Making Better Choices In Life: 12 Best Ways

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Making Better Choices In Life: 12 Best Ways

Do you find it difficult to make choices? Are you a doubter? Which new job is best? Or is entrepreneurship a good idea for you?

Which phone should you buy? Should you ask him/her on a date? What are you going to eat tonight? Are you ready for your first child?

Life is full of making difficult choices but is best making better choices in life always. The bigger the choices, the more difficult. But making everyday choices can also be difficult.

Purpose of this article: In this article we give you the background of your choice stress. Why do you find it difficult to make choices? In addition, we give you some useful tips that you can immediately apply in your life to make better choices, including my favorite tip.

 

Choice stress: too many choices

Do you ever suffer from choice stress? Then you are inundated with information that should enable you to make a ‘good, well-considered choice’.

But at the same time, this makes it difficult for many to actually make choices…

I don’t know about you, but I get stressed when someone asks me what exactly I want for breakfast. On Netflix we have hundreds of movie titles to choose from on Friday nights.

Making Better Choices In Life: 12 Best Ways

We simply have too many choices. In the supermarket you can choose from hundreds of cookies. There are dozens of car brands, each with its own advantages and disadvantages, size, color, power, economy, electric or not, and so on. The stress goes to your head.

Social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister talks about decision fatigue . This is the emotional and mental strain that comes from making choices. So you get tired due to an excess of choice stress.

Tonya Hansel elaborates on this, saying that this choice stress plays a major role in our behavior. As a result, we can become indecisive or make risky decisions. Actually, as an adult you can also make a limited number of choices.

Are all those choices actually good? Psychologist Barry Schwartz believes that more choice is not liberating, but rather paralyzes us! As a human being, making too many choices makes you more dissatisfied than happy.

Check out this video about the paradox of choices: 

In the video above, Barry Schwartz (writer of the book The Paradox of Choices ) speaks about a dogma in our Western society. This dogma is: our prosperity is determined by maximum individual freedom.

Freedom is good, but freedom also gives more choices. More choices gives more freedom and this gives more prosperity.

But this is not always the case. A lot of choice also leads to stress, disappointment, high expectations, blame, and so on.

In 2001 a survey was conducted with 54 participating students. The students were asked to rate two bottles of red wine. One bottle was very expensive and the other very cheap.

In reality, the researchers had filled both wine bottles with the same cheap wine.

The students described what they thought was expensive wine as “blissful yet complex and rounded.” The cheap wine was described as ‘too weak and rounded’.

What this research says is that we as humans are biased when making choices .

We have been taught from an early age to prefer higher quality products and to associate this quality with higher prices.

The problem with this is that they destroy the quality of the products we can choose from. When making choices, we tend to make our decisions based on the first piece of information we receive.

Why are we afraid to make choices?

Why do you find making choices so difficult? I will list the main problems of this:

  1. The FOBO syndrome: you are afraid of making the wrong choice now

Do you meet up with your Tinder date or with your friends in the pub? You feel like a nice evening with friends, but what if this Tinder date is the one? You are a doubter. This is FOBO:

fear of better options .

Or you want a new sweater. Online you have a trillion number of choices. What is the right choice? Before you know it, you’ll be scrolling through different webshops for hours.

At FOBO you are afraid to miss out on a choice . This can make you feel indecisive (here we have indecision again). All options are good, but what is the best option for you?

This type of person adds hundreds of sweaters to their favorites, or responds to an invitation with ” I’m not sure I can “, only to cancel at the last minute.

This sounds slightly selfish, and even narcissistic. You put your own interests above that of others. By not making a choice, you put the other person on hold or push them aside completely.

The fear is that if you choose one, you let go of the other. It can hurt that you have to let go of something. You therefore want to avoid this by not making a choice.

There are two groups in this:

  • Maximisers – You make a choice based on the maximum advantage to be gained. They are often unhappy with the choices made.
  • Satisficers – Make choice based on less demanding requirements.

The Maximisers can therefore suffer from choice stress and the FOBO syndrome.

  1. You don’t know what you want

Everyone has trouble making choices. I’ve known a friend since elementary school.

She is very smart and graduated high school with ease. After that, she completed 4 studies, none of which were completed. Both at university and HBO.

She traveled the world for lack of purpose in her life. She now earns her money playing online poker. Last time I talked to her about it.

She told me “I haven’t known what I want for 15 years. I can’t even think about it now. It drives me crazy, but I really can’t make a choice.”

I felt her deep frustration, and at the same time her dissatisfaction with herself.

Do you know what I think? Choosing an education came too early in her life for her.

She didn’t know what she wanted to study. She chose based on what she thought was best for her life, not what she actually wanted to do.

My tip: Choose what you like to do!

  1. Postponing making choices

You think you can make a choice later. You don’t have to make a decision now. This leads to indecision.

This way of choice stress costs a lot of energy, and ultimately gets you nowhere. No decision is then the worst decision.

Making a choice in love

Do you specifically have trouble making choices in love? This kind of indecision can hinder you from ever finding the right one.

