How the fear of missing out on the best option prevents us from making decisions

A large selection sometimes becomes not an advantage but a problem. Find out how to fix it. But first, subscribe to our Telegram channel. We often publish such valuable articles!

Did you know that people with different personality types make decisions differently? Before reading this article, find out your personality type!

When we have fewer choices, we are more satisfied with our decision — and trying not to miss the best leads to insecurity, frustration, stress, regrets, and dissatisfaction with life.

Renowned psychologist Barry Schwartz called Maximizers. They embark on a tedious study of all possible options, spending a lot of time and effort. But due to limitations of thinking, it is impossible to evaluate every available option. Ultimately, maximizers are less happy than “moderate” people. They make decisions quickly without considering a million options.

In his book The Paradox of Choice, Schwartz described an experiment with buyers. One group was asked to taste six varieties of jam and choose which one they would like to buy. And the other — 24 species. The second group found it much more challenging to make a choice. According to Schwartz, only 3% of people make a purchase. “Wide choice may be discouraging for consumers, as it forces them to put in more effort to make a decision. Therefore, consumers simply do not buy the product,” he explains.

When there are too many factors to consider, people start looking for the best option. It is necessary to consider the price, reliability, power, warranty, and color. The selection process is very tiring, but you can still be dissatisfied.

Learn to be content with a good option, not striving for an unattainable ideal. Otherwise, you won’t achieve anything.

Moderation is a decision-making strategy that aims for a satisfactory outcome rather than an optimal one.

Choose the first option that suits your needs. Or an option that meets most of the criteria. But don’t look for the ideal.

Schwartz advises following this plan when you need to make a decision:

  • Define your goals and rate the importance of each.
  • Group options. Think about how likely each of them will satisfy your desires. Choose the winning one.
  • Consider the consequences of your choices to reframe your goals and vision for the future.

It often makes the best choice without much thought. Rely on your intuition, do not dwell on the search for the ideal, and evaluate each option only on its merits and not in comparison with others. Life will be easier when you learn to settle on the excellent option instead of chasing the best.

Take the Menteora career guidance test; artificial intelligence will name your most suitable professions. The accuracy of the test is 70-80% because we use a mathematical-statistical algorithm (read about Menteora's unique career guidance methodology).