In this new RSAnimate, Professor Renata Salecl explores the paralysing anxiety and dissatisfaction surrounding limitless choice. Does the freedom to be the architects of our own lives actually hinder rather than help us? Does our preoccupation with choosing and consuming actually obstruct social change?
When we have numerous choices and when forced to make a decision then we are dealing with the feeling of loss (the other choices) that can trigger some anxiety. We also feel anxious because we think we have 100% responsibility and total control of our choices. When our decisions lead to negative outcomes then we blame ourselves. Read more about Too Many Choices: A Problem That Can Paralyze
I see that a lot in coaching individuals, people who get fired for example think that it is their fault even if it is an economic decision. People who cannot find a job feel that they are responsible for the situation making them so anxious to perform that they actually get paralyzed and eventually go to depression which of course make things worse.
Having multiple choices is of course better than no choice at all ! The idea in this RSAAnimate Video is to make people aware of the psychological mechanism of making decisions. Here is the most interesting thing that was not mentioned in the video: people react differently to abundance of choices based on their personalities. Some people will be overwhelmed because they need a lot of facts and data to make decisions and want making the perfect choice, so they might get analysis paralysis. Other rely on their intuitions and feelings and don’t pay much attention to facts and reality which can lead to very bad decisions such as buying a house they love without considering the risks and affordability. Then you have people who are very good at making quick decisions but unable to “sell” their ideas making other people in the family or company anxious about the other possibilities that were not explored or not explained. Finally you have people making decisions to please others, it is not their initial choice but they feel they are expected to behave in a certain way and they make their decisions ignoring their own needs.
One of the roles of professional coaches is to help people who are torn with impossible choices make decisions based on who they truly are, their needs, their emotional perception of the situations, the economic imperatives and help them find facts and other resources to eliminate certain choices with no turn back. In other word, help them make decision with full consciousness.
Do you thinks children have too much choices and are more anxious now than 15 years ago ?
Do you feel you are not in control of your life ?