From the time we open our eyes in the morning until the time we close them at night, we make hundreds of decisions. We decide what to wear, what to have for breakfast, whether to pack a lunch or buy out today. Our decisions are endless. For some decisions, we can quickly make a choice and move on. For other decisions, there may be much more at stake and the decision may take longer and more thought.
But for some people, making a decision is hard. No matter how big or small the decision, indecisiveness takes over and it can be paralyzing. There are a number of reasons for not making decisions:
- Fear of making the incorrect decision
- Need more time to weigh options
- Need more information
- You believe others should make the decision
Fear of making an incorrect decision is a large reason many people are indecisive. They are afraid of being wrong or choosing wrong. Most people feel this way at some time or another, but when fear stops you from making any type of decision, it can be paralyzing. Looking at the possible outcomes of the decision can help you. If you imagine the worst possible outcome and work through how to handle that, then no matter what you decide, you can manage the consequences.
Some decisions require you to give thought and reflection before choosing. This is fine as long as you don’t keep procrastinating and use “more time” as an excuse to not make a decision at all. Instead of dragging the decision making out for an indefinite period of time, give yourself a deadline. “I can think about this until 2:00 PM this afternoon, then no matter what, I must chose.” Sometimes having a deadline can help you work through the possible solutions.
Additional information is sometimes needed before a proper decision can be made. Collecting data and information to make an informed decision is an intelligent way to look at a problem. But sometimes collecting information can be a way to stall and put off the final decision. Decide what information is vital to making the decision and make it once you have collected that data.
Sometimes, out of respect for others, it is important to allow them to make a decision, especially if the situation will impact their life. However, other times, this is simply an excuse for not making a decision. Decide whether you simply want to “pass the buck” or if you believe it is in their best interest to make the decision.
It is important to remember that not making a decision is making a decision. Sometimes the best decisions happen because we do not over think the situation and rely on our instincts to help guide us. No matter what situation you may be in, have confidence in your ability and your intelligence and make that decision!
Eileen Bailey is a freelance health writer. She is the author of What Went Right: Reframe Your Thinking for a Happier Now, Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD, Idiot’s Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love, and Essential Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. She can be found on Twitter @eileenmbailey and on Facebook at eileenmbailey.