Here is the square root of our daily stress. Decisions. We agonize at length over pros and cons, we have mind-maps and 'Why Trees' and 9-step models that help us over-cook the decision making process.
Even small decisions that don't always have a huge impact, will be whirled through the endless spin cycle of yes/no/maybe/do you think...?
Did you know that studies have shown that it is no more effective to ponder a decision than to simply pick based on first impression? It's about 50/50. In fact, according to research Mark Tyrell turned me onto, "many decisions you are better off not thinking about it."
I think we have so much trouble with decisions because underneath, we have turned the decision-making process wrong way round: toward ourselves. We think the big impact of our decision will be whether we turn out to be right or wrong, rather than realizing that some decisions don't matter that much, some are reversible if you get them wrong and most are not really life-threatening.
We are petrified of getting it wrong. Plus, we have a tendency to think our decision scorecard is the mark of our intelligence. Our fear of feeling bad about ourselves and looking bad to others is paralyzing. Western society prizes logical abilities and in general 'gut feel' gets relegated to the sidelines, only to be brought in in a pinch or a last resort after all of the avenues, fall-backs, consequences and pitfalls have been examined and exhausted.
It's worth looking to see if drawn out, over-thought decision-making is causing you sleepless nights, or taking up lots of your mental space.
The mind was meant for greater things than data analysis and endless agonizing.
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