Do you sometimes have trouble making up your mind? Indecision can hold you back from personal and professional success. You may miss valuable opportunities and add to your daily stress.
While indecision shows up in many ways, there are usually only a few root causes. Take a look at 3 of the most common obstacles and how to overcome them.
Obstacle One – Pleasing Others
Do you automatically go along with what others want or do you stand up for your own needs? Learning how to advocate for yourself will help you to make decisions that are consistent with your values and goals.
Try these tips:
1. Evaluate consequences. Imagine how different your life would be if you make yourself more of a priority. It may motivate you to practice being more assertive.
2. Flip a coin. While major decisions require careful thought, you also need to connect with your true feelings. Flipping a coin may help you to recognize the results you want.
3. Seek feedback. You can still collaborate with others. Ask family and friends you trust for their input and support.
4. Keep a journal. When you’re trying to change any long-standing habit, you can gain insights by writing about your behavior. Spot the situations where you tend to agree with others regardless of what you really think.
5. Consider therapy. It may also help to talk with a professional counselor. They can help you to increase your awareness and design new strategies.
Obstacle Two – Feeling Overwhelmed by Choices
Having plenty of options can be a positive thing. However, it can also make you feel like you’re being pulled in too many different directions.
Slow down and ground yourself with these strategies:
1. Clarify your criteria. Think about your purpose in life. It can help you to eliminate alternatives that are inconsistent with your goals.
2. Limit your options. Do you find yourself wasting time and energy on trivial issues? Simplify daily routines by eating the same nutritious breakfast each morning or building a capsule wardrobe that allows you to dress in 10 minutes or less.
3. Think long term. Pay attention to the full impact of your decisions. How will your choices affect your future?
Obstacle Three – Dealing with Perfectionism
Do you hesitate to act because you feel pressured to excel? Developing realistic standards will help you make smarter and faster decisions.
Keep these ideas in mind to develop realistic standards:
1. Start small. Work your way up to handling marriage proposals and job offers. Practice by resolving what to cook for dinner and where to go on weekend outings. Each decision will build your confidence and skills.
2. Accept uncertainty. It’s tempting to put off reaching a conclusion so that you can gather more information. However, you need to determine how much research is adequate so you can take action and deal with other responsibilities.
3. Value learning. Remember that personal growth and development depend on using experiences to increase your knowledge and skills. Any setback can be beneficial if it helps you to perform more effectively next time.
4. Take sensible risks. Give yourself credit for having the courage to take a chance even when you feel uncertain. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Concentrate on what you may gain and recognize that you may lose more by not taking any action.
5. Develop compassion. How do you treat yourself when a decision fails to deliver the results you wanted? Learn how to comfort and encourage yourself. Use positive self-talk. Meditate daily to relieve anxiety and build your self-esteem.
Take charge of your life. When you face your fears and focus on your goals, you’ll be able to make decisions with greater comfort and confidence.