Most of us have faced difficulty in making important decisions at some point in time. However, if you find yourself frequently struggling with decisions, even for everyday questions such as what to eat, what to wear, where to go or how to spend your time, you may be indecisive.
People that are indecisive feel anxious and take a long time to make decisions. They are likely to avoid or delay making the decision, and tend to regret or go back on their decisions often.
What makes you indecisive?
This fear can arise if you have often been corrected for your decisions, and it can make you doubt your choices. This could also be related to your desire to want to make the perfect decision, either to avoid shame or to ensure that nothing goes wrong for you. You might find it difficult to make decisions because you fear the consequences of a wrong one.`
You could be indecisive because you strive to please other people around you, and hold their opinions higher than your own. You might also fear hurting or alienating other people as a consequence of your decision.
What can you do?
Some ways to make decision making easier for you are discussed below:
- Put things in perspective
Remind yourself that even if it will matter, you can find a way to make things better. Ask yourself how much the decision will matter a few days or years down the line. Sometimes you might put a lot of weight on the impact some decisions will have, and take them more seriously than required.
- Prioritize your needs
Taking into consideration your own preferences can ensure that the decisions you make are right for you, and help you understand that it may not always be possible to make everyone happy. If your indecision arises from blurred boundaries or conflicting roles, or your need to please or impress others, prioritise your needs to help you make the decision.
- Set a time limit
Giving yourself a specific amount of time to decide what to have for lunch or what to buy, can help you practice making faster decisions. It can also help you limit the amount of time you research, make lists or think about bigger decisions. Over-analyzing minor outcomes can prevent you from making a decision at all. Practise making quick decisions by starting with small ones in your daily routine.
- Trust yourself
Ask yourself which outcome you feel more positively about and try to factor this in your analysis while making the final decision. Your instincts often involve knowledge that you may not be fully aware of while focusing on the logical components of your decision. Along with logically evaluating the consequences of your decision, also pay attention to the physical sensations and reactions you are experiencing.
- Prepare for what you can control, and let go of what you can’t
To deal with a fear of making the wrong decision, try to imagine the worst that can happen, how likely it is, and thinks of all possible solutions. However, also remember that it is not always possible to predict everything that can go wrong, and be willing to let go of what isn’t within your control. This can help you feel more prepared to deal with the consequences.
- Make a list
If you are unable to make an important decision because of the multitude of options, make a list of them. This can help you evaluate the situation objectively, as well as understand the best way to achieve it.
Against every option, write down the pros and cons of making that decision, and rate each option on a scale of one to ten.
- Accept your decision and learn from it
Once you have made a decision, examine the results, make adjustments and take corrective measures. Try to understand what might have happened and accept the consequences. Rather than feeling guilty and regretting a decision that leads to unpleasant outcomes, learn from it and think about what you can do differently the next time a similar situation arises.
– Tanvi Shah (BA in Psychology, Asst Counselor at Pursuit Career Managers)