE. To envy another is to accept that you are incapable of arriving at a point of satisfaction yourself. By doing this, you are putting yourself down! In this low self-esteem (LES) mechanism, envy only reinforces our dislike of ourselves! All together, these things form a perfect circle of self-destruction. Our emotions take over, leading us to misjudge reality, discard all rationality, and bring us even lower.

We are left with a very self-defeating cognitive equation:

(Diagoras Cemetery + Error of the Envious) * Low Self-Esteem = (Low Self-esteem) 2 (CD + EE ) * LES = (LES) 2

May the reader excuse my propensity for mathematics, but I am greatly frustrated that I could not change the course of the world thanks to my supposed ability in this field! I occasionally vent my frustration by pretending to be a mathematician while I quietly cover my face and flatter my ego!

In summary: we compare ourselves to the falsehoods of others, and our envy confirms to ourselves that we are losers, resulting in lowered self-esteem. It is extremely harmful, and we don’t realize we are committing the confirmation error. Don’t validate the low opinion you may have of yourself by envying others on social media!

Decision Paralysis: Taking the Risk to Live

Decision Paralysis (DP) is the most harmful consequence of overthinking. Reflection centered on ourselves allows us to move forward in the direction and within the framework that we set for ourselves. It can also become an incredibly formidable brake when reflection calls for reflection.

This type of questioning will repeat itself like Cognitive Fractals: CF. The most legitimate question anyone is entitled to ask is: “Do you really want to change or are you looking for ways not to?”

There is a mix of genres that make the trap appealing: the subtle association of a cognitive fractal, coupled with a Face Veiling (FV): the mathematical anecdote was not innocent, it prepared the ground about veiling!  Paralysis of thought is a mechanism that prevents us from acting. If we try to understand why, we’ll fall into a negative Spiral of Doubt (SD), keeping us from doing anything. What’s worse is that dynamic immobility makes us think we are doing something when we aren’t!

There’s a great French expression that sums it up: ” Brasser de l’air ” ! And the fear in all of this? You must have the courage to accept it, which is inevitably antinomic within the concept itself. Fear is what drives the whole process!

Fear > Cognitive Fractal ± Face Veiling > Decision Paralysis > Spiral of Doubt > Fear


Fear > CF ± FV > DP > SD > Fear

We are terrified of failure, physical and psychological pain, frustration, what others think, and above all, what we think of ourselves.

By avoiding taking risks, you may end up not taking the risk of living. Is it bad to be afraid? No! it is part of being human. But we must curb our fears.

There is a “simply complex” solution: define a framework and your core values. It can be difficult to express them because we can be overwhelmed in the whirlwind of life and can forget who we really are.

We’re going to attempt to reframe that in ways of defining our personal values. Core Values, defining the kind of person you are: “I’m the kind of person who…”

Defining our fundamental values is hard. The thing we all struggle with is looking at the image of ourselves that we have created in our own mind. We may think that is encompasses all of who we are, but we would once again fall for the Confirmation Error of only seeing what we are looking for or only seeing the initial idea of ourselves that we created.

It must be active work! We can’t settle for “I think I am…”. It must be affirmed, shouted, it must be personal and powerful. It must be the things that we want to fight for, to lose, and continue to affirm within ourselves. It must be all of you, we are our values, and they are us. We are inseparable from them in everything we do.

Ask yourself if you fit the criteria you set for yourself.

Example: are you the kind of person who stays on the networks to find someone when you really want to leave?

The work of defining our values is a process that we must anchor in reality. There are five steps:

  • The white sheet

After relaxing or meditating, get a blank piece of paper and a pen. You must handwrite it to reflect your commitment to yourself.

Think about who you are, what you like, what you hate, what makes you happy, what revolts you and what inspires you.

What do you feel is injustice? What world causes inspire you?

List your core values that you identify with. There are hundreds, so you will have your own unique combination.

Examples can include selflessness, work, resilience, courage, freedom and justice. There are so many more! Doing this will help you understand yourself better.

  • My ideal life

You must dream and project yourself into your ideal life. What would you do if you had a magic wand? What would you change about your life? What would you add or take away?

For anyone that is struggling with this, what are you risking by dreaming of being whoever you want to be?

How would you like to feel on your 75th birthday? What kind of person will you wish you had been? Now come back to the present and do what you need to get there. Don’t betray your future self and leave the weight of your regrets on them.

  • Memory of a happy and fulfilling moment

Think about a time you were completely happy to be yourself. It allows you to characterize what is positive. I bet that at this moment, you were completely aligned with your values!

Remember how you felt and what made you so happy at that precise moment. Write down the values that stood out. Do they resonate in your heart? Do they evoke emotions? These may be your core values.

  • Memory of a painful moment

Remembering something painful reminds you of what you don’t want! Remember an event that revolted you (it doesn’t have to be personal). Did you feel bad about hearing of an endangered species? Did you rebel against totalitarian policies depriving people of their freedoms? This allows you to express your positions and therefore your values.

  • People who inspire me and who I inspire.

Your models have character traits and values that you may intimately recognize in yourself. They often have built a full life on fundamental elements that command your respect.

For example: Nelson Mandela’s resiliency and forgiveness toward his enemies, or M. Curie for her courage to exist as an intellectual woman at the beginning of the 20th century.

Some things may try to stop you in these processes, especially the fear of discovering that we do not conform to who we thought we were. It doesn’t matter in the end because we either choose to remain ourselves, or we change and become the one that we aspire to be the most.

Just don’t remain passive and not even try. I assure you that our 75-year-old selves would make a space-time jump to kick our ass…. and they’d be right!


The Pyramid of Success

Medical active coaching for success At the beginning, there is a discussion around our art: Medicine. It may seem strange or presumptuous to compare Medicine to an Art, especially nowadays where technology, more and more present in the care, regularly restricts the part of the human (the pratician) in the care. The conception of medicine as an art and not