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too much; too many… the paradox of choice

So I’m going to be honest (and perhaps vulnerable once again) right now and share my current thoughts, feelings, stream of consciousness: overwhelm. running around like a crazy chicken. want more coffee. perhaps I’ve had too much coffee. Is using a microwave really as bad as they say? why can’t I just stick to a schedule! where did the sun go? Boo on my car (which I still love) that just got serviced and now won’t start. frustration. staying up until 2am may no longer be serving me. getting old. kids are walking home from school and I have not nearly done enough for a whole day’s worth. Is music with lyrics too distracting in the background? Why do I always have so many windows open? (10 on my screen minimized right now, and numerous tabs even within some of those windows…) I need to do yoga. I need to actually check something off of my list first before I can justify yoga. if I can’t even handle my own schedule, how will I ever be able to handle a family?!? my bulbs are blooming… flowers are always such a nice gift. is that really snow? I’ve broken off all of my nails. I should paint them. are people actually reading this right now? am I the only one that thinks random thoughts all of the time? maybe the woman I met at the networking event last week was right ~ maybe I should get tested for ADD! okay I need a system. I actually used a calendar, scheduled in all I needed to get done this week on Sunday and have failed miserably. discouraged. why do we (or at least I) allow myself to break commitments with myself all of the time? how can one day I feel on top of the clouds, and on the next feel I am dragging my heels? where did the whole pulling up your bootstraps phrase come from anyway? maybe I should relook at that wordpress theme… way too many to choose from that’s my excuse for not getting my new website up yet. Barry Schwartz with the whole Paradox of Choice was onto something. less is more. I really need to simplify. perhaps take feng shui. declutter. spring cleaning time. hmmm… will I be able to make that happen in time for my move April 10th? need to book the elevator. grateful for my amazing friend who is going to help me purge tomorrow (now today.) I need to be ruthless.

Too much stuff. Too many choices. Too much to do. Too many thoughts!!!

Too much; too many. Hmm… perhaps better than not enough or not any? Or is it?!?

Okay clearly I had no idea where I was going with my happy friday this week. I had been reading posts and quotes throughout the week about this idea of not being ready and how really we never think we’re ready, so to simply go for it anyway. But, I’ve sort of touched on that before. And then twice I heard a quote that is already in my ‘love it’ file, so thought it was a sign I should talk about that.

(here’s that quote anyhow: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Apparently I hadn’t made a decision as to what I was going to write about today because I needed to let my consciousness ramble (I hope I didn’t embarrass myself and I’m not the only one that does that?!? And if I am, SO WHAT!). And in my ramblings, what came out was the whole notion around decisions and choices… and the fact I have issues making them!

Too much; too many.

See that’s my problem. I can’t make decisions because there are simply too many options! And I’m talking all sorts ~ from decisions about my business and my logo and my homepage copy to what I should eat for dinner or do on Saturday night. And so I ponder and ponder and eventually fall victim to analysis paralysis. Then I often don’t make any decision at all and end up staying stuck (or staying in on Saturday night 🙂 )

So, if that’s the problem, I need to find the solution. Allow me to indulge as I try to give myself some advice. And if you, too, may get some helpful nuggets, all the better!

  • Stop trying to pick the best option… best is subjective anyhow. And it’s impossible to know the answer before you pick one.
  • Listen to your gut. What feels right deep inside? What will make your heart sing?
  • Who are you trying to please? Be honest.
  • Don’t be afraid of going down the wrong path… there will be a fork in the road soon enough, and you can always turn back
  • Stop asking everyone else’s opinion!
  • Stop caring about everyone else’s opinion!
  • Take a step back… isn’t there more important things to be spending your energy on?!?
  • Think about how
  • So do yoga. or go for a run. or take a bubble bath. or a glass of wine. or all of the above.
  • Stay calm. (hence the reason for yoga and/or wine.) making a decision when emotions are running high is not always a good thing!
  • Have confidence in yourself as a decision-maker
  • There are no such thing as mistakes… only learning experiences.
  • Stop analyzing and weighing and humming and hawing… just choose something already!
  • Remember; nothing is permanent, nothing has to be forever.

Sorry folks, my rambling made for a pretty long post this week! Kudos to those who are still with me.

AND, if you are still with me, what advice do YOU have for me ~ and anyone else ~ who suffers from the paradox of choice?!? I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts, advice, feedback in the comments below :-).

Have a FAB week, everyone!

carol schulte's happy friday signature

3 Comments

  1. Crystal-Marie S says:

    I’m definitely here. BUT seeing it on paper helps me calm down a bit. If you have a friend with a few minutes to spare, call them and say “pick one” and ask them 10 of the questions that you have to decide on – with only two options each. Of course, where possible.
    Congrats on April 10th moving date!

  2. Jennifer says:

    Love your stream of consciousness this week, Carol. Yes, I read to the very end today, avoiding a number of things to do for the pleasure of following your rumblings! I even made coffee so that I had to sit still, read Nd meditate on your ideas. I’m finished now, so I’ll get the laundry out of the dryer, fold it up and put it away. Next on my list is. To check the time on the TV for the finals in Japan of the women’s figure skating. I still have to grocery shop, work on a new flyer for my business, and plan an event display. I could do groceries tomorrow after church … Is that procrastination? Hahah!
    Have a happy week!
    Jennifer

  3. The paradox of choice? I am curious… what do you mean by that exactly? Do you mean you want choice but when presented with options you are unable to make a decision? Or are you saying you can make a choice but then are unable to act?

    What would happen if you had a clear objective in mind? How would that impact on your ability to make or act on choices? Does the choice you are making take you towards your objective or away from it?

    How badly do you want to achieve your objective? What role does motivation play here? Are you motivated by fear or by reward? What is your level of Engaged Energy?

    Are there really too many choices? Or are there only a few choices clouded by a cacophony of distractions disguised as options? What would happen if you were to see those distractions, not as options, but as… wait for it… FEAR?

    “Fear?” You ask? Yes fear. You intend to achieve something but that requires action and, well… “Am I good enough?” shows up. How many things can I do that sort of look like I am moving towards my objective but… who am I kidding, anyway? They’re really not THAT important!

    Take for example your comment about your new website where you said. “maybe I should relook at that wordpress theme… way too many to choose from that’s my excuse for not getting my new website up yet.” How true is that? What’s really going on here? In the overall scheme of things, is the choice of WordPress theme going to be game changer? Does success or failure of your business hinge on it?

    Is it too many choices, or lack of clarity, or fear? What would happen if you realized that you may be headed for the same pain this time as the pain associated with your last experience? (By the way, we can help you with your website with our new services for coaches on Lifeelicious. Really! SHAMELESS PLUG, forgive me. I couldn’t resist!!)

    What you are describing and experiencing is perfectly natural. Sometimes when we face uncertainty, we choose distraction rather than action. It buys us time. It delays uncertain outcomes. It is our protection mechanism kicking in. It’s all very human. We can let it be. But even when we embrace our humanity, we have the capability and option to be aware of it.

    As coaches we have great training and awareness. We have knowledge and tools at our disposal.

    Uncertain about where you are going? A coach can assist you in gaining clarity. Having difficulty making a decision? We iPEC coaches can help you using the Pain Gain process. Fears or other blocks showing up? We can help there too.

    Here is a final question to consider. Is this really a paradox? Or is it irony?

    Love your work Carol. Love your passion. Love your honesty.

    Live your Truth,

    Frank

    http://www.MyCoachFrank