How to overcome indecisiveness ?

To make a good decision is sometimes the most difficult thing to do. Those are the moments when we struggle with indecisiveness. It is clear as I’m looking around that we all struggle to various extent and in various situations. I have therefore put together a list of 8 strategies that I use to overcome with my indecisiveness.


Reflective strategies

  1. Stop and look around you for a second. Charles made a fantastic embroidery that targets the importance to look around and observe the beauty that you have around you. Indecisiveness is fuelled by dissatisfaction. If we are not feeling fully content, we have a greater tendency to swing between choices. For example if you are in an unfulfilling relationship, you may easier take the step into the hole of cheating. Cheating is a typical example of an action “in between” choices: The choice of breaking up or the choice of working harder to find the reason for you unhappiness.
  2. Take time to reflect on what is the actual source of your incapability to make decisions. Indecisiveness is a consequence of “blaming” and making up excuses. If you make up an excuse you are unconsciously fooling yourself, which may cause confusion as to whether you should act to strengthen your excuse or act on reality.
  3. Be less ego. Self-reflection on why you are unable to make decisions may well result in realising things about yourself that you don’t want to know. Today I slipped back into the doomed circle of wandering lost in my own thoughts. My tendency to “space out”, sadly closes off the surroundings and sometimes lead to ego-centric decisions. I feel that I have greatly improved from the ego-centric girl that I was a few years ago, but I still have a way to go. Charles has told me that he was also very caught up in “his stuff” when he was younger, but says that as soon as you become aware of your behaviour you will be able to start changing in the direction you want. In other words, managing to consider other people’s part in the consequences of your decision will limit your choices.

Practical strategies to overcome indecisiveness

  1. Write a pros and cons list. This is one of the techniques that I have used the most. I remember particularly when I was going to choose between universities. I wrote down all the positive and negative things for both options, added them up, and could then clearly see which had the most positive aspects. However, then comes the challenge of accepting the facts or else your decisions will still not be taken. Sometimes some points may have more weight than others, which naturally complicates things. This is when the following point comes in handy;
  2. Talk to a third-party. I have always had the luck of being able to talk to my mother (Not sure if she felt as lucky haha). It is essential that the person you talk to has your best in mind. A relative, close friend or a partner are all good options. Depending on the importance of the choice you may choose to ask more than one person for their input. People that know me well also know that I use this technique a lot… maybe too much sometimes. Thus I am in the process of learning how to balance and most importantly to not repeat the same questions.
  3. Make a deadline. If you don’t have a deadline you may never reach a final decision. To make a deadline will always help you regardless of the situation. As I am studying at University and working at the same time, my ability to make quicker decision is even more important. If I spend 2 hours trying to make a decision on whether to study or to work on an embroidery, I have lost 2 hours during which I could have been productive doing one of the two tasks.
  4. Make a priority list. If I know I have many things to do I make an ordered to do list. To be well-prepared saves a lot of time by not having to take new decisions every time you finish a task.

The aftermath

  1. Accept your decision. As soon as you have taken your decision you must act on it 100%. You may have a harder time if the situation allows you to change your mind as you may fall victim for the aforementioned: to find an excuse to make a change. If you decide to meet your friends on Friday, you should not search for an excuse in last minute. If you want to find an excuse, there is most likely a problem with the initial decision. For example you may not have been wise or thoughtful when making decisions of what to prioritise. You chose to see a friend on Friday, when in reality you really needed to catch up on work. Be true to yourself from the start as this will make it easier to accept your decision. If nothing else, you have learnt your homework and will make a better choice next time.

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