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Shaking off Indecision

by on September 13th, 2005
Shaking off Indecision

Starting a new chapter of your life brings a slew of important decisions to be made. Some will be essential, such as where you will live, but others will be trivial, such as whether to buy shampoo with conditioner or just simple shampoo.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to thoroughly think about a situation and how you might respond to it. But when an obsession over the details clouds the ability to move on, indecision can be destructive and can cause paralysis by over-analysis.

The indecisive are the ones who tend to cling to perfection. Often they feel as though their happiness depends on each decision so, in turn, they may bring in too much information or too many constraints to cloud the ability to make a decision. There are a couple of tricks to fighting indecision while still being able to enjoy yourself in the process.

Give Yourself Less Time

Give yourself less time to make non-critical choices. Yes, that’s right. Less! If you give yourself less time to make simple decisions, you will train yourself to spend less time analyzing the decision and instead spend more time on the steps that follow.

If you’re not totally convinced that you’re capable of making a quick decision, think about what you’d do if you were being chased by a bear. Would it take you long to decide whether you should fight or flee? No! In an instant, you’ll find yourself sprinting for dear life. There are no discussions over tea and biscuits because the physiological response is hard-wired in our brain. We see danger so we react immediately to avoid it.

While most of our decisions are not life threatening, a snap decision may be forced because of time constraints or a lack of patience from others around you. Either way, it pushes you to settle on something. You might surprise yourself how a snap decision can turn out for the best.

The simplest example is the biggest decision you need to make at a restaurant. Everyone at the table has decided on their meal. The waiter takes the orders of each person, and like usual, you are the last to give your order. You hesitate. You’re split between the salmon and the steak. You feel the pressure. What should you do?

Be honest with yourself, will the decision to get the steak instead of the salmon ruin your evening? If it does, maybe your focus is in the wrong place. Why not, instead, focus on enjoying your time with the others around the table and participate in the group conversations?

I’ve always told myself that it doesn’t matter where I am, it’s the people that I’m with. It takes a lot of trust and flexibility to think this way, but you may find your decisions getting easier. Strive to make the best of all situations, even if it’s not optimal. And that means that you’ll just have to make due with whatever happens.

Randomize Your Decision-Making

It must sound odd to “randomize” your decision-making. “Where could he be going with this,” you ask?

Well, if you’ve struggled painfully long enough to decide on a relatively simple issue and you truly have no preference, flip a coin, literally.

Let chance decide between two equally impressive options, then stick to it. If you find yourself resorting to “best 2 out of 3” then “best 3 out of 5” and so on, you already have a conclusion made. You obviously want the other side of the coin, there’s no fooling yourself anymore!

If you’re dealing with another indecisive person, maybe engaging in a winner-takes-all paper, rock scissors game would help, but of course, it will only help if you both decide to honor the result. It sounds silly and unprofessional to base your judgment on a game, but it encourages a result in a timely manner. Besides, doing so just might lighten the mood and, in the end, it may help to train your brain to seek quicker results.

Again, all of this reinforces the point that you must be open and flexible. Re-focus your mind on what’s important instead of what appears to be important.

In most cases, a snap decision won’t drastically affect the rest of your life, but of course, success hinges on your reaction. You can consciously decide to let a small err in judgment ruin your day – or not. That’s one decision you will have to make.

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About the Author: Ronnie Nijmeh is an accomplished author, speaker and coach. He has been a featured expert on national television, radio, and print. Ronnie is the president and founder of ACQYR, an inspirational resource with free wallpaper downloads, affirmations, inspirational articles and much more. For interview requests or inquiries, call 1-877-438-3048 x. 3.

Readers Comments

  1. Kate (January 18th, 2011 at 12:00 am)  Rate It!: Add rating 1  Subtract rating 0  Rated by Readers as 1 Star Comment

    This is the first time I have ever written in to anything online but I feel such a sense of relief to see that there are other people out there who have this same problem-I am in tears. I have tried to explain that I am a perfectionist to my husband of 13 years and he looks at me as if I am insane. I am 39 years old and stay home with 3 young children and I feel as if I have lost control. I used to be able to get by when I was able to focus on myself. I could take the time to make the decisions that I was happy with, but now that I have a husband and 3 children rushing me to decide on large and small decisions I feel paralyzed to make any decisions at all. I want what is best for my children. I will do anything for them and focus all my attention on what is best for them. My house is a total pigsty- it is an embarrassment! I never want anyone to see me like this so I isolate myself. I feel like this is so unlike me-I am totally overwhelmed and ashamed at what I have become. I can’t get myself organized because I can’t come up with the “perfect system” to follow so I don’t even want bother trying a mediocre system to get by because that would be a waste of time. Please don’t say I just need to come up with a temporary solution to get through because that is not in my nature. I am quite frugal and pretty broke so that is an issue for me as well. At this point I wish I had $ to pay someone to do it all for me but I don’t. I would love the satisfaction of doing it all for myself but I am at a loss!

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