“We decide to go to a movie. She agonizes forever and finally asks me to make the decision. We’re in a restaurant with friends. She waits till everyone has ordered and then reviews the menu over and over again before deciding. Then she chases the waitress and orders something else. We’ve been together three years. Though I love her, I am not sure how much more wishy-washy stuff I can take before I call it quits.” Ben
Ben’s partner clearly requires professional help. Her “indecision phobias” are not occasional occurrences. We all have indecision moments in our lives, stalling to analyze a complex situation can be the right choice when important decisions are at stake. However, when “indecision paralysis” happens daily, no matter whether the decision is a minor one, such as ordering a meal or as major one such as weighing a job offer, then we’re dealing with a psychological dysfunction.
In many cases the inability to make decisions is based on lack of confidence. The severity of this disorder maybe rooted in childhood experiences. An acquaintance of mine admits that when he was a boy his father kept accusing him that he couldn’t do anything right. Eventually he believed his father. Throughout his growing up years and his adult life he had serious self-doubts. He felt he was a failure and became withdrawn and panicked when having to make a decision. Only extensive counseling helped him change his destructive belief.
A loving partner or a trusted friend can often be a sounding board when we’re unsure about making a decision. The very process of talking out the issues can clarify the problem for the help-seeker. Sharing his or her dilemma doesn’t necessarily mean that the help-seeker expects the listener to come up with the solution. More likely he or she simply requires a non-judgmental, trusted person to hear them out.
When indecision confronts you, consider the following points:
• Life is ambiguous, nobody can control every outcome.
• Trust your inner voice when you’re not sure which choice to make. With the right attitude and confidence you can make your choice become right.
• Don’t make the decision that you believe others expect from you. Make the decision that feels right for you.
• When others are affected in the outcome of your decision, consider their position as well as yours. Ask, is your decision fair or solely beneficial to you?
• Sometimes our minds are clouded because we see only the problems rather than the opportunities. Stand back and look at the bigger picture. Where are you going in your life, what are your priorities? What are the big pluses, where is the opportunity?
• Don’t focus too narrowly when it comes to significant decisions. How does your decision affect your family, your health, your economic wellbeing? Addressing the basics first you may choose a different outcome.
• If you recognize that you’ve made the wrong decision, don’t fret. In business as well as in personal life there is always an alternative to make a wrong right.
• Every decision involves a certain degree of risk. But without risk there is rarely any gain.
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Edited by Jody Smith