Anxious decisions bad for innovation, lasting creativity

Reading a blog post on anxiety and decision making may seem like an unlikely place to find a lesson on innovation, but that's exactly what I encountered reading "Fretting Over Decisions," an older article posted at Psychology Today. Money section:

When you believe that any decision must be the RIGHT one, then even small decisions can paralyze you.

Reasoning can take the form of all-or-nothing thinking—often called 'dichotomous thinking' when you're anxious. It's about fight or flight, right or wrong, and good or bad. Nuance goes out the door. That's why you end up making poor decisions when you sweat about it.

You can practice confident decision-making by remembering a simple dictum over and over: You cannot have certainty and you don't need it. By accepting that no certainty exists and that you don't need it, you'll instead harness intuition and, by extension, confidence (emphasis supplied).

Here's the innovation lesson I learned: The link between axiety and the need for certainty can be broken if I'm willing to make little bets.


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