08 Feb

Conquer Indecisiveness

By: Marleen Filimon

You are in the mood for a snack, but what snack to choose? Chocolate, chips, something healthy like an apple, so many choices… And what about choosing a shampoo or a washing detergent, there are so many different kinds and they all claim something else. Which one to choose? Or how about planning a trip to a warm destination, is it going to be the Bahama’s, Dominican Republic or maybe somewhere in the Mediterranean.

Indecisiveness is something common amongst us nowadays, and in order to better understand this phenomenon I will break it down for you. First of all, before any decision is made, you will have to make a choice. In other words, you will have to know what you want. Then, after becoming aware of what it is you want, you choose on a plan of action, also known as a decision.

Kate has been offered a job overseas. This potentially new job is very well paid and means she will have to move to Europe and live there for an x amount of years. However, this also means that she will have to leave behind all her friends and family and start a new life in a new country and a new city where she does not know anyone. What will she do?

Kate is indecisive about her decision. Indecisiveness results when someone is not committing to the course of action that is in line with their choice. She is worried that it will be difficult for her to make new friends, she is worried that she might be overlooking a fact, and she is worried that she might miss opportunities closer to home is she accepts this job offer. In other words, Kate knows what she wants but the actions she takes do not go along with this choice.

Keeping in mind that we cannot foretell the future, unless you are a psychic which I am certainly not, there are no wrong decisions to be made. Whatever course of action we choose, every action, and therefore every decision, will have consequences. To help Kate resolve her indecisiveness, she uses this 5 step model to decide on her actions.

Step 1
Without thinking about the opinions of others, about possible negative consequences, and about what others expect of you, what is it you want? Make a choice
Kate has always wanted to travel and likes new adventures. She therefore chooses to take the job offer in Europe.

Step 2
Make a list of possible actions (decisions).
Kate’s list looks like this

  • Moving to a different country
  • Taking on a new job
  • Put house in Ontario up for sale
  • Buy a car in Europe

Step 3
What action are you engaging in now? Doing something and doing nothing are both decisions. Add this to your list.
Kate adds the following to her list

  • Staying at home
  • Meeting friends for lunch
  • Not experiencing a new culture 

Step 4
Take a look at the list you just made. What actions are in line with your decision?
For Kate, this means that her actions in Step 2 and two out of three actions in Step 3 are in line with the choice she made in Step 1.

Step 5
Now that you have made a choice about what you want to do, and thought of different decisions you can make, think about possible consequences and outcomes.
Kate has thought of the following consequences for her decisions

  • Moving to a different country means:
    • Meeting new people
    • Learning a new language
    • Traveling
  • Taking a new job means:
    • Meeting new people
    • Learning new skills

Making a life changing decision is not without stress. Whenever you step out of your comfort zone, you will experience a little stress. But ask yourself: If I don’t make a change, is this what I want? Make the choice consciously and then decide on the next step to take.