A colleague of mine was in the lucky position to choose among many paths in her career. Her current employer wanted her to stay and offered her a raise. A different company offered her a new position where she would be able to create her own job description. And yet, a lot of her past employers wanted her to do consultancy for them.
What a great problem to have, right?! She didn’t feel that way. Her anxiety was through the roof! Her habit of biting her cuticles was in full swing. She practically had little bloody stumps for fingers!
Deciding is hard. But it doesn’t have to be. When I can’t choose from among what seems like a gazillion choices, I don’t. Instead, I decide between just two things at a time.
Here’s how it works: Start with some inkling of what you want. Even my colleague knew she wanted a good job, even if she didn’t know which direction to go.
Say you want to get a pet dog. Your choices number in the thousands!
So before you even look at a dog, ask yourself one question at a time—a question with only two possible answers.
Do you want a puppy or an adult?
Let’s say you want a puppy. Great! We’ve narrowed the field already!
Do you want to adopt a puppy or buy one?
Let’s adopt for the sake of our exercise, and narrow our range to shelters and rescue organizations.
Do you want a small dog or large? Ready for the next decision now?
Long hair or short?
Couch-potato snuggle bug or motivating jogging buddy?
I think you see where this is going! When you methodically limit yourself to two choices at a time, you eventually narrow your focus to the right choice for you. And chances are much higher you and your adopted puppy will be a much better match than if you just went to the shelter and let every dog tug at your heart!
You can use the “two choices” system for anything! I promise.
When you limit your options to two at a time, decisions are less daunting, less stressful, less distracting. Breaking the process down into chewable pieces leads you to confidently go get what you want—because you will know exactly what that is!