To stop being picky with everything, realize that life is short, and that your time is limited. Realize being too picky is a risk in the long term, and learn to see value in everything and everyone around you.

If you’re reading this page, you’re probably realized that there is such a thing as being too picky about everything, and that it’s the sort of attitude that doesn’t lead anywhere.

If you or someone you know struggles with this, no worries — it’s easy to reframe your mindset and change the way you see things.

I used to be very picky with everything. I’ve met quite a few people who used to be picky with everything (and be proud of it).

But then you realize being picky doesn’t really work, so you learn to change your attitude, and you stop being so strict and having standards that are so high.

Being picky or settling?

You don’t have to be picky about everything. Nor do you have to settle for less than you deserve. The key is to find a healthy balance. 

There is a fine line between being selective and being too picky; there is a fine line between settling and wasting time.

Your goal is to make the most of every day, of every situation. As the quote says: do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

This applies to your career, your relationships, everything. You want to see everything around you as an opportunity.

If you are picky with everything, you miss too many opportunities. If you do the opposite, you waste your time and/or energy.

But like I said, you can’t label things as good or bad. It’s not all black and white. If you tend to be picky with everything, you may have fallen into the trap of thinking that too few things are “worth it”.

Why you may be picky with everything

If you are always picky with everything in your life, it may be because you suffer from perfectionism; because you are not open to change; or because of limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do.

The root causes of being too picky are endless, but these three seem to be the most common.

Let’s start with perfectionism. As I mentioned in this article, perfectionism is a bit like a bully that tries to control you. If you are a victim of perfectionism, you act as if someone forced you to do things a certain way.

Perfectionism is a state of tension; it cannot exist in a state of deep relaxation, in a natural state. That’s why we call it a mental issue.

The first possible cause behind being picky with everything is perfectionism, which is usually driven by low self-worth (the belief that you are not worthy of X unless you are X).

The second possible cause is if you’re not open to change. Human beings don’t really like to change — we perceive the act of changing as a threat.

So subconsciously we always stick to what we already know, what we have already seen. This is why companies invest ridiculous amounts of money in ads.

Anyway. If you tend to be too picky with everything, the root cause of that may be the inability to explore anything that’s outside your comfort zone, anything that is not familiar.

What you think is “just right” may simply be the only thing that you are familiar with, that you are comfortable doing, that doesn’t require change.

Lastly, notice if there are any limiting beliefs associated with your tendency to be picky.

For example: do you mistakenly believe that people “of your caliber” should not do certain things? Do you believe settling is a sign of weakness? Do you see compromise as failure?

And so on. If you have any of these limiting beliefs, they are going to prevent you from living life spontaneously. Pay attention to your inner dialogue and challenge your beliefs about yourself.

How to stop being picky with everything

1. See value in everything

What if everything had pros and cons? What if there was value in everything and everyone around you?

I don’t want you to interpret this literally, because sometimes there is absolutely no value in doing certain things.

But the first tip to stop being so picky about everything is to realize that the world isn’t made of “good” and “bad” things, but rather better and worse things

Not only that, the “bad” probably has a good side, too. If you automatically reject things or people that aren’t perfect, you never get to see that beautiful side. You only see part of the truth.

If you have the mindset where (almost) every person you meet, every experience you go through, everything you do has value, then you no longer need to be too selective.

2. Realize life is too short

Time is your most precious asset. Deep inside we all know, yet somehow we like to think that time is this infinite resource we can afford to waste.

So here’s the thing: you don’t have time to be picky with everything in life. You think you do… but it’s a mistake. A very costly one.

Ideally, we would all have time to carefully pick the absolute best, most authentic, right things. The perfect relationships, friends, job, etc.

I hate to break it to you, but that’s not really an option — we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in an imperfect world, and unless you embrace that imperfection, you won’t really live.

Life is short. Time is limited. Don’t waste your time on things not meant for you… but don’t be too picky either. Being too picky can mean doing nothing; doing nothing means regret.

3. Lower your expectations

We’re always told to have higher standards, to shoot for the stars, to become the best version of ourselves. Which, in most cases and for most people, is sensible advice.

However, if you’re the type that is picky with everything and everyone, that struggles to settle for anything that’s not perfect — it may be the worst advice ever.

There is something deeply liberating about lowering your expectations. And after all, your expectations may be too high. They probably are too high, if you’re reading this.

Turn “so-so” into “good enough”. Things that are “alright” may be pretty good. Give it a go. Relax, and lower your expectations.

4. Allow yourself to settle

Knowingly or unknowingly, you may have formed an identity that says: I cannot settle for this or that. 

That’a a limiting belief — or a limiting identity. So the fourth tip to stop being so picky is to allow yourself to become the type of person that isn’t afraid to say yes.

It’s not easy. But really, all it takes is your decision to say yes. Practice saying yes as often as possible.

Also, practice picking anything when you are given a choice. Allow yourself to be the person who doesn’t need to control everything, who isn’t limited to only certain things.

5. Know being picky is a risk

Lastly, know that being picky with everything usually leads to sacrifice. The kind of sacrifice that is detrimental to your physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing.

Being picky is a huge risk. Your time is at stake. Your time is your life. So… your whole life is at stake here.

Not being selective enough is a risk. But guess what — being too picky with everything is an even greater risk.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.

Mark Twain