Apparently freedom of choice can be a stressful privilege according to several recent studies. Does a person’s personality type or self-esteem make a difference in whether or not they welcome many choices? Does the type of choice — life changing versus an evening’s entertainment — make a difference? And does choice-stress vary person to person, or according to the situation? What about people who are developing their intuition, like CaliforniaPsychics.com newsletter and blog readers? What kind of decision-maker are you?
The Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator, a popular test, available in the classic book by Kiersey and Bates, Please Understand Me, offers an excellent way to analyze your particular decision-making style. Taking the test helps you learn whether you’re a “judging” or a “perceiving” type. Ps (perceiving) like to keep their options open; Js (judging) are all about closure. Ps will obviously be more comfortable with having lots of options, but Js will be more skilled in plowing through options to a choice they can live with.
Self Esteem and Self Reliance
Faith in your own judgment is one of the most critical factors in decision comfort when faced with an abundance of choices. If you have learned that you usually make good choices, being faced with a lot of options isn’t so daunting. Even better, if you know from experience that even if you make a “wrong” choice you can recover and thrive, then choices can be intriguing and exciting rather than alarming.
8 Steps for Effective Choosing
If you’re overwhelmed by too many choices, too little information and not enough time, here’s what to do.
1 – Take a deep breath! Not only does that deep breath get you to pause and de-stress, it also oxygenates your brain, which helps you think more clearly.
2 – Ask others to let you decide. Your most satisfying choices are ones which you make. Once you’ve done your inner work, you may want to bounce ideas off friends or experts, but first you need to center yourself and source your own values and desires.
3 – Eliminate the obvious. If you don’t like something, for whatever reason, cut it from the list. Others may see advantages, but if you hate the idea save yourself time and trouble and just cross it off.
4 – List the pros and cons. As you narrow the choices on either side of the pro and con ledger, you’ll begin to understand what else you really need to know in order to facilitate final decisions you can feel good about.
5 – Investigate further. Now that you have a sense of what’s really important to you, some fast, focused research will help you narrow the choices even further.
6 – Consult others. If you’ve done 1 through 5 and still can’t decide, then invite people you trust to offer opinions. Tell them about your process so far, and ask them to stick to your narrowed list of choices rather than opening up the field again, unless they have new information that’s crucial.
7 – Consult oracles. If you’ve gone this far and still have choices remaining, it’s time to break out your Tarot or Runes, to call a psychic or astrologer, or to connect with your Spirit Guides. This last step can alert you to invisible factors operating in each choice, surprises and future developments that you can’t predict with logic and research.
8 – Choose what excites you. It’s almost always possible to go back to what appears to be a sober, wiser choice if your dream doesn’t work out, but once-in-a-lifetime opportunities can be very hard to resurrect. If you’ve done the first 7 steps and you’re down to “smart” choices versus “risky” choices, follow your heart. You can always to back to practical if the big dream doesn’t pan out.
Our day to day lives, with the hustle, stress and challenges, can make it seem easier to follow a pretty narrow path and avoid taking risks. But life’s real magic is most often awakened by taking the road less traveled, especially when it’s a wide open boulevard you’ve chosen with your heart and soul.