Community//

How To End Analysis Paralysis

And The Drawbacks To Being A "Maximizer"

Ever heard of F.O.B.O.?

Similar to “Fear of Missing Out”, there’s a new phenomenon called “Fear of Better Options”…

The New York Times published a piece about what happens to people who spend relentless time researching all the “best” options for fear that they’ll miss out on the “best” one. Researchers call them (us) “maximizers”. And while they “tend to make better decisions, they are less satisfied with those decisions…”

Sound familiar?

Often times “maximizers” will feel loads of regret, second-guessing, and fear that there was still a better option out there…

Good news is there’s a way to resolve this (frankly, bad habit) in today’s new age of option overload.

The solution to this problem is to learn how to clearly state the “minimum outcome you’re willing to accept”.

That’s a different way of saying we need to learn how to know our priorities.

For starters, consider using this question, which applies to almost any situation: “What matters most to you?”

If you’re ordering lunch, are you looking to satisfy hunger? Or try something new? What matters most to you?

You can guess this applies in more than one way. But there’s a greater problem today…

For many, the example of having analysis paralysis while ordering lunch is a sign of the potential greater stress and anxiety that can come when we have bigger decisions to make like: Do I take the job? Do I uproot my life and move cities to force a change just because I need a change and don’t know what I want? What do I want? Not just for lunch, but in life?

All great questions. I’ve been in that head space, and I know it well.

From personal experience, and from the overwhelmingly positive response to podcast episode #1 called “Priorities”, knowing your personal life priorities is not an easy task. They don’t teach this stuff in school. So we have to learn from experience.

Experience can be a tough teacher. And most of us know that, which is why so many people often feel stagnant. The fear of not knowing what to do next keeps a lot of us from even taking a step forward…

If you’re in that space where you need to figure out what to do next, and you don’t have clarity on your priorities, use your curiosity muscle…

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received is to learn how to approach situations as an “experiment” that has a hypothesis, an outcome, and lessons learned moving forward.

With that said, I hope this article has helped you move forward.

If you’d like to dig in further, listen to episode #1 Priorities on my podcast.

Sign up for more like this.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.