Why Indecision is Keeping You Stuck.
“Yes, or No, good or bad, should I or shouldn’t I, stay or go, do it or not do it. The list is endless and you are caught right in the middle of the emotional storm called indecision. What if I make the wrong decision? What if I waste all that time and money and it doesn’t work out?” Indecision causes a lot of wasted time, stress, and anxiety and in the end sabotages us from achieving our dreams and goals. It is also renowned for obstructing happiness and stops us from having peace of mind.
“Should I call him, or her now, later, maybe tomorrow. Should I go in a diet? What am I going to eat, a hamburger or a chicken sandwich? Should I take that new job or stay with my company? Am I going to move overseas or stay? Should I start that budget I have always thought about? Should I open my small business that I have always dreamed about? I am not happy in my relationship, can it be resolved or is moving forward single the only option?”
Indecision is costing you A LOT more than you think it is. It is the seed of a lot of human suffering, the cause of inner turmoil and the ability to keep re-living the past instead of moving forward. It causes you NOT to take action and a lot of unruly stress.
Your happiness in life is dependent on the quality of decisions you are going to make or that you are willing to make. So make sure your decisions are going to suit your agenda and not allow someone else’s agenda to permeate or distract you from yours.
A lot of decisions will have little or no impact in your life. But on the other hand, some may have obvious long-term consequences. You know that whether you order a steak or have chicken is going to have less impact than moving half way across the world, your being scared cannot slow down the decision-making process .
What It Feels Like to be Unsure
Indecision keeps you stuck and in a frame of mind that is insidiously stopping you from moving beyond your mental stigma or attachment that you have created in your mind. And, of course our habitual selves can be difficult to overcome too. We have so many habits, judgments, ideas, attitudes, beliefs that have brought us to this point in life and sometimes we have a lot to overcome to make that decision. But your amazing life is depending on it.
Have you ever noticed that when you are indecisive or hesitant about something or having some sort of reluctance to making up your mind, there are certain feelings that go along with it? Some of these feelings include conflicted, confused, not knowing what to do, insecure because you might make the wrong decision, scared to make a decision and it can be very stressful to live in that mindset. When you feel this way, your ego feeds on your uncertainty and insecurity to make you feel even more out of control and scared. All these feelings are a place of emotional and mental prison and you become stuck in that rut of feeling unable to choose. Your job is to be aware of these feelings, then start moving forward especially because the best friend of indecision is inaction. And if you don’t decide, you won’t take any action what so ever. Regret is the outcome of a lack of action.
The Effects of a Quick Decision
A break up is sometimes one of the best examples to illustrate here or quitting a job you hate. Although straight after it happens, you hurt, feel grief, insecure and uncertain but you know you just have to suffer the tremendous pain and suffering. But it isn’t until a few weeks or a few months later, the fruits of that decision come to fruition. Sometimes the only way to view the truth of what was right in front of you is to look back at it in hindsight with 20/20 vision.
I know people who can’t stand their jobs, who absolutely detest them. Who knows why they don’t just leave? I don’t always know or have the answers as to why they keep torturing themselves by staying and making other people miserable but I do know that habits die hard and the “safety” of having a job, even one you hate, sometimes outweighs the “risk” of getting out, being happy and getting a new job! These are the ridiculous things we do in life aren’t they? If you just made the decision to leave, get out there and be happy, there is magic on the other side of that mental resistance you have been creating by staying stuck and limited.
After a certain amount of time, you realize it was the BEST decision and you bounce back with fearless tenacity wondering why you didn’t act on that sooner. Sound familiar? Sometimes we humans are unwilling to feel pain and insecurity in the short-term in order to gain wisdom and success over the long-term. So ask yourself, what are you so afraid of? There aren’t monsters under your bed, they only exist inside your head! What’s the worst that can happen? But on the flip side, what’s the BEST thing that can happen, now that is exciting!
The Benefits of Indecision
Just like any habit you cultivate over time, if we can’t shake it or change it, it becomes ingrained in the ruts of our brains. And because it has been there so long, there is usually a benefit attached to why you keep doing what you are doing.
We all know habits, the good ones, the bad ones, then there are definitely ones that will kill your dreams and your actions. If there weren’t benefits, then you probably would not keep doing it. ah, the catch 22.
When you are uncertain and unsure about what to do and making the wrong decision, who do you usually ask for help? Your close friends, your mentors and people close to you. You say “I don’t know what to do, what do you think I should do? Help me make this decision, I am so unsure, what if something goes wrong and I make the wrong decision? I am going to waste all this time and energy if it doesn’t work out.”
So people do what people do, show you they care by giving you attention by listening to you and helping you make a decision. They will more than likely show you empathy because they can see if it causes you stress and it causes you mental trouble. Sometimes it helps to do have your friends console you but not in all cases, sometimes it just makes the decision that much harder to make because everyone has their own opinion and perception of what THEY think YOU should do. So you could end up being more confused and have more anxiety.
The True Cost of Indecision,
If you don’t make up your mind, your brain and your emotions go into hyper awareness and a super aroused state, yes, no, should I do it, or not do it, is it good or is it bad and the polarity of trying to decide makes you crazy. It slowly distracts you from your tasks at hand, it also causes a lot of inner turmoil and it robs you of your peace of mind.
For every decision you make, there is a cost involved. There is a cost to everything in life, when you say YES to something, you are saying NO to something else and vice versa.
