Indecision is a Decision

November 18, 2013  |   Latest News   |     |   0 Comment

There are many people who have trouble making decisions, and most of this trouble stems from fear. Fear of making a mistake, fear of failure, fear of success, or regret. However, what people don’t often realize is that not making a decision is a decision itself.

“What if I take the job and it turns out poorly?”

“What if this house really isn’t a good purchase?”

“What if I go back to school and I fail?”

What if I make the wrong career choice?”

What if I leave this unhappy relationship?”

What then??”

The “what-ifs” can be paralyzing, causing a constant loop of worry and indecision. However when we don’t make a decision, we are really deciding. We are deciding to keep things just as they are. Even though we’re unhappy, even though we’d like a change, we don’t move forward because we’re too afraid of any negative consequences. This can then lead to other feelings – low self-confidence (“Why can’t I get my life together?”), regret (“I should have taken that job.”), and feeling that life is passing you by.

According to Carol Dweck, Ph.D., indecision and decision have a lot to do with the mindset we live by. For example, people with a “Fixed Mindset” believe that talent, abilities, and intelligence are fixed traits. You have a certain amount and that’s it. People with this mindset also believe that they must look perfect at all costs, therefore, trying something new is very uncomfortable for them.

On the other hand, if a person lives with a “Growth Mindset” this person believes that talent, abilities, and intelligence is a potential that can be developed through learning and mentorship. They are open to trying new things, even though they may not look or be perfect in the beginning. In the process, while sometimes they don’t succeed in the way that they had hoped, they are continually growing and taking steps to achieve their goals, and experiencing greater levels of fulfillment and achievement.

If you’re struggling with indecision as a result of fear of making a mistake, let me ask you this: What is the worst thing that can happen? If the worst did indeed happen, is it irreparable? Most of our decisions do not involve life and death situations and can be rectified if we take a wrong turn. Part of this journey called life is the ups and downs that come along with it. Instead of mulling over all the bad things that could happen, focus on all the positive outcomes. “This could be the best job of my life.” “This move to another city may lead me to the most amazing relationships I’ve ever had!” “If my decision doesn’t work out, it won’t sink me, it’ll give me valuable experience.” Yes, there will be mistakes along with the way. Everyone (EVERYONE!) makes mistakes. Don’t be afraid of them. Have a growth mindset and embrace the decisions that come your way and use them as an opportunity to grow and learn.

In the end, it’s the ones who actively live their lives that are the most fulfilled. Don’t spend your years with your nose pressed against the window of life and delay a decision until it’s too late to matter. Get in there, mix it up, make decisions, and embrace the opportunities to learn and grow. If you do this, you will have many more successes and fun along the way.