Indecision makes you go back and forth between trying to make one decision or another. Battling with indecision can block your path to success and it can happen to anyone no matter how well thought out your plans are.
Indecision Can Arise at Any Stage
It doesn’t matter at what point you’re at on the road to success. Indecision can strike you suddenly without warning – even if you’ve been making tons of decisions and moving forward before then.
It can hit you when you’re beginning to plan your path to success. Or it can hit in the middle or ending of the planning stage. When you go to put things in motion, all of sudden, you’re plagued with indecision during the execution stage.
You’ve crunched all the data, know what has to happen and you’ve weighed all your options. You know which steps to take and you’ve gone over all the possibilities before you began.
But now, when executing your success story, you choke. You feel like you can’t think things through, that you can’t see all the angles. Your gut instinct feels like it’s gone on vacation and you don’t know how you’re ever going to make a decision again.
Indecision can occur during the analysis and repetition stage as well – feeling like you’re stuck and can’t move ahead because you can’t decide anything. This can happen when you see something and you start to fret about which direction to go in.
You feel this worry because you’re afraid of going in the wrong direction. You’re afraid of making the wrong decision. You know that if you do, it might make you go around in circles and lose time.
You don’t want to spin your wheels, so you feel paralyzed when it comes time to decide what to do or how to handle something. You may end up struggling with indecision because you’re worried that the decision will end up meaning you’re going to lose money.
So you can’t do anything because the fear is just too much for you to face at the moment. You might be worried that you’re going to end up humiliated by the wrong decision – so you do nothing – not because you don’t want to move forward, but because you can’t.
When it comes to indecisiveness, many people are afraid of losing their way right out of the gate or they’re afraid of losing momentum or something they value. This is the stage when things from the past, especially failures, will crop up and further paralyze your decision making.
You’ll look back at all the mistakes you’ve made in life and start to wonder, “What if I make a decision and it’s one more wrong choice in life?”
Don’t Be Afraid to Use a Pros and Cons List
Indecision can often be caused because a person is looking at all the angles of a situation and going over them repeatedly. As soon as they look at something, they’ll try looking at from a different direction.
This is over-thinking and it always stops success in its tracks. When you over think, you create a vacuum in your mind where things like self-doubt and fear can take up residence and the next thing you know, you’re stuck.
When you spend too much time thinking, it can put shackles on your ability to make a decision – especially if you need a quick decision. There is a simple way to figure out what to do when you’re faced with indecision.
You need to create a pros and cons list. You can make a pros and cons list about anything in life. Whatever the success is that you’re reaching for and feeling indecisive or stuck about, write it out.
Sometimes seeing the pros and cons can help move the decision making process along. For example, say you wanted to lose weight. On the pro side, you would right all the ways that you would benefit from that weight loss.
So you would write things like being healthier, clothes fit better, and energy boost. On the con side, you would write the negative stuff that you might experience. So the con side of weight loss might have things like have to quit eating certain foods, working out when tired and cravings.
Then you look at the two sides and you’ll notice that the pros offer you more benefits than the con side does. You can do this for anything. If you wanted to start a business, your pros and cons list would also weigh the positives versus the negative.
On the pro side, you might have things like: be own boss, set your own hours, make more money and have a better career trajectory. With the con side, you might write down things like no steady income or greater financial risk, having to learn from the ground up, may have to work longer and harder.
You would have to look at your list objectively when it comes to helping you make a decision. It can be easy to look at the pros side of the list and see that you have a lot more of those than you do on the con side.
But having a lot of pros doesn’t mean that you should automatically choose to go in that direction. What you have to look at are the value of each. So if you had on the pro side that you’d be your own boss, be able to determine your hours, and vacation whenever you want, that looks like you have three pros.
On the con side, all you have is that you assume all the financial risk or no steady income – and that one con can actually carry more weight than the three pro points for many people.
Because with the risk and lack of regular income, you won’t be able to afford to determine your own hours right away. You’ll have to put in some hard work to find success.
You also won’t get to vacation like you used to when working a 9-5 job, because when you create a business, the first few months to a year, you may have to sink the profits right back into it.
Ask for Advice from People You Trust
There will come a time on your journey to success that you’re going to need to make a decision that you just can’t seem to make. You could stay right where you are and hope that eventually you’ll figure it out, but in the meantime, you’ll waste time and maybe even money and possible opportunities.
Don’t let yourself get stuck at the crossroads between the need to make a decision and not being able to. Turn to other people for help. You can look to your friends. While it’s true that your friends may not be where you are in life and they may not be on the same journey as you, they’re still going to be able to listen and give you advice.
Your friends already know you and know what you are and aren’t capable of. They’re often able to see beyond the place that has you stuck. Just make sure that you’re not going to friends who won’t be completely honest with you about something for fear of hurting your feelings.
When it comes to needing to make a decision, you can also run your dilemma by a mentor – that person who helped you in life or on your success journey could be able to show you something that they’ve gained through their own experience.
