Too Many Choices

Jewell Siebert
Jewell Siebert is a #1 international bestselling author, success coach and transformational speaker. She supports working women to actually enjoy the lives they work so hard to create. Jewell especially enjoys helping helping working women have more time to do the things they love, stress less, and be more successful without sacrificing the fun.
Personal Development

May 05,2017

Recently someone asked me about what to do when you have so many choices that you end up feeling overwhelmed and don’t know what to do.

We’ve all been there, right? I mean, the cracker isle alone has enough choices to cause brain paralysis. And when it comes to something more important than what to put your cheese on (albeit a worthwhile question in itself), having an overwhelming amount of options can be stressful.

Option overwhelm can cause all kinds of unwanted consequences, including procrastination, wasted time, and uncertainty. None of these are great for high-achieving people who like to get a lot done AND have time to spend with the people they love. 

Since it’s doubtful our options will lessen, the thing we have control of in this situation is ourselves. So how to we take control our responses in this situation?

Here are some of the things I do when the choices get to be too much:

1) I take a deep breath, pause, and tap. When we’re stressing out, we can’t think clearly. In literally just a couple minutes, you can get to a better spot where you’re able to think more clearly and exercise better judgement.

2) I ask “What the heck is really important in this moment?” Several years ago I had a boss who taught me about wooden balls and crystal balls. You can watch my video about it here, but basically, there are just some things that you cannot afford to drop. I like to check which of those crystal balls I have at the moment, then see how my options affect them.  (This is much easier to do if you’ve prioritized your goals and have mapped out how you want to get there.)

3) I think about the long term outcome I want to have. Then I look at my options and see which one will get me that outcome, then I put the rest on my Someday List. The trick with this one is to realize there’s usually not just one way to get the desired outcome we want, and that we don’t have to make everything happen all at once. Sometimes we get caught up in our type-A perfectionist expectations on how things should go. No judgement from this pot, my dear kettle. A mantra I find useful in this situation is “I am exactly where I need to be, and I will get things done just as they are meant to be.” It may sound more zen then you’re actually feeling on the inside, and that’s perfectly ok.

4) I go through each option, and first I imagine having / experiencing that thing. Then I imagine not having / experiencing that thing. In both cases, I notice my gut reaction. Do I secretly feel grateful thinking about not doing something? Well you don’t have to be Scooby Doo to figure out the answer there. 😉

5) I sleep on it. If I do all the things above and I just can’t figure something out, I send it out to the big guns. Before I go to sleep, I say a prayer asking for divine guidance, call in all my helpers, then set my intention for my subconscious to get the answer while I sleep. It’s crazy how great this works!! Oh, and I recommend keeping a notepad and pen on your nightstand to capture the genius idea when you wake up, because it’s gonna be a keeper.

Alrighty, I hope those tips are helpful! I’d love to hear how they work for you.

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