It’s estimated that adults make a staggering 35,000 decisions every-day. From picking what to have for breakfast to choosing what to listen to on the radio, it’s no wonder that for some people it’s easy to go into overload when it comes to making decisions.
Being indecisive is difficult at the best of times. A friend asks where you want to eat and you umm and ahh for hours, your partner asks you to select a Netflix binge and you spend days scrolling, or your boss asks you what you think of a project and you freeze. These are just the minor things; when it comes to big decisions like where to live, who to commit to, and whether or not to take a risk – these can turn into major mind traumas.
From having more ease and confidence to learning to trust your own voice, being more decisive comes with many blossoming benefits. It’s difficult to plunge straight into making big decisions so these mini micro hacks may be just the right way to get started.
One of the best ways to build up decision making confidence is to start small with mindful decisions and work up to the big things. The next time someone asks you where you want to eat or what you want to watch – make the choice and make it fast. Forcing a quick decision on the minor things starts to work that decision-making muscle and trains your brain to focus on the immediate answer faster.
Go for the Gut
While it may be counter-intuitive to our first point, another angle is to learn to pause for a moment after someone asks you something. Not only should you pause but use that second to tap into your gut. The gut is our ‘second brain’ scientifically speaking. It contains 100 million neurons and up to 90 percent of the cells in there carry information to the brain. Your body will react intuitively to information before your mind gets involved in the map-making process. The trick is to ‘feel it in your gut first’ and see what it’s saying.
The Power of Three
When we think we only have one way out or if we have to pick between two, we suffer a kind of paralysis of fear of making the wrong choice. But if you map out three choices rather than two, suddenly you have alternatives and believe it or not but the pressure lifts. Three is the magic number for indecisive people because it adds grey area into a thought process that seemed so black and white. Next time you have a decision to make – map out your three alternatives and see how much easier it becomes.
Watch Your Self Talk
Again, something that takes practice but also something you can incorporate into your day to day life. Often, indecisive people can have choice paralysis because of negative self-talk or a desire for perfection. It’s all too easy to say ‘let go of perfection’ but a great start is just noticing how you talk to yourself and where your mind goes. If you pick a movie and then spend the whole time telling yourself ‘it’s a stupid movie and no-one is enjoying it and why couldn’t you pick a cooler film’, then its no wonder you hit a dead zone during decision time. By picking up on negative self-talk and working to counteract it with self-kindness, you will be able to make decisions easier without the fear of a wave of inner criticism coming your way.
Use Your Voice
Pacifists and people pleasers can also struggle with being decisive as they don’t want to make a decision that could upset someone. Not being decisive is sometimes about not having enough trust in your own voice and to overcome this means learning to use your voice. Speak your truth, participate in small decisions, and have faith in your own mind and ability to either make the choices that work for you OR to recover from decisions that may not have the desired outcome.
Being decisive can be fun. Plus think of all the time you will save when not scrolling through Netflix. Tell us your tips for being more decisive in life, we’d love to hear them.