The curse of too much choice: products, services, relationships, jobs and everything else.

I am at the grocery store and I find myself in front of a shelf trying to pick out protein bars that I can snack on Insiderthe go after my workouts. Since I exercise five to six times a week and my schedule is unpredictable I don’t always have the opportunity to make a proper protein rich breakfast to sustain me and help with muscle recovery so I found a simple solution to that problem. Or so I thought. I am standing in front of the shelf which is covered with so many different options and I start picking up the bars one after the other and reading the labels. What should have been a simple shopping experience now turned into a whole research project. I start googling terminologies, ingredients, and reviews. Before I knew it I had spent more than fifteen minutes trying to pick out a protein bar.

Here is another example: Many of you may have heard about network marketing. I am bombarded daily with messages from my friends telling me about the newest extremely beneficial product their company has to offer. I have no doubt about how great the products are but I can’t buy them all and I can’t be certain they all have the miracle effects each company claims them to have. We have more information about what we buy than ever before, yet the shopping experiences have turned out more of stress triggers. I used to be a materials buyer for a company and honestly I can compare the every day consumer experience to that of actually performing such type of a job.

Dating websites: that one is close to home for a lot of single people looking for the most powerful thing of all and that is love. The reason I am even bringing this up is because dating websites have not only changed the way most people look for a partner but have also created unhealthy approach to dating by introducing too many options. People are unable to choose who they want and there is the mentality that there is always someone better that will come in the picture. The amounts of messages some people receive leaves them in a freeze mode unable to answer or even choose who to respond to. Few are lucky and have found their happily ever after but the overall picture is not one worth praising.

Jobs: I never even thought that I would have to include this one in any of my lists but here I am. The sour truth for most local businesses is that they swap employees and one of the bigger challenges companies face is employee retention. In an effort to attract and keep employees a lot of companies have resorted to including fancy titles and making jobs appear way more attractive then the reality of the positions are. It is what I like to call the new hiring marketing approach (HR may have different terminology for that). What in reality that has done is skilled people start bypassing job opportunities they are actually capable of performing or are able to be trained to do. People are unsure of what type of jobs to apply for or under value their own capabilities. Eventually plenty of individuals find themselves in positions they don’t feel satisfied with and the cycle starts all over again.

While this article is based on my own experiences, observations, and plenty of interviews I have pulled an article from the Business Insider that includes a research on the downside of too much choice if you would like to check it out.

Here are few solutions to the problems I addressed above:

1. Visit the smaller local stores, businesses, boutiques that will not overwhelm you with options. Don’t buy as much and be aware of your stress triggers when you shop. If the experiences is not joyful just walk away, try another place, and don’t give into the pressure to purchase.

2. Delete those dating profiles and start including yourself in more social activities where you have the potential to meet people with similar interests. Start practicing asking people out. It may be for networking, to make friends, or maybe you see the person as a potential partner. It doesn’t matter what the reason is because nothing can replace face to face social interactions.

3. Don’t pick the job, pick the company. What I mean by that is instead of aimlessly searching and applying for different jobs find the companies you want to work for and create your strategy from there by calling and asking questions about the hiring process, making the necessary contacts, follow all job openings, and whatever else one may feel is necessary.

Too much choice has created an overload and frustration about daily things that should not be of such a burden. The first step is always to be aware and I will repeat that until the day I die. Awareness allows us to prevent those external factors that we have no control over from influencing us in a negative way. The environments most of us live in are stressful but we can avood the effects.

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