More than anything, love is about feeling and emotions . For example, you can feel emotions in the other person of gratitude, joy, happiness, comfort and love.

But negative feelings can also arise, such as jealousy, sadness, envy, disappointment and hatred. So choose your own emotion.

The freedom of choice you have in love can make your life happier, more beautiful and happier.

You can therefore decide for yourself how you react when something ‘nasty’ happens in love.

ATTENTION: You can’t make a good or bad choice in love! Nothing is fixed in advance. Love is unpredictable.

But who tells you that an event is good or bad? Decide for yourself which feeling you want to associate with love and the consequences of love.

Do you choose fear or love? Both are two basic emotions. You often react from one of the basic emotions. So either love or fear.

Many people react out of fear, because they are afraid of losing something or experiencing a negative emotion.

 

My personal tip: You can choose from which emotion you react. Therefore choose the emotion of love and go for it!

12 ways to make better choices

Below I give some tips that you can apply in your own life to make better choices.

1: Follow your instinct

We all have this little voice in our hearts: our instincts. We often know very well whether a particular choice is good or bad.

We feel this in our heart, our instinct tells us what is a good and bad decision. But then we quickly focus on our minds, and we want to base the decision on that.

Then there are emotions, doubts, trade-offs, procrastination and we can even make decisions that go against our instincts.

That’s why my tip: Go back to your own self, stop doubting and follow your own instinct.

2: Make peace with your emotions

Emotions can be positive and negative.

Positive emotions are for example: joy, happiness, love, security or comfort. Negative emotions can include anger, hatred, fear, pain, sadness, and disappointment.

Making Better Choices In Life: 12 Best Ways

Do you suffer from choice stress? Then you are being guided too much by these emotions when making choices.

So my tip is: make peace with these emotions and make the decision without being dominated by emotions.

3: Remember there are no wrong decisions!

Are you afraid of making the wrong decision? What if there is no wrong decision?

This tip can give you the peace of mind to look objectively at the choices you have, so that you can also make an objective choice.

4: Making choices: What makes you happy and happy?

This is in line with the slogan of the well-known cleaning guru Marie KondoChoose what makes you happy and what makes you happy.

You don’t have to make a choice that is best for you, or that will give you the best career opportunities, or buying the car that is best for you, or finding the one and only one.

5: Making choices: do it in the morning

This is my favorite tip. The more choices and decisions you make throughout the day, the harder it becomes for your brain to make the right choices.

Fatigue can make it more difficult to make the right choices. An interesting example comes from a 2010 study by Jonathan Levav and Shai Danziger.

The study found that judges granted an average of one in three requests for parole. However, the statements showed a striking pattern.

The prisoners who appeared in court in the morning had a 65% chance of provisional release. For the prisoners who showed up late in the day, it was less than 10%.

Therefore, make important decisions in the morning, because then you will have more mental energy and willpower to think about them.

Making Better Choices In Life: 12 Best Ways

6: Add something positive to the world around you

Positivity is always better than a neutral or negative feeling. Moreover, positivity also makes you happy.

So choose what you do something positive with. For example helping someone, volunteering, caring for someone else or doing something good for nature.

These are the choices that bring positivity into your life.

7: Look at the bigger picture

Keep your eyes on the bigger picture. It is very easy in making a choice to wander into trivial aspects of your life.

This then prevents you from making a decision in the things that are actually important. So keep your eye on the apple, not the things that revolve around it.

8: Ask for help

You are not an expert in all matters. Do you have to make a decision, but are you in doubt and can’t figure it out?

Ask people you trust in your area for advice. For example when buying a car. You may not be a car expert, but you know that your uncle is a car enthusiast.

Ask him for his advice on which car is best for you. He then gives you the pros and cons of a car and tailor-made advice. Very easy, and probably the best choice.

Recommendations from experts and people with life experience are very convincing and help in making choices.

9: Stay close to yourself

Make decisions based on your own values ​​and beliefs. You regret decisions that don’t align with your values, priorities, or beliefs.

10: Learn from experiences (of others) from the past

You or others around you may have made a similar choice in the past.

You can ask others about their experiences in making the same decision.

What do they think of the car they bought? How did they experience the consequences of their choice?

How can you then apply the lessons of this past experience to your current decision?

11: Stick to your choice

Have you made a choice? Then go for it and don’t look back. Do not doubt afterwards. Do not check afterwards whether you have actually made the best choice.

Don’t google for alternatives afterwards. This is a waste of your time and energy.

Making Better Choices In Life: 12 Best Ways

Moreover, you have already done research before you made a choice. Therefore stick to your choice and be happy and satisfied with this choice.

12: Practice makes perfect

Do you have trouble making choices? Then practice using the tips above.

Start small, of course. For example, when choosing products in the supermarket. Or when choosing your outfit.

You will see that making decisions becomes easier if you practice in this way.

Are you ready for this challenge? Then here’s your first exercise. Did you find this article valuable?

Leave a comment below or share the article on social media so that others can also use these tips.

Also Read: 14 Ways To Be The Best Version Of Yourself

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