Do you ever put off making a decision because you’re holding out for the perfect option?
I was headed to Ikea with my friend and her boyfriend when we all went around saying what we were hoping to buy that day. I lamented that I was once again searching for the perfect throw pillows. My friend, who had been aware of this saga in my life explained to her boyfriend that I had been searching for throw pillows for two years.
His response: “That is quite the quest, two years?”
It struck me: two years of checking stores, looking on pinterest, coveting my friend’s throw pillows. This may seem dramatic so let me explain.
My friend had beautiful throw pillows that I had always complimented and enjoyed and wanted a pair exactly like them- so much so that I would often joke about stealing them right off her couch. I held out hope that one day I would wander into a store and there they would be. Each time I went to a store I fought against the options, the price, the ridiculousness of never finding what I wanted. That all came into clarity when I realized it had been going on for two years. That day I decided enough was enough. I bought throw pillows, and covers and brought them home. Do you know what a difference they make for a living room? Do you know how much more I enjoyed being in my space? Simply making a decision to buy the best option available to me allowed me to entertain the idea of going home with throw pillows that day.
Two years I had held back from good enough for perfect. Two years I had searched and lamented and been frustrated instead of just accepting what was available and making the best decision.
This is another version of analysis paralysis- holding out for the best. Sometimes you just have to pick the best option that is available. That’s the crux, it has to be available. Yes, my friend’s throw pillows were beautiful, but they weren’t available no matter how much I wanted them to be.
What are areas in your life you are holding out for best when simply making a decision would alleviate so much?
The perfect graduate program?
The perfect savings plan?
The perfect workout/gym routine?
The perfect man?
The perfect neighborhood?
The perfect apartment?
Perhaps, instead, you should look around, take stock of your options and choose. I find that often a decision comes dressed as a final destination, when really it’s merely a stepping stone. If you’re thinking “this sounds a lot like settling” I would say “In your waiting, are you settling for less than if you made a decision?” Perhaps while you’re waiting for your perfect apartment with gorgeous natural light, you’re missing out on the glow of twinkle lights. Perhaps while you’re yearning for Mr. Right you are missing out on fun dates with Mr Right now.
I now see this pattern in my everyday life and I’m getting faster at recognizing it before it becomes a two year quest. I simply say to myself “buy the pillows.” It serves as a reminder to not miss out on what’s available now for what could be available later.
What have you put on hold that you can make a decision on today? What has become a quest that could really just be a decision? Buy the pillows!