Choice Paralysis

All week I couldn’t decide what to write about this week and ended up not writing anything until Thursday afternoon. My inability to decide led to almost a week of inaction. The indecision led to feelings of being stuck and I started to tell myself that it was writers block. Now that I had writers block, I had an excuse to not work. The writers block scapegoat made it seemingly okay to procrastinate. I did nothing despite knowing I had an emergency backup list of blog topics just in case I had writers block, and still couldn’t bring myself to look at it. My deadline was really serving as a motivator to get this done.

Can any of y’all relate to this snowballing effect of inaction and choice paralysis? When does it happen to you? How do you get out of it?

Nobody is perfect. Sometimes things just slip our mind.  It’s easy to get out of our routine that helps maintain productivity. The weekly rhythm got thrown off. I got stuck.

But here’s the thing. Just because I’m stuck now, doesn’t mean I’ll always be stuck. I can get un-stuck. I can forgive myself for my mess up this week. There’s no sense in punishing myself for my own delay.

So, what caused my choice paralysis on making a decision on what to write about? In this case, I was burning the candle at both ends with my schoolwork, trying to work a few assignments ahead and it left me with no mental energy to work on my blog. I didn’t predict that working ahead on my schoolwork would have this effect. If I’m treating myself as a guinea pig, I now know what my mental-work-writing limitations are when it comes to working ahead, and how much writing I can handle on any given day.

How do you know when you are experiencing choice paralysis? Are there any warning signs? Once you’re aware of your choice paralysis, what do you want to do about it? What do you need to do about it to honor yourself? How can you avoid it in the future? If it happens again, what will you do?

What helped me was noticing that I was aware of my choice paralysis. I know I’m not alone. This happens to a lot of people. Once I was able to identify it, and figure out what was fueling it, I was able to conquer the paralysis. Will I be forever cured from choice paralysis now? Probably not, but that’s okay. Do I know that I can overcome it? Yes. I’ve done it at least once, and I can do it again. I believe we all can conquer our choice paralysis and find a way to get un-stuck.

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