One of those costs is time, because it may take time to decide and sometimes when you are so conflicted, it could take a lot of time to make a decision, days, weeks and/or months! The energy emitted sometimes is so great it consumes your very being and it is exhausting to continuously talk about it, obsess about it and the time and energy and effort it takes isn’t equivalent to the little or large decision you have to make!
You may lose great opportunities because it took you too long to decide, it might even cost you relationships in some instances, this may be for the better, or not. Everything has an opportunity cost and your indecision might just be eluding your right out of amazing things because you will not make up your mind.
It is really up to you and you can handle the responsibility. Just make up your mind, stick to your guns and decide. Your life will get better when the quality of your decisions gets faster. Get the information you need, write up the advantages and disadvantages and or Pros/Cons and choose.
For some people, it feels safe to NOT make a decision. But time is precious, stop worrying about the “perfect decision” or trying to “know it all” before deciding, because that is all farce and at the end of the day, not deciding is the root cause of a lot of suffering. If your level of indecision is causing you stress and you worrying for long periods of time, it is time to reevaluate that. We all know that stress is not good for you over extended periods of time and if you obsess about the worst case scenario in amidst your indecision, all of those nasty stress chemicals are going to cause your body to become off balance and you will find it more and more difficult to relax and get your state back into equilibrium, is your health worth the cost of indecision?
“Where you stumble, there lies your treasure”- Joseph Campbell
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Get out of Your Head- Stop Obsessing and Start Living.
Indecision inevitably leads to inaction. We worry too much about “making the wrong choice.” And then we never make a decision. I know when I have been irresolute, I get stuck in my head and I live in the grey area, the area where no experience exists and there is no fuel for progress or evolution. I feel stuck and stranded in my head and I am not in the world where the magic of creation exists.
Our habits may also play a role in our decision-making behavior, some of us have practiced being decisive for longer periods of time and are better at it and others may not be as good at it. It is a skill just like any other skill and it takes time and concerted effort to become a good decision maker. But be warned, if you can’t even decide what to eat at a restaurant or which ice-cream to choose, you are probably more than likely that person who can’t make decisions in most parts of your life. By default, if you don’t take charge and be decisive, you are going to have a life that wasn’t a creation of your own mind but what someone else planned for you. What are you going to choose, a life governed by their decisions for you, or your own?
Don’t stay in that abusive relationship, have some dignity and self-worth, don’t not lose weight because its uncomfortable to change and it’s going to be hard, don’t stay in the job you hate, step outside of yourself and make a change, don’t lose money in a business deal because you didn’t have the courage to speak up and do something, don’t wait to ask for a raise, just go do it. Dig deep, find that bravery and courage to make a decision, the decision that will lead you to a better you and then the next time you need to do it, you will have gained some confidence to do it again and again.
If you have inner decisiveness that is as wide as the sea and cannot seem to make up your mind about anything, you are going to live someone else’s version of your life. Indecisiveness is the thief of opportunity and the thief of time. Don’t let it rob you of your relationships, your opportunities and of your dreams, because they only who is going to pay the price is YOU.
The only wrong choice you will ever make is making the decision NOT to decide and make up your mind. You WILL lose every time. Don’t be afraid to make decisions, successful people are decisive and other people recognize those people as natural leaders and they earn respect. When you are not afraid to make decisions, you trust yourself to take responsibility for the act of making the choice.
If you suffer from the stressful effects of indecision, here are a few things that will help you in becoming a better decision-maker.
1. Prioritize Your Decisions Around Your Values.
What do you value? Friends, family, money, success? understanding what you value can make your decision easier. When you know what is important to you, then you know what is in your best interest.
2. Your Decisions are Yours Only
You cannot worry about getting the approval of others before you make a decision, that is dangerous. You will end up making decisions to appease someone else and you will always be disappointed and miserable. Don’t choose a job for money and prestige if it is not of interest to you. Then you have made a decision based on something you don’t value. When your decisions are an accurate reflection of you, magical things happen and your soul aligns with its higher purpose.
3. Nothing Will Ever be Perfect.
The time will never be perfect or the time will never be just right. All choices will have benefits. It is better to make a decision than not to make a decision and you know what, you will learn about yourself in the process and this will give you a short-term win that will boost your confidence to do it again. You will learn very valuable things about yourself during this process and improve on your skills.
4. Boost Your Self-Confidence.
People who lack confidence, sometimes won’t decide because you are afraid to trust yourself and take action. You are going to have to start somewhere, why not right now, believe in yourself, and trust yourself enough to know that you have the courage to do this no matter what the outcome. Don’t be attached or obessesed about the outcome, just make the decision.
5. Consult Your Mentor.
Sometimes it helps to consult or talk to one of you mentors or a close friend who knows you intimately. Their knowledge may just help you see something you didn’t see, help you gain important perspective and nudge you in the decision-making process.
6. Opportunities Will Inevitably Arise.
Don’t be afraid to start from the beginning. Whether it be a new relationship or a new job. Transform your fears and past experiences into skills, wisdom and capitalize on your new perspective.
You just need to get out of your head, take a risk, stumble, make a choice, any choice, decide with conviction, and do it without regret. You can never be wrong, and things are not good or bad, you only learn, grow and evolve and you limit yourself from the amazing unexpected when you judge what might or might not happen.
In stumbling, there your treasure lies. Being able to decide is a skill of the emotionally intelligent.
Be decisive, make the choice, what have you got to lose? You only have wisdom to gain.
What small decision are you going to make that is going to make a big difference in you life?