How to Decide Rather Than Worry Over Choices

Jerry Kennard Health Pro
  • Indecision, as I highlighted in a previous post, is a characteristic of the worrier. Indecision occurs in the face of uncertainty, even more so when the goal is always to be right, or put another way, to avoid being wrong. For some people a lack of certainty or predictability in life can result in virtual paralysis. Decisions become things to be feared and passed to others. Life becomes ever more risky and challenging. How can we turn such a situation around?

    When we make a decision it is based on an assumption that it is a way of achieving a goal. It may not be the quickest, most efficient or most effective path, just so long as it gets us to where we want to be. I can't remember where I picked up the phrase “if in doubt, turn left” but I seem to use it regularly. It's about making a decision when reaching a crossroads without signposts. It's also just a saying of course but the gist is rather than stand still wracked with indecision, or turning back, make a decision and move on.

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    We'd like to think our decision making is rather less random and mostly it is. Some decisions do seem tougher than others. I find choosing presents a particularly daunting task and it's one I ponder over for ages. Go to a restaurant however and I can scan the menu and make a choice in under a minute (and no, it's not because I always eat the same thing). At home, my wife and daughter go into protracted discussions over what clothing should be worn; this is a burden that has passed me by. My point is that we all have moments when indecision, sometimes needlessly, takes over. Sometimes, like pondering over a box of chocolates, taking time over a choice is all part of the fun. But when indecision gets in the way of everything it becomes a problem.

    One way for worriers to make quicker decisions is to focus on pleasant options. If you know you are as likely to enjoy one thing over another, like chocolates, or books, or music, try making more rapid decisions. Worriers have a knack of turning minor issues into something much bigger, and even a decision between tv channels, or drinks can make them fret. If the choice is pleasurable does it really matter what the choice is? The goal will be achieved much more quickly and it may just get you into the habit of weighing options up speedily or simply going for one (turning left) because sometimes a choice is better than no choice, and the less time spent deciding  means less time spent worrying.

Published On: November 18, 2013