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  • Writer's pictureJules

Are you exhausted from all the unmade decisions?

shark sighting sign and lady at the beach
Fancy dipping your toe in the water? //// Photo by Lubo Minar on Unsplash

One of the great things about being creative is your vision. You have the amazing superpower of being able to see many outcomes, multiple options and abundant choices. How exciting that you don't know where it will go or how it will end? There's a certain amount of reassurance that comes from knowing if this doesn't work out, not all is lost, and there are many other paths to tread.

However, as with every superpower, there is always an Achilles' Heel. And that, my dear friend, is overwhelm. When there are so many options, you can end up bewildered, stuck and not knowing which one to go for.

Is it better to go for flat rate shipping, no shipping or based on weight? Which website to choose? What artistic style to go for? How often do I post to social media? Am I even in the right creative profession? Do I push through The Gap? Aarrrgh.... (And even worse, all these options have made me sound like a pirate!)

It's these early days when you're trying to figure it all out that it can feel daunting. Psychologists know that if you give people more than 4 options to choose from, they can end up choosing nothing at all.

If you're finding that your overwhelming amount of options is stopping you in your tracks and meaning you don't make any decision at all, never fear!

The answer is... pick one.

What?? That's not a decent answer! What if I pick the wrong one??

It doesn't matter if it's not the best option at the moment, nothing is set in stone and you can always change it later if it's not working for you or you get more reliable information. Not making a choice is still, I'm reliably informed, a choice.

Perfectionism can rear its ugly head; if only I could just look at even more options, the path might somehow become clear... But unfortunately this is like adding more ketchup so you can taste the burger better. It might be tempting to try and make everything as mapped-out, deliberated and perfect as possible at this early stage, but beware.

If you start to feel that you're slowing down, losing momentum, or worse still, that you've stopped altogether, you need to reduce the number of choices you have.

Just pick one.

It won't kill you (unless you're choosing which wire to cut to diffuse a bomb, in which case, I'd consult a professional). And if it doesn't work out, at least you'll have more information than before in order to make a better decision next time (bomb scenario excepted).

Further Reading


You may have heard Andy J Pizza on the Creative Pep Talk podcast talk about this: for every strength there is an equal an opposite weakness. (Instead of Newton's Third Law of Motion, it's the Creative Law of Emotion).


The Art Juice podcast talks about overwhelm, usually when you're trying to transition from one area or one way of doing things to an entirely different way or process.


Just ship it - Seth Godin

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