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The Whole Human

FOBO is secretly ruining your life – here’s how to escape it

You only let yourself buy one novel at a time when you go to the bookstore, so you scour the shelves for hours (to the point of exhaustion), trying to make sure that you pick the absolute best read.

You’re brilliant enough to have multiple new job offers, but instead of feeling proud of yourself, you’re stressed AF writing out all of those pro/con lists to confirm that you’re making the true best choice.

You have a Bumble date offer on the table, but are anxious about committing because it’s possible that another, more enticing offer could come along for the same night.

You, dear friend, are dealing with some serious FOBO: the fear of better options.

Now, FOBO isn’t all bad. According to The New York Times columnist Tim Herrera, people who are all about the maximization of potential outcomes do tend to make the better choices in life. The problem, though, arises once that choice is finally made. Because of all of that stress and run-around, you enjoy the result a hell of a lot less than you would if you had just used your natural instincts and made your decision with your gut earlier on in the process.

So how do you make the drawbacks of this decision fatigue disappear, you ask?

It all comes down to determining your personal threshold for your choices that you won’t fall below. Ask yourself what minimum will still feel “good enough” to you to make you happy with your end decisions, so when new opportunities arise to pick and choose, you’re aren’t as inclined to hold out for the best of the best. Because in reality, the middle-of-the-road option is usually perfectly fine and will give you what you need.

Give it a try. Buy the third book you pick up rather than the twentieth. Go with the job that fuels your passions and then negotiate the benefits that will boost your bank account. And give that Bumble date a chance. You never know how it’ll end up.

This article originally appeared on Swirled.com.

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