Do you ever feel like you couldn’t make a decision to save your life? Is too much choice cause of significant stress? Does indecision torment you? Do you long to be less indecisive?
One of the fundamental rights of being a citizen of the United States is freedom. Freedom to make our choices as we see fit. We’re inundated with decisions daily, and there are as many opinions to go along with those choices as there are people who make them.
What should you do if indecision cripples your ability to choose?
While you may love all the opportunities that come along with this incredible liberty, what’s a person to do when struggling with indecision? If you’re like me, actually CHOOSING from the vast options that abound can leave you paralyzed.
Can you believe the average adult makes around 35,000 decisions per day?! That’s a crazy lot! No wonder we can feel bogged down and left with our heads spinning from trying to choose what’s best.
Many of those choices in life have become more of a habit than an actual decision. For instance, there are simple day-to-day decisions you don’t think too much about like what you’ll have for breakfast. When you always start your day with coffee and a smoothie, that’s not a difficult proposition for your brain. But what about larger, more significant choices that have both pros and cons? Does deciding leave you wanting to run and hide for fear that you might ultimately choose the wrong thing?
Instead of burying your head in the sand and refusing to choose from the plethora of options that lie in front of you, check out these 5 ways to help improve your indecision.
1) EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION
There might be people in your life who boisterously offer their personal opinions whether you asked for them or not. You hear it from a half a dozen different family members and friends, “You’ve just GOT to….” “You really should….” “You absolutely need to….”
Sometimes it is helpful to run your thought process by someone who will serve as a sounding board and offer unbiased insight. It’s a whole different story when unsolicited people get involved in telling you what to do. Take what you hear for what it’s worth to you and, ultimately, make your own choices. Don’t be swayed by what someone else claims is the Holy Grail.
Remember, when you make your own decisions, you’ll feel better about the end result anyway, knowing that your choice is the best for your life not anyone else’s.
2) EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT
That’s the beauty of it. Everyone is different!
No single body in the entire world is completely the same. Our thoughts, our beliefs, our emotions…..all DIFFERENT!
Since we don’t react in the same way, why let anyone else’s opinions run your world? You’re a unique creature. Live your life in the way that emanates that. Don’t compare yourself to others. That’s a disaster waiting to happen.
You’ll want to make decisions that relate directly to your problem or situation, not what someone else has experienced.
Form decisions based on what you value and what resonates with you. What does your instinct tell you? THAT’S what you should do. End of story.
Ever been told to take a deep breath?
3) CALM YOUR MIND
Deep breathing through mindfulness exercises and meditation can alter your brain waves by slowing them down and balancing the hemispheres of the brain. It is this process that gives our brains a break from processing all of its data in such an active way.
Even a regular 10-minute practice of meditation a day gives us a chance to slow our thought processes, not feel as pressured and out of control and, ultimately, resume our daily life with more clarity and decisiveness.
4) START SMALL
Much of the time when we become unable to make choices, it stems from fear. When you let fear take the lead, you’re shutting off the exploratory abilities of your brain.
When you’re so overwhelmed by all the choices that abound, scared that you could end up making the wrong one, remember that fear will get you nowhere.
Fear, in itself, will impair your decision-making process. When we let the crippling effect of fear affect our decisions, it’s possible to make less than ideal choices. Instead, take deep breaths and open yourself up to all possibilities. When you use energy to worry about deciding, your brain has less power to stay neutral.
Start small and add to it. Identify your goal, explore your options, gather necessary information and make a choice even if just to start. Things will change in time, and you can compensate for that in the future.
Because no decision is irreversible, adopt the live and learn attitude. Maybe next time you’ll go a different route. Think of what you’ve experienced in the meantime.
5) SAMPLE FROM THE SMORGASBORD APPROACH
Resources abound! There’s such a vast amount of possibility available to us all the time that often all the options are entirely too much.
Our world is a never-ending smorgasbord of delectable opportunities, but there’s a way to navigate the myriad of what lies in front of you. Picture yourself at a huge, all-you-can-eat restaurant buffet. Do you plan on taking everything offered? I doubt it. You’ll most likely choose from the items that interest you. And THAT’S what you should do with the excess of choices in life….narrow it down to what calls to you and select what pleases you.
6) AGREE TO DISAGREE
Infinite choices can certainly cause you to feel scared, but at the same time, it’s important to remember that no decision is a bad decision. Take small manageable steps to help narrow down big picture indecision. Doing so can help remove the fear and anxiety in the decision-making process.
If your decision is being swayed by someone other than yourself, put an end to it. Agree to disagree. Inform the person or people who are attempting to influence you that while you appreciate their advice and you have heard what they had to say, you have made a decision that is fitting for yourself and your family.
Without a doubt, an overabundance of awesome selections are out there to pick from on any given day, and when you narrow down your choices and make a decision based on what’s best for you, that’s the best any of us can do. Don’t agonize over having made a bad or wrong decision. There’s no such thing. There are only learning opportunities. In the end, remind yourself that you have every right to change your mind at any given moment. No matter what, it’s all going to turn out just fine.