Have you ever been paralyzed by choice? Can having too many options be a bad thing? Do you ever wish that your life could be less complicated? Here are some ways to help simplify your life …
Yesterday, I wrote about the power of choice. Interestingly enough, today I found myself paralyzed by choice. It was an easy errand. I stopped by the paint store to get supplies to repaint the fence and some patio furniture out by the pool. The fence was easy – white paint. Thankfully, they didn’t even ask me what shade of white. I thought I was going to get out easy. Then came the bench and planter. I went in with the idea of using an aquatic theme of blue and yellow. I don’t really like picking out paint colors, so I asked the salesperson if she could give me her opinion. What I really wanted was for her to pick for me, but that didn’t happen. She started interrogating me about what other colors were already being used in the area. I told her that the pillows on the chairs had blue in them. My answer of blue wasn’t good enough. She took me to a wall of thousands of colors and asked me to show her exactly what shade of blue I was talking about. AHHHHH! Instead of leaving with paint, I left the store with (and I am not exaggerating) a stack of swatches that included every single paint color that the store sells. Although she was trying to be helpful, it left me feeling completely overwhelmed. On the way out of the store, I also picked up a brochure that gave decorating ideas and listed 20 paint color options that it guaranteed will match in any combination. I can assure you that I will be picking my paint colors from those 20 options instead of the 20,000 other swatches that I brought home with me!
Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever been tempted to delay a decision just because there were too many options?
So, if choice is powerful, why is too much choice paralyzing?
When it comes to making choices, we need to start by prioritizing. What is the end goal and why is it important? How critical is the decision that we are making? Will there be consequences for our decision?
Choosing a paint color really isn’t that life altering. The fence needs to be painted so that the wood will last for a few more years, but the fact that I spent several minutes debating the merits of eggshell, semi gloss or gloss paint became a waste of my time. Even more so with the color of my bench and planter. They definitely need to be painted if we want to keep them much longer, but the color is just preference. I can choose to waste countless hours debating the shade of blue that I want to use, or I can take the page of 20 options out to the pool, compare colors, pick one and then move on.
Admittedly, there are many decisions that are much more important than the color of my bench. But, I think that there is a tendency to get even more overwhelmed by the big decisions, which makes us just want to ignore them and choose not to choose. Do you ever do that?
Do you have a big decision that you have put off making? Maybe you can even justify the delay – you are taking the time to make sure that your decision is the right one. Or maybe you just haven’t chosen to choose.
Do you agree with me? Can too much choice be a bad thing sometimes? I would love to hear what you think below.