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A Quick Solution to Decision Paralysis

One of the things that has happened with quarantine is that we have spent more time with ourselves than we are used to, and a lot less time with others. This can lead to feelings of anhedonia (seriously, one of my favorite words from graduate school - look it up. It's perfection!).

Anhedonia is the clinical equivalent of meh.

For many of us lockdown has created more meh than we are accustomed to, and the fallout from more meh is often decision paralysis. Decision paralysis is a fancy way of saying that we find it hard to make decisions because we are feeling meh. Do you want pizza or chicken for dinner? Meh. Watch a video or read a book? Meh.

But we don't have to be living through a pandemic in quarantine to experience decision paralysis. If, for example, we have a pattern of seeking others' approval in life, we can be stuck in decision paralysis - out of fear of making the wrong decision and being excluded. Or, if we experience a lot of self-doubt (for a multitude of reasons), we can be mired in decision paralysis for years, often deferring to others around us.

There is, however, a simple and quick solution to decision paralysis: Tossing a coin.

If you have two things to decide between, like the aforementioned "pizza or chicken," then a simple coin toss will rescue you. The truth is that you probably lean one way or another, but because of your emotional state, you can't access that decision. So, when you toss the coin in the air, you will most likely notice that you want it to land a certain way. That's how you circumvent the paralysis.

While the coin is in the air, your mind can bypass your emotions that are keeping you stuck and send you a message of "pizza, please!" This will give you your answer before the coin ever hits the ground. You will naturally lean one way, even if it's only 51%.

So, what happens if your mind doesn't chime in and request a delicious dough covered in sauce and cheese? Well, then you can simply abide by the coin toss, and move forward with your life. Because the bigger fallout from decision paralysis is actually how immobilized it makes you in general, which is much more serious than whether you will be eating pizza while watching a video.

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