Some people find even the smallest decisions stressful and overwhelming. These feelings carry over to the bigger decisions in our lives and, for many indecisive people, putting them off endlessly is the option.
The good news is that indecision is not an innate trait and is reversible for known causes. Understanding the causes is the first key step to overcoming them so, here are the seven principal causes of indecision.
Insecurity leads to overthinking and hesitation because you lack faith in your own intelligence and intuition. Even when you know what you have to do, you keep second-guessing against yourself and delaying the decision indefinitely.
The solution lies in confidence-building exercises or even taking an online course in developing self- confidence.
2. Losing sight of the bigger goals
Most of our important decisions play a role in shaping our short-term or long-term future. When we lose sight of our bigger goal (or sometimes, don’t even have a lifetime goal), decision-making can be tough because we have no context within which to make them.
But when you have a bigger goal, it’s easier to make decisions that alight and move you forward towards achieving it.
The solution is to sit down and reflect on your short-term, long-term and life goals and keep them top of mind when you come to make decisions.
3. Being a perfectionist
A perfectionist is someone who finds decision-making a real challenge. They will go over every detail, scenario and outcome…. over and over and over because nothing can be less than perfect.
Obsessing over the “perfect decision” can be a very debilitating habit. The only way around it is to practice making simple decisions such as what to wear, what to order for lunch or what colour shirt to buy quickly and simply accepting the outcome. Then you can build up to bigger decisions and hopefully, you will train yourself to make them more quickly.
Sometimes, you know what you want, but your decision goes against what others may want or expect, such as family or society. You feel guilty for letting them down.
This is another major cause of indecision because you hesitate, wondering if it’s worth it.
In some decisions, having the courage of your convictions is essential, especially if the decision is going to impact your life the most. Simply decide what you think is best for you, weigh the outcomes and have faith in yourself,
5. Conflict with personal values and beliefs
Sometimes going with a certain decision means selling out on yourself because it conflicts with your personal ethics, morals, or religious beliefs. You may spend hours agonising over these types of decisions when all you need to do is ask yourself one question: Can I live with myself if I decide to do this? A simple yes/no answer will help you decide.
6. Fear of the unknown
Any decision, no matter how well studied and thought out, still has an element of the unknown. This is one of the biggest reasons behind indecision.
The simple solution is to embrace the mindset of successful entrepreneurs. They have learned to embrace the unknown and see it as an exciting challenge.
Simply do the best with what you have, decide and whatever the outcome is, know that you have done your best.
7. Fear of failure
This one is even bigger than fear of the unknown and can be one of the major causes that makes people decide that “the best decision is no decision at all” because the stigma of failure is impossible to contemplate.
This problem is related to self-confidence and wisdom. A wise person knows that failure is a part of life. A confident person knows that when you fail, you pick yourself up, keep going, and know that you have tried your best.
Have you noticed the common denominator between these causes of indecision? They’re all in the mind! Effective decision-making is directly related to your mindset and your perception of making choices.
Developing a different mindset is fairly easy if you practice often and regularly. So, the next time you approach a decision, notice whether you are tackling it through the lens of the 7 issues discussed here. Acknowledge what you are doing. Make the intention to change your perspective and think differently about the decision. If you do this often enough, indecision will become a thing of the past.
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