5 Ways to Rid Yourself of Indecision and Become More Decisive
Updated: Aug 26, 2019
We all have that one friend or know that one person who makes an Olympic sport out of making a decision. Actual Herculean effort stemming largely from overthinking and partially fear. In some cases it’s amusing but not always. If you don’t know anyone like that..well...chances are it’s you.
Indecision has different levels. There’s the “coffee or tea”, “this outfit or that outfit level”, there’s the “should I vote for this person or the other stage” and then there’s the “should I marry this person?” or the “should I switch jobs” level.
The reason for indecision can be found in the human desire for control, perfection, and security. Many of us would love to know the outcome of our decisions before we make them. In the mind of the perfectionist, the constant need to tweak, adjust and do “just a little more research” before they make a decision is at the very forefront. The will not be accepting consequences that aren’t favorable when another month on the matter could lead to a different decision.
In the workplace, indecision does not inspire confidence and in your personal life, it consumes a lot of time and slows you down. So how do you get over yourself and stop standing in your own way? How do you just step out and make a decision already?
Do proper research
The emphasis in this advice is on the word proper. Everybody with a laptop and internet out there is a self-proclaimed Guru and a “source of information”. This really should not be the case. When you understand that a substantial portion of those who are not indecisive suffer from making emotional decisions, you’ll understand why “Lorax_darthvader_costcoKing”
is not as great a source of information in comparison to the Fair Trade Commission, the Supreme Court or the official website for the actual agency established to govern a particular issue. Sure, your source will vary depending on the decision but check your source. Do not be led astray by the bias of someone with equal responsibility in his or her own failure (but too big a chip on their shoulder to admit it).
Make a list
There is nothing magical about decision making but a good list is as close to a crystal ball as we’re going to get. Before making a decision, it is important to do a pros and cons list. Write out all that you know about both options (or however many options you have). Once you’ve done your list, identify the benefit of one decision versus another. Analyze the weight of the Cons (not the amount). There are times when a decision with just one con is the wrong decision.
Think of the big picture
Very few decisions are irreversible. When you consider the full length of life, it becomes easier to see the bigger picture. Yes, there are decisions that alter the future, most of them do, but for some decisions, it’s a matter of identifying the ways that it did not work, learn from it, and make a different decision. If all goes well and as planned, you’ll be around for quite some time. That’s a lot of time to undo decisions and take an alternative path.
If this is a decision that will likely affect others, it is always good to get feedback from these people. Sometimes, in an attempt to not appear weak or to stir up panic we bear decisions on our own. This is not always necessary. Learn when to reach out to those around you and pull from them. Sometimes, that will be your best source of research.
Just do it!
Not to quote Nike or anything here, sometimes the wrong decision is no decision. What we don’t realize is that with just about every single decision we make, there are going to be things we’re happy about and things we regret. Making one decision over another will lead to the same results: joy and regret. That almost feels like a sad joke but it is true. If it weren’t, there wouldn’t be a need for the saying, “the grass isn't always greener on the other side.”
Making a decision makes you more capable of making decisions. It’s like doing a push-up. It’s not always fun, it’s sometimes painful and you hardly ever want to do it, but once you do it a few times you become better at doing it. You become stronger, more confident and soon your workout becomes your warm-up.
If you spend your entire life “about to” take a step, you’ll be spending that life hopping on just one foot. I know sometimes it might seem like you have too many options or choices in front of you, but if you want to become more decisive you have to decide to become that person today.
"Indecision, doubt and fear. The members of this unholy trio are closely related; where one is found, the other two are close at hand."- Napoleon Hill