It might turn out to be the swaying thought or idea that you need to get started again.
There might be someone in the same field or industry that you’re in. Even if you don’t know them that well, there’s often a sense of connection between people who are the same path.
You can ask them your questions and they can guide you to what they’ve already learned going through the same or similar experience. You can also ask your relatives when you get caught in indecision.
Even if they don’t know anything about what it is you’re trying to do, like your friends, they do know you. They know your personality, your habits, your strengths and your weaknesses.
So they’ll be able to look at the whole picture. They’ll be able to pick up on the fact that maybe your indecision is caused by fear. Or maybe it’s caused because you haven’t thought completely through the situation.
Go to an advisor if you need help deciding. Or if you don’t have an advisor, you can turn to people that you don’t know online. While it might seem odd turning to online strangers, you’ll find the wisdom of a collective group can help guide you in the right decision.
You’ll find people of various experience levels and who may each approach a situation from a different angle. Learn how to ask the questions that lead to the right answers. Asking, “How do I make money?” is too general and too broad to be specifically applied to your situation.
You would need to ask something like, “I need to buy this machine or invest in this software or hire this person to do this job and I don’t know which one is best” and these strangers will be able to tell you their experiences with a certain machine or software or what qualification to look for in a potential employee for that exact position.
If in Doubt, Trust Your Instincts
When indecisiveness has you in its grip and you’re doubting which is the right way to handle something, you can always trust your instincts. The reason that you can trust your instincts is long before you can overcome indecision with a well-thought out list of reasons on what to do or not do, your instincts can tell if something feels off or not.
A good example of this is found in the news. Many times, you’ll see stories about people who didn’t take a certain route to work or didn’t get on a plane or a train. Or they changed their course just because their gut told them to and it turned out to be a lifesaving decision.
Making a decision by trusting your instincts is like that. There won’t be any scientific fact or logic behind it. You’ll just know. Your comprehension skills, and your intelligence all take a back seat to your instincts.
Your instincts don’t come into play that often because most people drown it out in the hectic busy atmosphere of life. It’s only when you’ve come to a stop and need to know which direction to go that your instincts get your attention.
It’s not a loud inner shout. It’s a quiet feeling that urges you to make a move or to change direction, to join something or get out of a place. Your instincts, though quiet, are actually more powerful than you think.
Most people get accustomed to running their lives based on decisions they make automatically – such as the drive from home to work and back. The daily chores, the interactions with others.
You’ll know when your instincts are speaking because you’ll sense them, but you may not understand what’s going on in that moment. For example, you might be stuck because you can’t decide which move to make for your business.
On one hand, decision A looks like it’s going to save you a whole lot of money and decision B is going to cost more. So you go back and forth, unable to commit to either when your gut instinct urges you to choose B and gives you the uneasy feeling that something is wrong with decision A.
Later, maybe you find out that decision A would have been a money saver, but could have damaged your reputation. How is it that your instincts can help you choose when you’re indecisive?
Your instincts are deeper than intellect. They’re buried in the belief that you have in yourself and in the decisions you’ve made before and in the person that you are. Your instincts can accurately sum up a situation long before your intellect or your list of pros and cons can.
So when you’re stuck and everything you’ve tried just hasn’t helped you to come to a decision, trust what your gut instinct is telling you to do – or not do in certain situations with work or your personal life.
Create a Long-Term Forecast for Every Option
Indecisiveness can impede every single forward movement that you’d like to make. What happens more often than not when you’re faced with various situations is that you feel like you’re walking blind.
You can’t see where the decision will take you. So that makes you afraid of doing anything because you don’t want to mess up and have the future of your success affected by the choice you’ll make today.
Reaching success is going to involve you making multiple decisions and each of those decisions will feed into the end result. It’s like tributaries that feed into a lake. Each of these smaller bodies of water head toward the same goal.
That’s what it’s like for the decisions that you’ll be making. You want them to head toward the end of what you picture your success will be. To do that, you need to look ahead.
Look further down the road than you are at the moment. Picture how it could pan out. Then look at how you’re going to feel if it pans out that way versus a different way. Think about all the possibilities that are going to happen as a result of one decision versus the other.
You can figure this by weighing the information or the knowledge about the projected outcome that you currently have available. Next, look at the accuracy of that information or knowledge.
Is it current? Where did it come from – and what’s the value of that information? If you gained your information from an expert in the same area of success you’re opting to succeed at, that would carry more weight than the person who isn’t.
Then weigh the length of time for each decision to reach the desired outcome. After that, look at the risk benefit ratio of each choice. Finally, picture the cost and the effort against the potential payoff using various possibilities.
You might get stuck in indecision, but don’t stay there. Some people are afraid to make a choice and they become indecisive because they fear the consequences of that decision. Just remember that your decisions will always have consequences – but so will your lack of decision making.