As soon as you open your eyes you are already faced with a small decision.
Do I press the snooze button to delay the alarm for another 5 minutes or do I get up immediately?
Once you get up, you need to decide what to wear, whether to have breakfast or skip it to save time and, if so, what to eat.
The decision wheel keeps spinning all day.
Each of us is endowed with free will and has before him a multitude of choices in life:
– What to eat
– What clothes to wear
– What to buy
– What to believe in
– Which work or school path to take
– Who to vote for
– Who to spend your free time with
– Who we want as a partner
– What to say and how to say it
– Choose whether or not to have children
– Decide what names to give it
– With whom we want our children to spend time
– How to feed them correctly etc …
According to Cornell University researchers, around 226 decisions are made each day just about what to eat during the day.
As your level of responsibility increases, the variety of choices you face also increases.
If you are a slightly undecided person, you are certainly not going well in this mess of choices.
What are the symptoms of indecision.
If you suffer from chronic indecision you will have difficulty coping with the numerous decisions that life continually puts before you.
You could procrastinate in making any decisions and spending excessive amounts of time thinking and rethinking your options.
Having difficulty making decisions can make you unhappy and unsatisfied.
Unfortunately, self-confidence and self-esteem can be undermined whenever you feel hesitant and adrift in making a decision.
What causes indecision?
At the heart of indecision is the inability to make a choice quickly.
Often, indecision shows itself as a constant and recurring demand for options, without being able to make a choice.
To become more confident in your decision-making power, it is important to understand what hinders you and prevents you from making quick choices.
Indecision emerges when you find yourself between two or more possible decision crossings. You are avoiding choosing between unpleasant results, none of which you particularly want, or you are choosing between fairly similar alternatives.
The 3 most common causes of indecision.
Fear of making mistakes.
The most frequent and main reason behind the indecision is the fear of failure. Making a decision implies that your choice may prove to be wrong and almost nobody likes to make a mistake.
The fear of the most disastrous result that can happen to you can hinder your decision-making process. You may find yourself opting for something that statistically would lead you to the safest result, even when you know it’s not the right one for you.
Fear of hurting someone’s feelings.
Often, making a decision means preferring the idea of one person over that of another. You want to be appreciated and therefore you are afraid that deciding against someone’s opinion could damage the relationship.
Fear of having little information in your possession.
Many times you will have to make a decision with limited information.
But there is usually more information that you could get, and if on the one hand having more information can be a valuable aid in making a choice, on the other hand the tug of war could lead you to procrastinate it to get more and more information.
In practical terms, your decision-making power becomes a kind of paralysis by analysis.
Indecision and postponement are the parents of bankruptcy.
7 tips to overcome indecision and thus avoid frustration, discouragement and anxiety.
1. Keep in mind Colin Powell’s strategy.
As said before, for fear of not making the right choice you may find yourself looking for as much information as possible before deciding.
However, you will not always be guaranteed that a lot of information will help you make the best decision.
An interesting approach is that of Colin Powell.
Colin Powell is a former chief of the U.S. military and a respected strategist. His leadership theories are being studied by many students and practiced by many of his admirers in the military sector and also in the public and private sectors.
Powell provides us with a measure of the amount of information that is strictly necessary to make a difficult decision. According to him, we need between 40% and 70% information to make a decision.
He believes that with less than 40% information, we are destined to make a wrong decision. Likewise, if we continue to search for information over 70% when we decide, it will be so late that others will have made that decision by beating us on time.
Furthermore, according to Dr. Steven Anderson, an author in the field of leadership, we can rely on intuition to fill 30% of the missing information.
Accept the fact that you will never get 100% complete information.
2. Narrow your choices
You may think that having more choices is better, but studies show that, on the contrary, limiting the number of options helps you make better decisions and rewards you more once the decision has been made.
In three experiments, the researchers found that having 6 or fewer options (instead of 24) helped people make better decisions by making them feel more satisfied with their decision-making power.
The author Barry Schwartz explores this concept in his book, “Paradox of Choice”: “the fact of having too many choices at our disposal contributes to favoring wrong decisions, causing anxiety, stress and dissatisfaction …”.
Schwartz also explains that having fewer options is a good thing. So if you have more choice options at your disposal try to narrow down to around 2-3, but stay below 6.
When you have to decide, the best choice you can make is the right one, the second best is the wrong one, the worst of all is not to decide.
3. Trust your instincts.
Trusting your instincts may seem like simple advice, but that doesn’t make it any less useful.
“When a decision makes us feel good, it is an important indicator that can tell us how to move forward” says Diana Fitts, author of “What Next ?: How to Enjoy Success …”
“I often tell people to take the first step towards a decision that they instinctively feel is the right one.
“Our visceral sensations are smarter than we think and are often useful when we have to make important decisions.”
David Wethey, author of “Decide – Better Ways of Making Better Decisions”, agrees that decision making should not rely solely on reason and logic.
“Long before homo sapiens learned to be rational, our ancestors survived by simply relying on their instincts. All the best decisions are a mix of head and heart, ”says Wethey.
4. Act rather than remain helpless.
Faced with an excess of options, you may feel paralyzed by the fear of making the wrong decision and thus being stuck.
However, experts agree that making what may initially seem like a bad decision is far better than not deciding at all.
“The problem with staying in a state of indecision for a long period of time is that we begin to question our heart and belly instincts, and get confused with what are our real desires,” explains Diana Fitts.
“We don’t earn anything by standing still,” he concludes.
“Winning or losing, both in business and in life, often depends on making a decision and making the right one is obviously preferable,” says Wethey.
‘But it is usually better to make a decision, and live with it, than to postpone it indefinitely. After all, we learn and grow by taking risks and we can’t expect to be right every time. ”
One way to spur yourself on action is to consider the cost of staying inert.
Just like a squirrel who finds himself wandering in the middle of the road without knowing how to go and then get run over, sometimes any decision is better than not making it at all.
Metaphorically speaking, think about the cars that are coming and go, or do you make a choice before being run over?
Remember that you will regret the lack of action.
The road to life is dotted with squashed squirrels who have failed to make a decision.
5. Flip a coin.
It may sound overly simplistic to you, but if you can’t make a decision, then it is likely that your intuition is suggesting that the choice you have to make is not so important or that neither of the two options available looks better than the other.
So why not toss a coin and rely on fate?
6. Settle for less than perfect decisions.
Often, the desire to be 100% sure of the accuracy of a decision only makes you undecided about what to do.
Although this aspiration is commendable in many situations, it can trigger excessive stress and lead to a lack of self-confidence.
If you strive for perfection in everything, this craving will likely lead you to postpone a decision for as long as possible for fear of failure.
You can only make the best choice right now, in the here and now. Change is one of the few certainties in life. It is much easier to accept it and adapt to it than to go against it.
Procrastination is bad, but perfectionism is worse.
So avoid waiting for conditions to be perfect to start. Start in small steps and accept the fact that you will meet new challenges along the way.
7. You will be able to manage the consequences of a wrong choice.
The negative consequences of the worst case scenario can be unpleasant but are often manageable. It often happens that the impact of a hypothetical unpleasant event is overestimated.
This phenomenon is known as “affective prediction” and research by Timothy Wilson and Daniel Gilbert shows that we often exaggerate the duration and intensity of future events in our mind.
However, research by Columbia University psychologist George Bonanno shows that people are able to get up after losses and traumatic events.
People who get divorced often then in the long run become happier and people who have financial problems can find other ways to enjoy life.
Research on emotional prediction shows that one often does not realize that one has the ability to get by.
Review the worst consequence for each option you decide to take and choose the one that is most manageable for you if there are negative outcomes.