"It's your decision." Few words can bring about such power and such fear.
For a big part of my life, I weighed every decision very carefully. Too carefully in a lot of cases.
While it's good to consider options, I've learned that it's often wise to make decisions more quickly and move on. Whether it's right or wrong, at least I'm in motion. I'm experiencing "ertia" as my friend Pam would say. (That's the opposite of inertia.)
Why is it so difficult for us to make decisions? See if you recognize yourself in any of these scenarios:
These are some of the global decision blockers identified by Theodore Rubin, M.D., in his book "Overcoming Indecisiveness." I picked up this book years ago as a reference and ran across it again when I was organizing my home library over the July Fourth weekend.
All of us struggle with decisions, according to Rubin. Some of us are even immobilized by them. Decisions put us in charge of our own lives, though. Every time we make a decision, we find out who we really are because we make use of our priorities and values.
Aha! There's an eye-opener - and a key factor in overcoming indecisiveness. If you look back at the list of decision blockers, you'll find that many of them have their roots in pleasing others, wanting to be accepted, wanting recognition, etc.
When we're looking at external sources to validate our thinking, it's no wonder we can't identify our priorities - let alone identify our values and stand up for our principles. By doing this, we end up giving away our power. And that leads to some of the other decision blocks that perpetuate the indecisiveness.
According to Rubin, the world is unequally divided between decision makers and abdicators. The majority of us tend to be abdicators. At least to some degree, we give up our freedom to make decisions. However, success as a way of life is directly proportional to the willingness to make decisions - so it's worth getting out of our comfort zones.
Most of us are not aware of how we give up our power to make decisions. Those who chronically abdicate the decision process often feel that something is missing from life. A more accurate way to describe the problem would be to say that someone is missing. Abdicators are missing from giving direction, input and development in their own lives. They are missing. Take a look at the following examples:
Joe sits in a restaurant, stares at a menu and waits until his wife orders. He then orders whatever she does. His selection does not reflect his own taste, choice or decision. Later in the evening, he feels that his wife has bullied him. He's irritated with her - and with himself.