Indecision, that uncanny ability we all share of not being able to decide. I suppose it wouldn’t be farfetched to say we’ve all experience it at one point or another. There are so many facets in our lives that could lend itself to moments of indecision; some of these moments may be just a secondary thought for some, but for many others, that secondary thought can lead to one, two, three and maybe more thoughts. The consequence of not being able to make up our mind can be daunting, because our inability to decide, or delay the decisions or choices we need to make, eventually leads to regret for not making a choice to begin with. It’s a very harrowing feeling to realize your impediment could be the sole reason your intentions are unmet.
The Cause of Indecision
As humans, we are prone to this distinction of not being able to decide. It can affect us negatively as well as touch every facet of our lives. Some conclude, indecision is a sign of depression. I’m not a psychologist, so I won’t question that conclusion. I will, however, say this: I believe indecision directly results from a lack of confidence, a quality needed for being decisive.
This post isn’t about self-confidence – if you want to delve further into the effects of poor self- confidence, you can read more about it on this very site. However, here is yet another negative characteristic associated with this debilitating trait of lacking confidence. The question remains, do you recognize it? Do you see how an inability to decide can relate to how you feel and what you feel? In what you do or don’t do?
There are other catalysts for being indecisive – these impetuses or attributes include your emotional state, your surroundings, even the company you keep. In reality, there are so many attributes that can affect taking a stand and stand by that stance.
The Effect of Indecision
The most apparent effect of indecision is regret. The act of not deciding invariably leads to feeling as if you should have chosen, or why didn’t you choose? Most undecideds don’t think about the effect of not choosing. It’s after the fact that the realization hits.
When you live in a world of indecision, you linger between the possibility of what is and what could be. That lingering produces anxiety, fear of failure, and procrastination. Three really powerful effects that will paralyze you.
At some point, you look for a savior, or for someone, or something to take away the burden of indecision. The unfortunate fact, however, is there is no one to take away the burden of indecisiveness.
There are no positive effects of indecision, there is only dead-weight. Imagine a stone pulling you under water. Dislodging the stone seems impossible because you have to hold your breath while struggling to remove the stone. In order to succeed at removing the stone, you have to be focused and intent on not drowning while removing the obstruction.
Ending moments of indecision may seem impossible. The good news is it’s not. It’s conceivable that you can make critical decisions and stand by them with no regrets. It’s also possible to remove the negative emotional stress associated with being indecisive.
The Solution For Indecision
There is a secret to overcoming indecision, and it’s not what you think. Here is the secret: Realizing there are no wrong or right decisions. Once you realize this, making a choice is much easier. Decisions are not based on a wrong or right choices, it’s based on the information you have in front of you.
When making a decision, most of us don’t realize there are only two likely outcomes. The first is its based on the facts presented. The second outcome is the decision is based on vague or incomplete information. Either way, again, it’s not about being wrong or right. It’s about being properly informed.
For every instance, no matter how small or large your decision may be; no matter what the decision is about, the solution for making critical decisive decisions is dealing with the psychological impact of the choice by realizing it’s not wrong or right but a choice. Let me say it again! It’s just a choice.
Questions And Values
When deciding, ask yourself three pertinent questions:
- Do you have all the facts?
- Will my choice align with my values?
- What are the alternatives?
Knowing the facts regarding a decision is perhaps the core of deciding. Without the facts, your decision will be ambiguous.
An alignment of your values to the choice or decision you must make means you are less likely to have regrets, or to second-guess yourself.
Knowing the alternative is to be informed. If there are no wrong or right decisions, then a decision will undeniably be based on your level of knowledge.
Now that we clearly understand what deciding or choosing really involves. Here is another key factor to consider. Indecision requires action. Ask yourself, is the consequence of inaction worth the emotional turmoil you subject yourself to by not acting?
Action And Decisiveness
What’s stopping you from taking action? In order to reduce or eradicate indecisiveness, another important step to take after understanding the key concepts of a decision is taking action. We all know how difficult it is to act. It’s especially so when there are roadblocks standing in the way.
At some point, address the obstacles and do what you must advance forward. Some of these obstacles could be:
- Lacking confidence in yourself and your ability
- Fear of failure
- Not trusting your instincts
- Getting entangled with paralysis of analysis – a state of over-analyzing and over-thinking
- Not addressing underlying issues such as blame and or a need to punish yourself
The secret to dealing with indecision is to realize your decisions are never wrong or right. And, the best way to decide is to make an informed decision by addressing the key questions mentioned above.
Success is something we all strive to achieve. In reality, success is a decision – it’s how success begins.
What do you do next, after such an important decision? You ask yourself how (gather facts); you decide what it will take (values); and finally, you decide on the opportunities that will produce the success you desire (alternatives).
To decide that you will achieve success is not different from making other decisions in your life. It is worth mentioning again that you simply need to take action by starting with the key pointed needed to decide and by addressing the obstacles standing in the way.
Be informed, address your obstacles, take action, decide. These are the concrete steps to take to combat any and every moment of indecisiveness.