Bullied by opportunities? Trapped by choice?

In chapter 7 of my forthcoming book Change Directions, I discuss a type of pressure that is not often understood. Perhaps the reason for this is that it does not appear to be a problem ; rather an opportunity. Furthermore, it is mostly perceived as a strength.

The problem is that of having too many choices. So many in fact that we are left bullied by the shear volume of opportunities or possibilities. This is where a decision needs to be taken and by so doing forgoing all other possibilities. This can result in our being left experiencing a degree of discomfort at one level to panic at another.

This arises in situations where we approach a ‘decision junction’ only to discover that the number of directions open to us overwhelms our ability to see clearly what is in our best interest. There is also the trap of wanting everything and ending up with little. In other words there is an inability to accept that in choosing one path, we need to let go of other possibilities.

Lets separate these two factors. In one instance, we are simply bullied by opportunities whist in the other we are fearful of missing out on what we could have. The irony is that both situations create the same fear. In one we seek to make the right decision so as not lose out. On the other hand we see that making a decision will mean that we will miss out on all the the other possibilities. In both cases the result is fear driven. The fear is the fear of loss.

Resolving these situations requires a high degree of clarity and focus. In the first instance what’s needed is the ability to separate each perceived possibility and by creating a value matrix (available in the resource section of the book) selecting the option delivering the greatest value.  Another option is to consider using Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats where each idea is de constructed and evaluated before a decision is made.

The idea that there is no cost through inaction needs to be reviewed.  Procrastinating or doing nothing costs a great deal. In particular the cost of time is often underestimated. Consider a girl who is waiting for Mr Right (perfect) rather than engaging with those available, is in danger of getting to an age where her choices are severely restricted.

The talent is in the choice we make and the actions we take. Lets be clear, not choosing is also a decision. The difficulty is in accepting that sometimes you will make the right choice and at others not so.

More soon …