Do you want to make the right decision?
But are afraid to make a mistake?
- Feel afraid to disappoint someone, or let them down?
- Keep telling yourself you don’t have all the information to make a decision?
- Feel that if you made a decision you have to stick to it not matter what?
- Go along with someone else’s decision to avoid the responsibility?
These are common experiences when you have trouble making decisions. Not making decisions has consequences to your life that can leave you feeling frustrated and fearful, not living the life you want, feeling powerless and at the mercy of others decisions. The main belief that holds you back is that you need to make the ‘right’ decision to avoid mistakes, the consequences of making a mistake seem terrifying.
PERHAPS YOU USE THESE WAYS TO AVOID MAKING DECISIONS?
STALLING Obsessive gathering of endless facts and refusing to face the issue until “all the facts are in”.
OVERREACTING Letting our emotions (e.g. of anxiety or frustration) spin out of control as we “make a mountain” out of the situation, thus distracting us from actually having to decide and make a choice.
DITHERING To frequently flip flop between choices and reversing decisions, never committing to a course of action.
HEDGING Making half-hearted “compromise choices” that are easy and comfortable yet fail to address our concerns or goals.
ABDICATING Letting our advisers (whether it be a parent, friend or counsellor) tell us what one should do – and blaming them for it! You may find that as a result of using these ways to avoid making decisions you end up making decisions impulsively and reinforce the negative consequences about decision making.
WAYS TO RETHINK DECISIONS FROM FEAR TO ACTION.
Let’s consider these perspectives
Not choosing is in itself a decision!
Few decisions are carved in stone. We can often re-evaluate our options when the situation changes.
The act of making a decision energizes us and helps us move forward and take charge of our lives.
No one makes the right decision every time.
Learning to see that mistakes are not:
you have lost … but that you have learnt something new.
you are inferior … but that you had the courage to try
you have wasted time … but that you have the chance to start afresh.
Making good decisions comes with practice and the courage to take calculated risks.
WHEN DECISIONS INVOLVE OTHER PEOPLE.
Let’s face it some of the hardest decisions involve other people. Such as; committing to or ending a relationship, moving away, going to school, wanting to do some activities separately from your partner, and saying no to someone. This is particularly difficult if you have lived your life attempting to avoid conflict and make everyone else happy. These dynamics often have roots in early experiences that are still controlling your life. Perhaps you can relate to the fear and guilt that can paralyze you even when you know what decision you need to take.
Some of the issues we might explore in counselling
- Fear of intimacy.
- Relationship dynamics.
- Lack of connection to self.