You have a day off from your stressful job. Part of you wants to spend the day at the park relaxing. The other part of you feels like you should stay home and clean out your garage. So you go to the park, but the whole time you’re thinking you should have stayed home to tend to your garage. Or you stay home to deal with your garage, but the whole time you’re thinking you should have gone to the park instead.
Therapists call this dilemma choice anxiety. Sometimes when you’re trying so hard to make the absolute best choice, every choice begins to seem like the wrong choice.
Just Choose Something
Could it be that making the right choice is overrated? Don’t get me wrong: It’s important to carefully consider your life decisions. But at some point, you’ve just got to flip a coin, throw a dart at the board and choose something. The “right choice” is often something that exists only in the rearview mirror. At the crucial moment of your decision, there are just options with unknown consequences.
Every choice represents a limit of some kind. You can’t choose one thing without un-choosing something else.
Commit and Observe
The trick is to fully commit to whatever choice. You go all-in, and you carefully observe the consequences. You try to be outrageously honest with yourself about the positive and negative outcomes of your decision. You don’t judge yourself as you realize you are simply gathering data. Pleasure is feedback. Pain is feedback. These are the built-in biological rudders that help you make adjustments to your course. The essential key is to pay attention. By letting go your need to be right (or wrong), you gain much more wisdom from the organic trial and error process that is life.