The percentage of mistakes in quick decisions is no greater than in long-drawn-out vacillations, and the effect of decisiveness itself “makes things go” and creates confidence. — Anne O’Hare McCormick
Indecisiveness is a paralyzing condition. This is true for governments, businesses and individuals. Do you find yourself grappling with uncertainty? Do you spend hours toiling over the pros and cons of a particular course of action? Taking proactive measures to alter this destructive behavior will allow you to move your life in a positive direction. Here are a few suggestions to overcome this destructive behavior.
Recognizing the 4 Thieves of Progress
- Fear of Failure
This fear may arise from ego or personality disorders. Those with large egos may view a failure as an event that will diminish them in the eyes of their peers. You might even be a narcissist or a perfectionist. These personality types always “have to be right.” You could even be a procrastinator.
Whatever the reason behind your fear of failure, you can overcome it by acknowledging the fact that no one can know everything. The fact is that you will never possess every tidbit of information necessary to make the best decision. What you can do is exercise your due diligence, listen to your gut and make the decision.
Try to remember, everyone is working in the face of unknowns, and this effectively puts you on an equal footing with the rest of humanity.
- Assuming Decisions are Irreversible
This is a common mindset that can stop the decision making process in its tracks. Very few decisions are irreversible, and the likelihood that you will be stuck with the consequences forever is actually quite small. Even tattoos can be removed! Acknowledge that even decisions that turn out poorly provide an opportunity for you to learn and grow.
Test out the impact of your decision, secure in the knowledge that if it turns out flawed, your next choice will be a better one.
- Believing Decisions Might be Apocalyptic
This is not an uncommon mindset,but very few decisions that you make in life have the potential to bring your world crashing down around you. As I said earlier, few are irreversible. The resilience of the human spirit is legendary, and you will bounce back from the occasional miscalculation. Learning to accept the fact that occasionally poor decisions will be made is essential to overcoming uncertainty and indecisiveness.
- Not Recognizing that no Decision can be Worse than a Poor Decision
This is a difficult concept for some of us to accept, but it is nonetheless a fact. Friends, family and loved ones can and will forgive you for making a decision that turns out badly, but few will easily forgive inaction.
Inaction suggests that you don’t care. It suggests that you don’t know what you are doing. It suggests that you are weak!
We live in a fast-paced world. Changes come quickly and ambiguities abound, making decision making difficult. Things are rarely black and white. Situations will always arise that are fraught with unknowns and questionable consequences. Uncertainty and indecisiveness will also rise to threaten your ability to make those decisions.
Indecision can be difficult to overcome unless you are in the small minority who thrive on the challenges of the unknown. Most people would choose structure over chaos and clarity over confusion. Understand that you are not alone in this struggle.
Decisions must be made virtually every waking moment of our lives. You can’t even buy a toaster without facing the decision of whether or not to buy an extended warranty. Stop being your own worst enemy! Remember the four thieves of progress outlined here and move forward with your life, your finances and your dreams.
H. D. Carver is an American who currently resides in Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines. He has years of experience in the financial services sector and has served as a manager for Fidelity, as the vice president of a large regional bank, as the president of a financial services company, and as the Manager of Administrative Services and Support for the Aon Corporation. He has worked as a freelance writer for 4 years. Currently, he writes for Your Finances Simplified.
This post was featured on The Finance Girl, thank you!