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Unable to make a decision? You might have choice fatigue!

#Choice is a vital part of autonomy and fundamental to our #well-being, however, too much choice has a cost, and our obsession with it can contribute to bad decisions, #anxiety, stress, dissatisfaction, paralysis, and even #depression. Studies and Research have shown that the greater the appearance of #choice is appealing yet the reality is actually debilitating…

As the French say: "Trop de choix tue le choix" (too much choice kills the choice).

According to Barry Schwartz professor of psychology... The greater the amount of choice, the harder it is to make a decision and more likely it is we will incur paralysis.




He further goes on to examine choice in relation to ‘#Opportunity Cost’ and how much we value something depending on what we compare it too….. essentially the ‘cost incurred by not enjoying the benefit associated with alternative choice.

He finally mentions the ‘escalation of expectation’ this is where he talks about our increase in expectations going up, however, ironically this is in direct proportion to us feeling worse…. Our standards are so high these we can not match them and so we don’t feel good enough. Interestingly Schwartz correlates this observation with the increasing numbers in depression, if people are constantly not reaching standards this leaves them in a place of depression. So what you may ask is the solution?

Schwartz asks us to settle, to lower our standards and accept… As a closet #perfectionist, I somewhat shy away from ‘settling.’ Forgive the coaching spiel but I can not help myself from a good old fashion reframe… I feel a lot more comfortable with the idea of "good enough" – something the comedian Louis C.K. also advocates with his "70 percent rule for decision-making" (i.e., anything that gets 70 percent approval, you do). This is echoed in the words of Jeff Bezos:

“Most decisions should probably be made with somewhere around 70% of the information you wish you had. If you wait for 90%, in most cases, you’re probably being slow. Plus, either way, you need to be good at quickly recognising and correcting bad decisions. If you’re good at course correcting, being wrong may be less costly than you think, whereas being slow is going to be expensive for sure.”

Are you in agreement with Schwartz or not? Has choice #liberated you or do you find it difficult to make decisions?

Getting direction and getting clarity is a common problem, if you are struggling with any of these I would love to hear from you.

Feel free to contact me at kim@kimberleycoaching.com

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