Are you pushing yourself to “just make the dang decision?” It could be about a new job, a new project, a new city, a new car. You want to get to the action part, but haven’t been able to make the decision. Here are five reasons why you may be hesitating:
1. There is not enough information to make the decision. Do you want to move forward, but just can’t? Often, we are just not ready because a critical piece of information isn’t yet available. This is NOT the same as procrastination, although that is what it can feel like. Often when creating something, when we are laying on the couch binge watching Billions or planting our garden, we are actually processing information needed to get to the next step. I have learned to trust this limbo. Now, if you re-watch all back episodes…then that is true procrastination.
2. Someone whose opinion you respect has spread their Contagion of Doubt. What also often happens is that we feel doubt and project this onto others. Whether it is a briefly raised eyebrow or a spoken aloud question, the contagion of doubt can infect us all. Now, when I have doubt, I pay it some respect, but it doesn’t get the last word in. I treat it now as a symbol of something that is scary, and then start vetting it to decide if it is doubt getting in my way, or if there is truly something more to be considered before moving forward.
3. Lack of Resources. This may be time, money, or energy, and the lack may be real or perceived. This is difficult for everyone, and especially for those in jobs or raising kids – it can be hard to find any of the above resources necessary to create or build something in your life. Greg McKeown talks about the reality of tradeoffs, and once we get both clear and comfortable about pursuing what is important to us, we often can find the resource we are missing, or a suitable workaround. If it’s writing – even 10 minutes a day counts, and if that means I have to go to bed early so I can write in the morning, that’s the tradeoff I’m willing to make.
4. When you are on the fence, you can see in both directions. Once you jump off and commit to a choice, you eliminate the possibility of choosing something else. This can be extremely difficult to overcome, but dropping in to the flow of a great idea has its own rewards, if we can sustain the grit necessary to finish.
5. Once we make the choice, our fear of failure (or success!) can make it difficult to see it all the way through. That voice of negative bias is so very loud, and all the excuses listed above make their continued presence known. When embarking on an endeavor, it is beneficial to ask: “What is the worst thing that can happen?” “The best?” What is my intent? What will I do if this experiment fails? Even scarier: “What will I do if this is wildly successful?” No matter what the outcome, hopefully the answer to that is: “I will learn, and then try again.” Everything is iterative – this IS how we learn.
Resource: Book: Essentialism by Greg McKeown