Are you familiar with the term “opportunity cost”? Opportunity cost is defined as the loss of potential gain from all other alternatives when one alternative is chosen. Essentially, it’s the reality that we can’t have it all.
If you’re feeling particularly indecisive about something, it can often be related to opportunity cost. The sheer realization that we must want something more than another thing makes it difficult to activate on a decision.
Here are a few common and relatable examples identifying opportunity cost:
- A consistently under-performing employee meets the minimum requirements but isn’t doing much in the way of moving the team forward. Firing her would mean more work for everyone in the short term and needing to hire a replacement, but keeping her means continued underwhelming results.
- Choosing what you eat for lunch. (I wish I were kidding!) Studies have shown that menus can be difficult for us to navigate on work day lunch outings. We need a break from all the morning’s meetings and decisions. You face the choice to get work done over the noon hour and be with friends, but you sometimes need the simplicity of a packed lunch and time alone with your thoughts.
- Your kids don’t yet sleep through the night. The only time you have to exercise during this season of life is at 5am. You could sacrifice the extra hour or sleep and get into shape or identify sleep as a greater priority than muscle gain at this time, but you can’t have both.
- There’s a strong desire in you to start a business, but that would mean using savings to make up front investments: Will you choose to keep a higher savings account balance or risk it to fulfill a dream?
SUFFERING FROM INDECISION
In order to intentionally pursue an opportunity, we must intentionally give up something on which we’ve been focusing. It’ll cost you something to make a decision. But failing to tackle indecision could cost you a lot more.
Symptoms of indecision:
- Sleepless nights
- Lack of enjoyment in the moment because you aren’t sure you’re doing what you should with your life
- Fear of missing out
- Frustration with the current circumstances
Can you relate to any of these symptoms of indecision?Carve some time out to identify the opportunity costs related to the decision that's agonizing you.Click To Tweet
Carve some time out to identify the opportunity costs related to the decision that’s agonizing you, then commit to paying the price.
Why will that work, exactly?
Once you commit, you make the intentional decision as to what you believe is best to do. You now have a “why” to return to when doubt creeps in. This stops the experience of mental torment caused by competing thoughts in your mind.
Enjoy the mental and emotional freedom that identifying opportunity cost can provide you, friend!