The Agony of Feeling Indecisive
Indecisive. The inability – or the temporary paralysis – to decide when presented with more than one choice.
Have you ever felt indecisive?
It Is Agonizing!
It is like an itch that you cannot scratch, one that keeps you from doing anything else until you make your decision and move on.
You may need to decide which major to pick for your university, whether to stay in your job or quit to build your business, and if it’s a good idea to marry your boyfriend or wait longer to get to know him. And a billion other decisions that on the surface seem easy enough but for an indecisive mind, they are pure agony.
And it’s not like you haven’t done your due diliegence.
You have done all the hard work and research to arrive at a smart, informed, educated decision. You have weighed your options, done the pros and cons exercise, and even tackled the “worst case scenarios”.
So then you sit down for the umpteenth time to finally decide.You talk to yourself rationally about your ‘best option’ and how it makes the ‘most sense’, and you tell yourself that it is definitely, without a doubt, absolutely and positively your ‘final decision’. Period.
Except you pause again. You second guess one thing and the next and the whole thing falls apart again. You lose all faith in making the “right” decision for yourself.
The indecisive feeling returns and it has brought along a new friend, depression. Not only are you back to square one, you are also feeling depressed that you have wasted all that time without making any progress.
Fear of Deciding “Wrong” Is A Myth
Why is it that sometimes you just can’t make decisions?
One reason is that making a decision feels so final, so permanent and so irreversible that you keep dragging your feet.
Your greatest worry is this: What if you decide wrong?
What if you choose the wrong path, pick the wrong partner, or choose the wrong job? If every decision dictates the subsequent events that follow in life, would you not then be “ruining” the chances of success and happiness by choosing wrong?
Such is the insanity of the human mind. In fact, this worry is so enormous that you never even consider the remote possibility of deciding incredibly right!
Or yet another remote possibility that there may not even be a right or wrong to choose from, only an experience to live through.
Your mind tells you to fear the wrong outcome and so you absolve yourself of the responsibility of making a decision, because, you explain to yourself logically, if you don’t decide, how can you decide wrong?
Well, it turns out that you can decide wrong because indecision is still a decision and it’s the worst decision. The worst outcome of all is not deciding “wrong”. It is not deciding at all. With indecision, you give up the power to decide and you essentially hand that power to others to decide for YOU.
There are no wrong decisions if you make the best decision at the time with all the resources and information at your disposal. If you choose to await further instructions, that’s fine but decide when the time feels right without worry or procrastination.
There are no mistakes. If you choose the “wrong” major, you learn from it. If you pick the “wrong” partner, you also learn from it. And if you even choose the “wrong” job or career, God knows you will so learn from that too.
Deciding wrong, making mistakes and failing at your relationships or your career can be the best thing that happened to you. But not deciding at all, not living with intention, not charting your own course with your own values and desires, or staying locked up in a careful state of doing very little so as to be safe, those are the recipes for regret and depression.
I only see TWO outcomes here with only ONE truth:
The TWO Outcomes: Either (1) you make the decision or (2) someone else makes the decision on your behalf.
The ONE truth: Only you know what’s best for you. Anyone else that decides for you is only making a wild uneducated guesses on your behalf.
One Question to Ask Yourself When Feeling Indecisive
I know how it feels to be indecisive, and how to wish that someone would make that decision for you so you don’t have to do it. I know because whenever that happened to me, I would go ahead and let others decide for me. I let the opinion of friends impact my decisions and my path, and sometimes, I just sat there not deciding until the windows of opportunity closed shut and the choices vanished before I acted on them.
And that is how I know that deciding is far better than not deciding at all.
There is a simple singular question to ask yourself when you feel indecisive:
What’s better: a life of mistakes or a life of procrastination?
Think long and hard about this one. Think about what it means to decide and move on with your own story or to sit there, biding your time, dragging your feet only to wake up to closed doors and lost chances.
And know this, you cannot blame anyone else for your indecision. It is in your own powers to change that now.
When I help my clients make difficult decisions in their careers and lives, I am careful never to tell them what to do, even if they wish I did but instead to give them the tools and systems and help they need to make the best decision on their own. That’s true empowerment.
And that’s what I want to give you now: empowerment. You are in charge of your own life. The reason you are afraid of making a decision rarely has to do with the decision itself, so look deeper. Maybe you are just waiting for approval on your decision? Maybe you need validation? Maybe a part of you needs a guarantee that it will all work out?
Well, stop waiting for those things, sweet heart!. Life does not come with guarantees, validation is the last thing that can help you and seeking the approval of others will lead you to disappointment.
Mistakes Or Procrastination? Take Your Pick!
With mistakes, you learn, you grow, you adapt, you toughen up, you gain experience and wisdom, you mature and you become a better person.
And this is only if you make the wrong decision, which is all relative.
In the grand scheme of life, making your own decisions is exercising one of your greatest human rights. Why would you ever give it up so that others make decisions for you?
With procrastination, you lose opportunity, you miss out on life, you regret, you worry, you second-guess, you depend on others, you give up your powers and become a lesser version of yourself.
Choose mistakes over procrastination. Every Single Time.
Arriving at Decisions
Do your homework, your research, and your due diligence. Seek the expert opinion of everyone you respect. But in the end, make your decision on your own, with an open heart and a brave heart and trust yourself to do it right. Let it go and stop obsessing over it after it’s done!
Trust yourself that whatever reality presents beyond your decision is going to be the best thing that happens. And you have the power to change course again if need be, but the course you have now chosen is the perfect choice with the information and conditions present to you.
Over to you. Tell me in the comments below if this perspective helps you make the decisions that paralyze you and what has worked better for you? And if you want to tap into your inner confidence to tackle every decision with self-confidence, grab your 21-Step Confidence Building Series free below: