Do you catch yourself saying, “I can’t decide” a lot more than normal? Today’s cultural climate can be complicated, to say the least. And there are seemingly endless choices to make as we navigate the “whitewater rapids” of our lives. With this process comes the concern that we’ll make the wrong choice. And by doing so, we may worry we’ll screw up our day, month, year, or, heck, our entire lifetime if our choices aren’t good ones.
It’s easy to see how such fears could become detrimental to our essential decision-making processes. We can get to the point where we’re afraid to make any decision, thereby failing to make a move, which is also a decision by default, by the way.
But maybe the cause of indecisiveness isn’t the fear of messing up that snarls your sincerest plans to make choices. It could easily stem from the myriad of options out there. Today you could live anywhere within reason, find a long-term relationship with anyone, and do any career. There are, of course, limitations and it isn’t as infinite or straightforward as that. But you get the idea. Life in today’s world is more complex than ever before!
What is the solution to difficulty making decisions? Here are some ideas if you’re having trouble making decisions
Learn to Give Decisions the Respect or “Disrespect” They Deserve
Imagine stressing out equally over who you should marry and what you should eat for breakfast. As silly as that may sound, our constant decisions fall somewhere on a spectrum of importance. And our lives are incredibly complex. Because of this, it can be easy to give a decision too much or little thought.
Take a moment and think about how a potential choice might affect your future. Practice learning only to give decisions the attention or “respect” they deserve. That way, you’ll have more energy to do the heavy-lifting problem solving when the need arises. Sometimes, learning how to stop being indecisive is as simple as assigning proper value to the challenges you hope to solve.
Address Fatigue, Burnout, and Inadequate Sleep
Making decisions day in and day out requires an enormous amount of energy. It can be challenging enough when you’re feeling at your best. However, it becomes far more difficult when you add in things like health issues, ongoing inactivity, fatigue, burnout, or sleep deficits. Your answer to “Why am I so indecisive?” may be because you’re just too maxed out and overwhelmed with life.
If you find yourself having more difficulty than usual when making decisions, assess your overall physical health. There’s a good chance you haven’t taken care of yourself lately like you need to. Now is a great time to adjust your schedule so these physical health concerns don’t start adversely affecting your mental wellness. Even extreme indecisiveness can result from an ongoing lack of adequate rest and vitality.
Get Advice from Family and Friends
As you navigate the daily choices you must make, remember that most of our decisions weren’t meant to happen in a vacuum. Trying to do it independently can significantly increase your fatigue while causing your happiness and confidence to plummet. Your answer to “I can’t make up my mind” may be partly due to isolating too much (especially given the events of the past year or so).
For that reason, include others close to you in your decisions when appropriate. Doing so will improve your quality of life and can be fun. When done healthily without too much dependence on others, it can also strengthen your family and friend ties.
Consider Whether Chronic Indecisiveness Could Be the Culprit
Although all of us can relate with struggling to make a decision, sometimes more is at play than needing to implement basic strategies. When being indecisive drastically and regularly holds you back in life, this could signal a situational or long-term mental illness such as OCD or an anxiety or depressive disorder is holding you back. There is also a phobia based on the fear of making decisions known as aboulomania.
In their “Psychology Today” article entitled Chronic Indecisiveness: Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Martin Seif Ph.D. and Sally Winston Psy.D. share the following about the chronic inability to decide:
“Most people manage to get on with their lives. In contrast, being chronically indecisive is an enduring tendency. It is not a personality trait; it is a behavioral problem that can be changed.”
“I Can’t Decide” Counseling Can Help
If you suspect chronic indecisiveness is interfering with you or in the life of someone you care about, consider counseling. You can gain greater insight into questions like “Why am I indecisive?” and “What causes indecisiveness?” it can be a healthy first step to a better life. Even if you don’t suspect chronic decision-making challenges, therapy can make a big difference.