Dealing with Indecision


There are situations where we continue to resist making a decision. The protective part of the brain is trying to keep the status quo. What we don’t realize is: safety has a price.

“The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision.” ~Maimonides

The cost of indecision may not be easily quantified. But it is felt every time we are faced with the need to make a decision.  Here is a personal example of the cost of indecision.

My blogging story

I started a blog back in 2002 when blogs were still new. I did it for a few months then stopped. I didn’t want to think about my content or how to expand the blog.

Move forward a few months: I deleted the blog.

I repeated this process at least five more times until 2009.

One might think I didn’t want to start a blog.  If I did it once or twice and moved on, then that would have been fine. But this self torture of redoing and undoing was not a positive experience. The only thing I learned from it was: I REALLY wanted to start a blog but I played it safe.

Putting my money where my heart is

Last year I started this blog. I did it differently this time. I chose to pay for hosting and reserved a name.  I became more motivated to make it work because, unlike other times, I made an investment.

I wrote for four months with a few readers. Now what?

If I repeated my old pattern, I would just pack it in and call it a day. It is the safest thing to do.

Instead I joined a blogging boot-camp offered by two of the bloggers I admire the most. I put myself out there. I participated and made the best out of this intensive five day journey. I made new friends who share the same desire to have a successful blog.

Putting more money, time and effort into creating this blog reinforces my commitment and motivates me to keep going.

What did my indecision cost me?

  • Time: I repeated the same process of starting-up, design and topic choice many times.
  • Energy: Starting blogs and writing took thought and effort.
  • Missed opportunity: I could have used this time to do something else. Better yet, I could have learned more about blogging.
  • Mental and emotional stress: This is the most significant cost. The constant mental nagging created a state of dissatisfaction and perpetuated more negative thoughts and limiting beliefs.

The above cost is not measurable in financial terms but it is more expensive than trying, learning and failing.

When we make decisions (right or wrong), we learn and grow with every experience. When we freeze in our tracks we remain where we are, or worse, we are left behind.

Is it OK to want to be where you are?

If you are content with your current status then it’s perfectly fine. But if you have a desire to do something and don’t want to take any more risks, then you are stagnating and will continue to struggle with indecision.

In order to move forward, we need to accept where we are without beating ourselves up. What matters is:  we are here and willing to start now.

You might find the following questions helpful in trying to figure out what’s holding you back. Reflect on your answers. Allow your intuition to guide you.

Do you still want to do it and why?

If it is something that keeps nagging at you, then there is a desire in you to do it. The next step is to figure out why you want to do it. The reason behind it will uncover your true passion which can be a motivation by itself.

What is stopping you?

Examine the excuses you’ve been telling yourself: not good enough, don’t know much, have nothing of value to offer, don’t have enough money, too old, too young… you get the picture.

How are you going to deal with your excuses?

Most of the obstacles we create are a result of limiting beliefs and conditioning. The simplest way to overcome them is just to start moving. If it is money or physical abilities, explore what you can do about it. The resources will reveal themselves when you start looking.

What is the worst that can happen if you fail completely

Imagine the worst case scenario. How much money would you lose? How bad are you going to look? Are you going to be humiliated…Can you live with that? Is the experience worth it?

Where can you start today?

Determine what you can do NOW and start moving. A small step is all you need.

As you continue to move forward, you will feel less of your inner resistance. Your experience will motivate you to overcome indecision.

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