Thursday, June 3, 2010

Too Many Choices

Life is filled with tons of choices.

Is it just me or do you agree? From the moment my alarm goes off each morning, I'm faced with a slew of choices that require a quick decision...

Should I fix my boys cereal or eggs for breakfast?

Do I want to pack healthy lunches or let them buy school lunches?

Should I go to the gym first thing this morning or wait until after I get some work done?

Do I need to put on make-up today or can I go without it?

You get the idea? Here's the problem though. By nature, I'm very indecisive. I think it's because I over analyse everything! Some times my choices are major and yes, I need to think through them very carefully. However, often times my choices are pretty basic and don't require major cross examination. I'll give you an example.

On Tuesday mornings, I teach a women's bible study and often times run some errands afterwards. Last Tuesday was no exception. I had about 3 hours to get everything done and make it back to the house before Carson got home from school. I had a long list and was determined to scratch off each line item before 3:00 pm.

With this mission in mind, I didn't take time to eat. Around 2:30 pm a nagging headache began to spread across my forehead. It dawned on me that I hadn't eaten a thing since 8:00 that morning. Fortunately, I was driving down a major highway with plenty of fast food places to choose from. You think it would have been a no-brainer. Not for me. As I passed Burger King, Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A, Zaxby's, and Pizza Hut, I did a mental survey of their menus, thought about which places might have some healthy options, calculated calories in my head, wondered if I had enough cash and so on.

I slipped into my "paralysis by analysis" zone and before I knew it I was five miles down the road with nothing to eat and hunger pangs rattling around in my stomach. I became totally frustrated and started reading myself the riot act. "Honestly, Leah, how hard can it be to choose something to eat? This really isn't a tough choice. Just make a decision and get on with it!"

Instead of choosing, I got mad and went home - feeling stupid, incapable, and yes even defeated. I know it seems ridiculous now but looking back I allowed my indecisiveness to completely change my attitude and plans.

What about you? Can too many choices overwhelm you? Would you consider yourself an indecisive person? Do you find yourself often in the valley of "paralysis by analysis"? If not, would you consider yourself a very decisive or sometimes impulsive decision maker? Can you think of a time when making a quick decision backfired on you?

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