One of the things that I have always been good at is making decisions. Yes, I’ll make an offer on that house. Yes, I’ll have a glass of wine. No, I don’t want to go on a cruise. No, I don’t want to go on a date with you... you get the point. However, do you ever ask yourself, "Why am I so indecisive about everything?" or, "Why am I afraid of making decisions?"
Making decisions, or saying 'yes' or committing to something can give you a feeling of great satisfaction and an adrenaline rush. On the other hand, being indecisive requires (and drains you) of energy. This energy is wasted into thin air as you deliberate between the pros and cons, scenarios, other people's opinions, possible outcomes (the list goes on), leaving you feeling stuck.
Obviously, sometimes you are required to do some weighing up, but if you're one of those people who takes ages to make a decision, why have you not made some practical changes to help you overcome indecision in the first place? Why allow regular unnecessary burden to plague your mind?
Researcher Daniel Newark notes, "Focusing on the decision itself, as the only goal of the decision-making process, reduces the value of that process." Let's take some real-world examples, like cooking simply for the dish and not the process. Or, like making love just to get to orgasm and not the pleasure along the way, like hiking up to Machu Picchu just to see it and not to enjoy the journey. The process can reveal to you a lot about what you value and what is important to you and, can be hella fun in the process!
How to stop being indecisive
Trying to predict the consequences of our decisions stops us from living in the now. We get so fixated on the future, that we are unable to be happy in the present. We spend so much time being forward-focused that we fail to live in the moment. One of the major keys to happiness is not being fixated on the future, no matter the result, because we don’t leave any space for enjoying the right now!
Also, the fact that we can't necessarily know what we will want or who we will be in the future, makes being indecisive a little redundant. Trying to make decisions about what we will want in the future, as yet an undefined version of yourself, is essentially impossible. You could basically just talk yourself out of ever making a decision.
Exercise for indecisive compulsive disorder (icd)
Here are a few things to keep in mind and factors to consider when making a decision to help assess what’s going on with your decision-making process:
1. You have a massive energetic system that weaves through the body, the chakra system, which is essentially bundles of nerves that connect mind and body and your endocrine system (your hormone system). If you slow down and practice listening to the messages your body sends you, it can reveal quite a lot about what’s impacting the decision-making process.
Now, before you dismiss energy, and chakras as hokey, just take a moment to consider other people’s energy. When you walk into a room, you can feel whether someone is angry, sad or scared for example, right? That energy emanates and if you’re paying attention, you can read it.
2. So, just flip that around to yourself and let yourself notice. Do certain people make you feel warm, safe, comfortable? Maybe others make you feel angry or uncertain or exhausted? A fellow coach friend of mine calls these people drains, as opposed to the radiators – who send out warmth!
3. Then, notice when you next make a decision – where do you feel it? Is there a knot in your stomach? Do you feel excited? Maybe you feel it in your solar plexus. That’s associated with self-worth and being seen: taking your place in the world. Or maybe you feel it in your throat? That’s about self-expression and speaking your truth. Like breathing, which is automated, there is a lot going on in our bodies and minds if we just slow down a little and pay attention.
Making life decisions that affect other people
What if you really need to involve others in your decision-making? Whether the decision will impact them, or because you really value their input, here are a few guidelines for having constructive conversations with others about making a big decision:
1. Schedule the time and space to do it properly. Often taking a walk or another simple activity will create a better flow for conversations, rather than sitting across a table.
2. Be clear about your agenda. Are you asking for their advice? Have you already made up your mind and just want it confirmed or supported?
3. Know thyself. Are you someone who finds it easy to be swayed by others? Do you get caught up in their excitement? Be aware of who you are going to for your advice.
Now that you have some helpful tools to help you overcome decisiveness, surround yourself with supporters, go with confidence and take back control of your life.
Read next: What to Do When Fear Takes Over Your Life
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