How To Learn From Indecision

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How to Learn from Indecision

“What do you want to eat for dinner?” “I don’t know, what do you want?” How many of you have had this exchange before? Indecision is a part of life. It’s crazy to think that we would know what to do 100% of the time, but what is really behind our indecision? Why do we have periods where making even the smallest decisions is difficult? What does indecision tell us? How do we learn to make decisions?

“Indecision, doubt and fear. The members of this unholy trio are closely related; where one is found, the other two are close at hand.” – Napoleon Hill

Growing up as a perfectionist I questioned EVERYTHING. Do I want a salad or a sandwich for lunch? Well, what am I going to have for dinner? I don’t want to be too full or too hungry or God forbid – eat that same thing twice in one day. Well, then what am I eating tomorrow? Anxiety begins to rise and I start clinging onto anything around me to gain some control.

I now know enough to use my indecisiveness as a barometer. The ability to look at multiple perspectives in decision-making is helpful, but it’s important to take note of:

1) when we get stuck,

2) when indecision starts to pop up as the norm, and

3) when the amount of distress over a making decision is out of alignment with the significance of the decision.

When these things are happening it is an indicator that something else is going on under the surface. For example, if I notice that I am experiencing significant anxiety over what to order off a dinner menu, I know it’s something is off for me. So what is underneath the indecision?


Indecision is often a sign that perfectionism is lurking. When I notice I am experiencing a lot of indecision, I am often trying desperately to make the perfect or “right” choice. Fear is a big factor here. Perfectionists fear failure; the two cannot co-exist. My perfectionism lies and tells me that mistakes are not okay. In the decision-making process the stakes are really high for a perfectionist. Failure is literally death to the perfectionist dream. It is no wonder that decision-making can be stressful for someone who struggles with perfectionism.

Indecision in a perfectionist can often result in analysis paralysis. Analysis Paralysis is that place we get too when we have over analyzed a decision that we become frozen. Again, this is rooted out of a fear of failure, a fear of making the wrong decision. The first time I heard this term I knew exactly what it was.

In the decision-making process the stakes are really high for a perfectionist. Failure is literally death to the perfectionist dream.

Disengagement & The Victim

Indecision can become a bad habit when we use it as a way to disengage from our lives. Indecision can drag us into victimhood. It’s too hard to make a decision. I don’t want to. Don’t make me decide. This victim orientation keeps us from stepping into our own power. Giving up our power can be an attempt to revert to a childlike place. We’ve all had that bad day where we long to be a kid again. A kid doesn’t have to make a decision about what to cook for dinner or what utility company to choose. Disengaging from our life keeps us from being present in out lives and accountable for the choices we make.

What’s wrong with not knowing?

Some of life’s questions may not have answers or we may find ourselves in a situation where the answers aren’t yet available. These situations make it difficult to make a decision. At times there may be no answer. Indecision can be a marker that our tolerance for the unknown is lacking. What’s wrong with not knowing? Wallowing in a pit of indecision can be an attempt to opt-out of embracing vulnerability.

Decisions, Decisions

Once we are able to see what is underneath the indecision we can start taking actions to address the underlying issue. We reality check perfectionism and trust our intuition. We step in to our authentic self and find our voice. We embrace vulnerability. We decide.

“Make a decision and then make the decision right. Line up your Energy with it. In most cases it doesn’t really matter what you decide. Just decide. There are endless options that would serve you enormously well, and all or any one of them is better than no decision.” – Abraham-Hicks

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