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This post starts my series on Decision Anxiety. Today, I want to explore a phenomenon I am seeing more and more- marketing decision anxiety.

I started experiencing this, personally. I would explore all the different vehicles that I can deliver my marketing engines, and I would feel overwhelmed. I felt scared that I would spend my budget in the wrong places.

I shared this anxiety with some of my colleagues, and realized this is a wide spread phenomenon! A graphic designer told me that she had spent the last 3 months trying to decide the size, cut, and paper type of her business cards- there was just so many options.

I paused, and reflected. What was stopping me, and so many others from moving forward with these simple decisions? This was a big, ugly, monstrous fear of failure! We don’t want to look bad, or be criticized, or waste our money! For some, they fear succeeding and then loosing that success later on so they keep waiting to make the decisions for success while they “learn more” or “gain more experience”. These are not measurable goals. While driving with no destination to focus on, you can never get to where you want to go- because you don’t even know!

After thinking on this problem, I sought help. How do I stop worrying, and just do this? My mentor laughed. He reminded me of all the other areas of my life that I am unafraid of failure, loss and rejection. He reminded me of some of my wild antics, especially in 2013.

I thought through some of the great risks that I have taken. Why could I go through those decisions smoothly, but I am stuck with these simple tasks?

Here is how I have overcame decision anxiety:

1. Focus on the possibility of success. Usually gaining the success far outweighs the consequences of failure.

2. Take baby steps toward a very big, bold goal. Do you know how to eat an elephant? A bite at a time.

3. Reward yourself for progress, not results. You cannot control how people will react, but you can motivate yourself to try.

Don’t let the too many choices keep you from making any choice at all. It is more than ok to make mistakes.

Mistakes are brilliant opportunities for learning.