Make the Decision Already

Are you a perfectionist? Do you suffer from indecision? Are you happy?

Enough with the questions already, jeez Amanda.

Fast Company recently published an article that talks about the difference between ‘maximizers’ and ‘satisficers’. A maximizer is someone who wants the absolute best option out there, someone who researches every little detail before making a decision. Where a satisficer has a set of criteria and goes with the first best option presented to them.

decision-makingI’m a maximizer. Take my search for a pediatrician. I want the best doctor for my baby. So naturally, I scour neighborhood mom groups and ask my PCP for recommendations, narrow down the list and interview all three choices before I make a decision. Makes perfect sense, right? This goes for all things acting too. Before I went with an on camera teacher, I carefully researched what options were offered in NYC, looked at what I could afford, when the classes were offered and made a decision from there.

I can spend months agonizing over one decision – it’s how I’ve always operated. But the article goes on. Maximizers are also prone to regret if they believe they make the wrong decision. Yep. Me. Maximizers also fall into social comparison. Uh huh – and it ain’t pretty. But what really got me, what makes me want to change my ways is that satisficers tend to be happier because they’re not eternally searching for a better option. They’re pleased with what they have.

That’s what I’m really after: happiness.

It won’t be easy to break my perfectionist habits, but there are tools to help ease my way to the other side. One trick that’s worked for me is to budget my time. I give myself a set amount of time to research say, which agents to put on my target list and stop when time is up. Decide. After all, I’m never going to really know what’s the best fit for me until I actually meet the agent, take the class, send the ship, book the headshot photographer.

Here’s to happy, easy decision making in the future!


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