Are you screwing yourself by trying to be too awesome? Maximizers vs Satisficers

maximizingAs a part of the Freedom Junkie tribe, you probably suffer occasionally from FOMO.

Aka: Fear of Missing Out.


In fact, there’s a scientific term for us FOMO-ers – called “Maximizers.”

Maximizers try to milk the very best drop out of everything. They want the best flight itinerary, the absolutely most awesome choice of toothpaste, the best deal on the car they just bought (and they will price compare LONG after the option to return the car has passed)… you get the gist.

At first glance, you might be thinking: Ummm…. Maximizers are pretty f**cking awesome!

So, what’s the problem?

Maximizers suck at being happy with what they ALREADY have.

And it takes them forevs to make a decision (because they want to make sure they aren’t jumping the gun and missing the “best” decision).

While planning fun trips and scoring the-best-in-the-world cake pan, Maximizers are constantly riddled with guilt & regret over past choices.

Maybe they just took the most amazing trip EVER… but the Maximizer follows the gripping account of their latest adventure with: “But if we had only waited 2 weeks to go, the weather would have been perfect!”

How did they even know what the weather was like after they left??? They know.

Because they wonder if it could have been even better and looked that shit up.

They sought out proof.

Part of the issue these days is Maximizers are up against more options than ever.

Can people feel worse off as the options they face increase? The present studies in the social sciences suggest that Maximizers are particularly prone to this.

(BTW…Are you feeling a little uncomfortable recognizing yourself in this description? Yeah. Me too.)

So what’s the opposite of a Maximizer? A Slacker?

Au contraire! They are called Satisficers. Not “Settlers,” mind you. Satisficers.

Gretchen Rubin, a Positive Psychology researcher, states:

“Satisficers are those who make a decision or take action once their criteria are met. That doesn’t mean they’ll settle for mediocrity; their criteria can be very high; but as soon as they find the car, the hotel, or the pasta sauce that has the qualities they want, they’re satisfied.”

Satisficers don’t settle for second best. Instead, they:

1) get clear about exactly what they want and what would feel good
2) when they achieve that, they stop “wanting” and feel content

So WTF is wrong with that?


Maximizers apparently don’t have a standard other than having the best experience…in hindsight. They don’t know what will make them happy, so they just keep going for the best and better and better and mo’ bettah. They will rarely feel satisfied, because they are not clear about what they want. Or how they’ll know when they’ve arrived at a place where they have permission to feel…satisfied.

(This is why Clarity is so important in all the work I do with my clients!)

Not convinced that being a Maximizer is all that bad? Here are the things that Maximizers suffer from far more than those who are Satisficers:

•    less happiness (for realz!)
•    lower levels of optimism
•    lower self-esteem
•    decreased life satisfaction
•    more depression
•    increased perfectionism
•    higher levels of regret
•    less satisfied with consumer decisions
•    more likely to engage in – and be adversely affected by – social comparison
•    more associated with poor adaptation and self-blame
Now I don’t know about you, but after reading that list, Satisficing sounds pretty sweet.

So how can we get more clear about what we need to be Satisfied…and hence a Satisfier?

Top 5 Tips to Feel Satisfied (Finally!) (Bonus suggestion: for a year‘s worth of tips, join the Urban Wellness Club here)

1. Know what you want, what you crave, what you desire. Knowing this in detail – so detailed that you can feel it ripple up your spine – will help you manifest it, and surrender once it has arrived.

2. Ask yourself, “Is it worth X to me?” Screw what other people think something is worth. I learned this when mastering the skill of bargaining in Asia. It exhausted me…until I found that I could give myself permission to pay what I thought something was worth, instead of comparing what other awesome deal someone else got – or might get. Pay it happily if you think it’s worth it – after just the right amount of due diligence.

When you buy something, and later someone brings up it was less somewhere else or that they paid less, remind yourself, “I don’t care. It was worth what I paid to ME.” Celebrate it!

3. Remember that you can be a Satisficer in one arena but a Maximizer in others – choose wisely! This can screw us up when we are Maximizers in this like relationships but are cool being Satisficers with burritos. Strive for Satisficing in the really core areas of your life, which will encourage you to get clear about what is most important to you – where it counts.

4. Set yourself up for less Decision Overload. Have routines (routines make the decisions for you during that part of the day since its just what you do!); go to smaller shops and stores with fewer options

5. Learn to “need” less. In other words, Simplify. When I was working and traveling in Asia, I loved how I went to the corner shop and asked, “Do you have toothpaste?” and they said, “Yes!” And plopped down one tube of toothpaste onto the wooden shelf in front of me. No choices. That was the toothpaste. I was thrilled. Way easier then “tartar control” “whitening” “flouride or non-flouride” “paste or gel” “baking soda or not?”

Want more help living a life feeling ridiculously indulgent and satisfied instead of craving something you can’t even describe? I’ve got a whole YEAR’S worth of juiciness for you at the Urban Wellness Club, and general registration is open (think: inspiration to live into your desires and make them real NOW – not “some day.”) Throughout the year I help women like you crystal clear on what they want… what deeply satisfies them… and then do what it takes to get it. Learn more by clicking here…

Ahhhh…. bliss <3

If that sounds orgasmic, I assure you – it totally is.

Today, I dare you to not regret a decision you make – when you catch yourself ruminating about how you could have done it “better” or if you could have found it for $10 less somewhere else, let it go. Share with me below what you did!


Ready to dive deeper into this? Check out Freedom School and see what everyone’s obsessed about. It’s not just group coaching. It’s a mindset revolution that you won’t want to miss.