We all struggle with figuring out how to make decisions from time to time. But if you can directly relate to some of the most terrifying moments indecisive people face — from what to order to what emoji to use — join the club. Or don't. Your decision.
And yes, we're well aware that it sucks to stand behind us indecisive folk in line, especially during the literal ruthless hunger games of lunchtime. But for some of us, committing to a decision, despite how trivial, is way harder than it is for most people. We'll overthink, overanalyze, revisit, doubt, regret, reflect, question, and stress out over it until we may not even make a decision at all. Or we'll choose all of the options. Can't figure out plans for tonight? Looks like it's gonna be a night in. Then what to order? Everything. Then the ultimate decision — what to watch on Netflix. Well, probably nothing because by then it'll be long past bedtime.
Sound familiar? It's OK — know that you're not alone. Even better, know that there are ways indecisive people can determine what they want and stick to it. It all comes down to a tweak in perspective, a little patience, and a big deep breath. So try these seven little ways to be less indecisive.
1. Forget "Shoulds"
Let go of the need to impress others or adhere to what you think others will see as right. As inspirational speaker Iyanla Vanzant told O, The Oprah Magazine, when you stop worrying about what everyone else will think, the best decision often becomes crystal clear. A huge part of indecision comes with suppressing what you may already know you want at the expense of what you think you should want. You can surely go along with that option, but chances are, you're not going to be too happy with that decision after all.
Of course, this gets a little tricky in situations where some people may definitely know what's best for you if they have your best interest at heart. Like deciding on whether or not you "should" go back to an ex who's repeatedly hurt you versus not knowing whether or not you "should" order that cheesecake are two situations on entirely different levels. That's the time to step outside of yourself a bit and look at it from all angles.
2. Visualize Outcomes
If that means whipping out that pros and cons list, go for it! By visualizing probable outcomes, it's much easier to foresee positive or negative consequences, counselor Laurel Clark of the School of Metaphysics told Daily Worth. In this way, you're able to get a firmer hold on your options that may even make it easier for you to make quicker decisions down the road. The reason for this brings us to our next point...
3. Tune In To Your Feelings
When you're visualizing your outcomes, take note of how you feel with each option. Chances are, you'll be feeling a little something, whether that may be anxiety, hope, relief — so pay attention! This will give you a better idea of what decision will be best for you. Beyond that, it'll get you more in the habit of making those decisions that are best for you. As Janet Ong Zimmerman wrote for Your Tango, when struggling with making a decision, notice that your mind is stressed about something that either happened in the past or something that may or may not happen in the future. Being present in the moment and with your current feelings is crucial to helping you get in tune with your intuition.
4. Think Strategically
Because when "feeling through" a decision miserably fails, there's always logic to back you up. Developing a strategy will help remove emotion and clarify your understanding of the situation, career development expert Kate Wilson told Daily Worth. Simply knowing more about the situation you're facing, as well as how you play into it, will help inform you that you're making the right decision. Maybe it just makes the most sense, all factors considered. Or it's the most time efficient. Or the most beneficial overall. Whatever it may be, experts suggested several decision-making strategies to DailyWorth, such as considering the situation as a third party to let logic do its thing.
5. Don't Be Afraid Of Failing
Sometimes we make the wrong decision. It happens. But when you reconcile this fear of failing, you'll be more willing to take risks and less likely to be paralyzed by this fear. Business strategist RM Harrison told Daily Worth that many indecisive people struggle with the perfectionist mindset — the belief that we must have everything figured out all at once and that there can't be any room for mistakes. The solution? Harrison suggested replacing this mindset with the belief that errors are required. When you're prepared for possible setbacks, this will clear the initial way for you to just make that decision without over-analyzing it so much.
6. Straighten Out What's Important To You
In order to more easily make the best decisions for yourself, you should definitely define some of your core values, Zimmerman told Your Tango. Though she spoke more specifically about relationships, the same logic can be used for just about any decision. Knowing what's important to you and what qualities you seek in a partner is a pretty transferrable train of thought when it comes to choosing what you want. Because choosing the right burrito is also a commitment you're making, and you want to be upfront and clear about your priorities. You know you love avocados, so just get the extra guac, c'mon.
7. Take Your Time
When I'm in a frenzied state of making a decision, this is all I can think and care about and it's pretty much the most important damn thing in the world. There's just no time to take my time. I can't be patient, and I most certainly will not take a deep breath, thank you very much. But hey — it does help. At least, the first step is to take the pressure of time off of yourself. Because when we know we're on the clock, that can be all that consumes us and prevents us from thinking straight and making any sort of decision.
Making decisions can be terrifying, but the most important thing to remember is to take a deep breath, remember what's important to you, and realize that life will go on regardless of whether you make the "right" choice or not.
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