Life requires of us to make decisions: this or that, how much, how often, what way, what speed, on and on. These decisions add up to create what we call our experience, our memories and our life.
But making decisions can feel daunting. Sometimes, we find ourselves feeling paralyzed to make a decision. This paralysis keeps us in a place of indecision where tensions only continuously grow.
So what makes us hesitate?
Decisions usually involve many moving parts or factors, and fear can attach itself to any or all of those. If we are afraid of something or someone, it will inevitably affect your decision (most likely steering you away from a potential option). This is unfair to you. Ask yourself what you fear. Ask yourself why you fear that particular factor. Try to shovel down the core of the fear and then ask yourself: If I eliminate this fear, what decision would I want to make?
If you're an over-thinker, you'll run every possible scenario through your brain over and over, forward and backward, right side up and upside down. When this becomes a problem is when you can't get out of the processing period. A simple pros and cons list may be all you need. As humans, we're very good at convincing ourselves of, well, basically anything. It's a vulnerability that could potentially lead us to bad places. Try to actively control your analysis. Take the initiative to set time limits or deadlines so that you know when it's time to hush the mental nitpicking and move on.
3. Lack of confidence
Sometimes, we just forget how freaking awesome we are. We start to convince ourselves that we don't know enough or that other people are smarter or more capable. We forget that being assertive is actually a great thing! You go right on ahead and make that decision for your life because it's your life! You set the guidelines! You set the boundaries and the rules!
This is an evil little devil. It creeps in (or sometimes slams its way through the doors of our thoughts and feelings). Doubt makes us cower. Doubt tells us we are not ready or it reminds us that we may not have enough money or time or friends to make this decision. Doubt also may tell us that the timing may be wrong, or the location. But if you could push through all of the doubt, what decision would you make?
5. Too comfortable
We like to chill. We like the comfort of knowing what is going to happen. We like feeling secure. A decision would lead to change, and change can be unpredictable. Change doesn't tell us how to plan for it. When we're too comfortable, we can be coaxed into not making a decision, but is that what is good, challenging, healthy for us? Are you choosing to not make a decision (which is a decision, by the way) because you're too comfortable with the current situation?
6. Feeling overwhelmed
We can also find ourselves stuck when we feel overwhelmed. Perhaps our senses are overloaded or we're feeling like we've bit off more than we can chew. If you've reached this place in the process, try to remove some of the chaos so that you can make a cool, calm, concentrated decision. You don't want to feel rushed or forced into any decision. Remove whatever is making you feel those negative feelings so you can make a decision with a clear heart and mind.
7. You've never been required to make decisions
Perhaps you've never been required to make a decision? If you're from a risk-averse family, you may be used to other people making very safe decisions for you. If you haven't had the chance to experience the stress that comes with decision making, then you're probably feeling like this is something you absolutely cannot do. But you can. Take it slow and step by step, and you'll get through it. Once you've done it, you'll be more prepared for the next time!
8. Too many opinions
We often seek advice from our friends or family, but this can also lead to paralysis in the decision-making process because it can lead you to over-analysis. You also start forgetting what is your opinion v. their opinion? What is it that you want v. what they want for you?
9. Not enough information
Sometimes we do not have enough information to make an informed decision. If this is the problem, create a process to research and find the information you need in order to make a decision. Information is key.
It's a human flaw: we all have a little bit of it in us. Are you not making a decision as a power play? Are you delaying the inevitable? Are you just being childish? Sometimes, we hold off on decisions just because we can. But don't let this short-lived attitude make decisions for you. Do what is difficult and make a decision.
When a decision needs to be made, sometimes you have to pull on your big girl/boy panties and make a decision. If you find yourself stuck, ask yourself if you're suffering from any of the above. You can make a decision and you will. Make sure it's a decision that is well informed, well thought of and healthy for you and your future (and no one else's).