What to do When Faced with Difficult Choices as a Highly Sensitive Person

Woman standing in front of a split path in a corn maze

We have all been in the position of being faced with difficult choices. Especially in these modern times, when even going to the grocery store is nothing but a serious of choices that we have to make from hundreds of different, yet similar products.

woman standing in grocery store staring at the different varieties of chips
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

It is all a bit overwhelming and often leaves you feeling like you are running around in circles. In more extreme cases, it can even cause you to completely shut down. This especially rings true for highly sensitive people.

Choices, choices, choices

A row of identical doors.
Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

Why must there constantly be a barrage of choices staring us in the face? Every single day, we can’t help but have to make a choice out of multiple options. As a highly sensitive person, it is absolutely overwhelming and sometimes debilitating.

Do any of these situations sound relatable to you?

  • Going to a restaurant and staring at a 4-page menu full of a hundred different meal choices.
  • Picking out a snack at the convenient store, or grocery store.
  • Trying to decide where in the world you would like to go for dinner.
  • Finding a new book to read.
  • Deciding where you would like to go on vacation.
  • Figuring out what to write about in your next blog post.
  • Deciding on the best candidate for the job, if you find yourself in the position of hiring.
  • Picking out what to major in at college.
  • Looking for a house or an apartment.
  • Buying a car.
  • Deciding on a car seat for your new baby.
  • Choosing a new beloved pet out of all of the fur babies that you wish that you could have.
  • Picking out an outfit for the day.
  • Standing in front of 50 different flavors in the ice cream shop.
  • Going to the nail salon and trying to decide on a color.
  • Getting new prescription glasses and trying to decide on the look that you are going to be stuck with for a while.
  • Choosing a scent that defines who you are.
  • I mean, the list can go on for ages…

Options are fabulous

The thing is, options really are fabulous. Having fewer options would certainly be easier. But, let’s face it. Deep down, we would be highly upset to have those options taken away from us.

I experienced this first hand when I moved from a large city that had every convenience under the sun to somewhere that, well, doesn’t. It is a shock to the system for us privileged Americans. We just plain like to have options.

What to do When Faced With Difficult Choices

Well, thankfully there are methods for the madness of decision making.

  1. Firstly, get clear on what the desired outcome is.
  2. Gather information on what exactly it is you are trying to decide on.
  3. Identify all of the different options.
  4. Research the differences and similarities of each option.
  5. Identify the risks of each choice.
  6. Make the choice based on your careful planning.
  7. OR, if you can’t decide, then don’t. Sometimes the best option is to wait until the right decision becomes more clear.

1. Get clear on what your desired outcome is.

Can you envision the end result of whatever it is you are trying to decide on? What would make you happy? What would make your heart sing and your soul shine? Take a moment to take a deep breath and clear your mind of all other worries. Focus in on what you want at that moment.

For this example, we are going to say the desired outcome is to go out to eat for lunch.

2. Gather information on what exactly it is you are trying to decide on.

What is the root of what you are deciding on? Are there many options available? Narrow it down.

You have already decided that your desired outcome is to go to a restaurant. Now you are thinking that you would really like to have tacos.

So, now it is time to think specifically of tacos.

3. Identify all of the different options.

Since you decided on tacos, now you can identify all of the different restaurants in town that offer tacos for lunch.

4. Research the differences and similarities of each option.

To continue with our taco example, now you would look up the menu for each restaurant and compare each of their taco options. Maybe each place offers different types of tacos. What are the price differences? How close is each restaurant to you?

5. Identify the risk of each choice.

Does each restaurant have customer reviews? Sometimes the menu looks good, and the pictures look good online, but then you read the reviews. And come to find out, the place you thought sounded the best had the worst customer service. What are all of the risks involved?

6. Make your decision

You have identified that you want to go out to eat. Then you decided that tacos sound amazing. After deciding on tacos, you looked up all of the restaurants nearby that serve them. Then you compared menu items and prices. Finally, you looked at the customer reviews.

Now that you have gathered all of the information available you can finally make a decision. Go for it!

7. OR if you still can’t decide, then don’t.

image of a question mark sign
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

If after all of that you still can’t make a decision, then the universe is clearly telling you that tacos are not in the stars for you today. Maybe you really aren’t even that hungry. Or, maybe tacos just plain aren’t the best option for you right now.

In any event, if you can’t make a decision, then the best decision is to be patient with yourself and wait until the choice becomes clear. It inevitably will make its way to you when the time is right.

In the meantime, have a snack. (and if you can’t decide what to snack on, then maybe you need a nap!)

Do you struggle with making decisions in your life? If so, know that it is absolutely ok and there is nothing wrong with you. You might just be a highly sensitive person living in an over-stimulating world!

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