‘I’m awful at making decisions’ ‘I’m so indecisive’ 'I can never make decisions'
Does this sound familiar? Have you noticed how these labels stick. We repeat them over and over until others start using them too?
What’s going on behind our indecision?
Fear - Fear of the unknown, fear of it going wrong, fear of changing your mind. Fear keeps us firmly rooted in place. As Susan Jeffers says, under that fear is the fear that we can’t handle life. ‘If you knew you could handle anything that came your way, what would you possibly have to fear?’
Not knowing - We call it indecision when we simply haven’t worked it out yet. We’re in such a rush to have an answer that we pressurise ourselves to have it all figured out instantly. Allowing yourself space and time to work it through is an important part of the process.
Shoulds - Often we feel conflicted between what we want to do and what we feel we ‘should’ do and this looks like indecision. When we think there is a decision we ‘should’ make, is our heart really in it? You flit back and forth continuously or end up procrastinating until you become worn down.
Inner critic - We give all the power to our inner critic because they shout the loudest. It tells us we can’t do it or we don’t deserve it and keeps us in limbo.
How to overcome these and make confident decisions
Feel the fear and do it anyway - You’re stronger than you think and have handled a lot before - we forget this in the moment of fear. How rational is your fear? Write out everything you are fearful of, review how real each fear is. If it deserves further thought, list everything you can do to reduce this fear.
Give yourself time - Understanding who you are, what you need, and what is important to you helps provide an anchor so that when it comes to making a decision you know what you want. This takes time, and is often something we want to fast forward. The more you know yourself, through self development and increased awareness, the easier decisions become.
Trust yourself - Trust yourself and your own judgement. Notice when a ‘should’ is controlling your decision making. Where is this coming from? Who or what is driving the ‘should’? When you can put the ‘should’ aside and notice that it is not coming from within, what you want becomes clear.
Reframe your negative self-talk - Being aware of your inner critic and how they are holding you back opens up a world of possibility and reassurance. When you notice the narrative they are playing out (rarely this bears any truth), see if you can replace this with a kinder, positive and truthful message. Over time, this will become more natural.
When you feel indecisive, ask yourself what's going on behind the indecision. Is it fear that's preventing you, your inner critic or a 'should'. Maybe you just haven't made up your mind yet and that's ok. Give yourself time and a decision will settle.
Gemma Brown is an associate certified coach with the International Coach Federation, working with people to navigate successfully through transitions - be it career, relationships or life in general. Her belief is that when we confidently bring our whole selves to all areas of life, anything is possible. Transitions exist in both our personal and business life, and so often, the two fiercely overlap. Coaching with Gemma focuses on you as a whole, enabling you to identify your strengths, build confidence and to live a life with increased purpose and direction. Gemma is based in Cambridgeshire and carries out face to face coaching in the area as well as 1-2-1 coaching via Skype and Zoom. For more about Gemma, visit her 'About' page or contact her directly.