Why Some Decisions Seem Impossible to Make

Making decisions doesn’t always come easily, particularly for those with driving anxiety or driving fears. It may be a big decision just to decide if you should drive to the store by yourself, or whether to take the bridge or the tunnel to make it easier to manage a driving phobia.

Yet it’s not always driving-related decisions that can stump you. You may have a tough time deciding what to order from a restaurant’s overflowing menu, or even what restaurant to go to in the first place. It can be difficult to decide what shirt to buy from the hundreds of online options, what movie to watch in the vast catalog of streaming choices, or what book to read next from your giant pile of books.

Too Many Choices

Having a tough time making decisions when you have dozens of choices is not unusual. While we may think having loads of different options is terrific, it can actually work against us when we’re forced to choose among them.

Having too many choices can overwhelm us to the point where we don’t think we’re even capable of making a good decision at all. This can result in not making any decision, or making a decision you may fret over and regret.

The driving force behind the inability to make such decisions is fear, specifically fear of making the wrong choice. When the sheer number of choices is too large to analyze, we fear won’t pick the best one because we simply don’t know what the best one is.

Escaping the Trap

While the inability to make decisions when faced with too many choices is common, it doesn’t have to be an ongoing part of your life. There are actions you can take to help you make a sound decision, regardless of how many choices are at hand.

Consider the overall importance of the choice. If you’re fretting about what menu item for dinner, or what movie to watch from the hundreds of streaming options, take a step back and breathe. Ask yourself how deeply this decision is going to affect your life in the long run, or even by tomorrow.

In many cases, the choice is not earth-shattering or life-changing. In fact, it may not matter much in the big scheme of things at all. Realizing this can remove a lot of the burden and the fear of making a right or wrong choice.

Determine what you want from your desired option. Narrowing down your choices by setting guidelines for what you want can help immensely. Instead of being overwhelmed by the dozen of menu options, you can enter a restaurant knowing you want something spicy with chicken and vegetables.

One final tip to remember is that you may be able to change your mind. Not every decision is a permanent, irrevocable one. Even if you order a dish you end up not liking, you can always order another one to take home, or take it as a lesson learned that can help you make decisions in the future.