What is it about being indecisive? It seems to just happen at some point, and then, before we know it, it’s our way of life. We’re living in a state of same old, same old, and believing that it’s just fine. There we are, just minding our own business, living our lives, then all of the sudden-boom! We are faced with an opportunity or someone asks us to do something a little bit outside of our norm and we have to face the fact that we have cement shoes and they actually seem to fit pretty well. What happened to our free flowing thoughts, ideas, and easy decision making? How is it that our life is living us, we are not living IT?
Being comfortable is comfortable… so who could blame you?
No one likes being uncomfortable. Unfortunately, that avoidance is exactly what creates indecision and stuckness in our lives. As humans, we’re actually wired for resilience and the ability to adapt to challenges, so it’s our nature to do exactly that. But since so many of us choose to stay in our comfort zone for fear of any type of change, we never allow that part of our human spirit to engage. If we only believed that we would be able to figure it out once we pushed ourselves to take that chance on something new or make that decision we have been putting off, we would do it more often. Settling in and accepting the idea of being uncomfortable is a great first step in finally making a hard decision. Knowing that going in, those feelings of discomfort won’t stop you from moving forward.
Create new patterns with small things
Everything you change, changes. Our lives are much like moving chess pieces-each move impacts the next. Decision making is sometimes hampered because what we’re considering is seemingly insurmountable, or has too many moving parts attached. Small bite size changes, done over time, get you in the habit and give you the confidence to keep making more. Why? Because the changes were manageable, which made them successful, in turn giving you confidence. Confidence in yourself and being able to succeed in the midst of change begins to strengthen that decision making muscle. Starting small helps make that real.
Forgive yourself for that one paralyzing bad decision
Maybe it was just one, or maybe a series of bad decisions during a “dark time” in your life. Either way, they happened and they can’t un-happen. You’ve got to find a way to get past that garbage thinking that has led to not trusting yourself. You’ve likely made a lot of changes, or maybe you’re not even that person anymore. It happens. No one among us is without a bad decision or two in our lives, so just forgive yourself already.
Is it a heart thing or a head thing?
Maybe you’ve always made decisions by following your heart and that has gotten you into some trouble. Or maybe you should have consulted your heart a little bit more because your brainy decision ended up hurting someone. Knowing yourself and the type of person you are will help you make decisions that are actually aligned with your personal values. If you value connection with people, but you make a decision purely based on data, that may not end up feeling great.
Think of this like having your own personal set of core values to follow. Once you know what matters to you, decision making becomes easier because you now have a framework that aligns with who you are. When that happens, things work out better, and even if they don’t, it won’t be because it was a bad decision, it was just not the right one. Big difference. We can easily be wrong, and that shouldn’t be paralyzing-it’s normal life. Know yourself and start the process of making decisions aligned with who you are. That’s where good decisions are born.
Maybe no decision is the right decision
Don’t rule this out. Many times we put so much pressure on ourselves because for some reason, we are forcing a decision to be made. First ask yourself, “is this a decision that has to be made now?”. You need to give yourself every advantage when making decisions, and one of the most important ones is having a clear head. If it’s not a good time to decide about moving to another city because you just had twins and you’re trying to adapt to that, then for goodness sake, wait a minute. Not everything has to be done right now. Putting it in context and making a decision at another time doesn’t make you indecisive, it makes you a smart decision maker. Once you’re in a good headspace, you can reevaluate. You may learn that it isn’t time to put that on the list just yet, and that’s just fine.
Self confidence, being in a rut, and carrying guilt around hugely impact our ease of decision making. The good news is, it’s fixable. There may be a need to realign your values, get some professional help to heal your past, or maybe just hire a life coach to get back to your confident self again. Whatever it is that brings out that insecurity at decision time or when thinking about making a change, it can be worked out. Once you get that happy, confident place and let go of past issues, your life will begin to open up.
So no more looking back-you can’t start something new any sooner than today. Now go decide.