What to Do When You Can’t Make a Decision

What to do when you are feeling indecisiv or when you can't make a decision
December 16, 2016 Mariana 0 Comments

Do you describe yourself as being indecisive? Having a hard time making a decision about something? Here are some tips from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Tim Ferris, Internal Family Systems Therapy, and Buddhism.

 Phrase your decision as a yes-or-no question. Fold a piece of paper in half. Write “Yes” in one column, and “No” in the other. Write how you feel when imagining yourself answering the question with a Yes. Then, write how you feel when imagining yourself answering with a No.

Do a Cost-Benefit Analysis. Fold a piece of paper into 4 quadrants. The upper two quadrants are as follows: 1. The advantages, benefits, and rewards of X. 2. The disadvantages, risks, and costs of X. The lower two quadrants are as follows: 3. The advantages, benefits, rewards of not X. 4. The disadvantages, risks, and costs of not X. “X” could be: leaving your job, breaking up with your partner, making a big purchase, going to graduate school, making a significant life decision.

Challenge the catastrophic for a moment. What are the worst things that could happen? Could I get back here if I wanted/needed to?”

You know when you feel like there are parts of you in disagreement with each other? “A part of me says and wants this… But, another part of me says and wants this…” Sound familiar? Then, sometimes don’t you feel like there is an innate voice of wisdom inside of you, trying to tell you what the right thing to do is? Well, some, like myself, would argue that this is the nature of the mind- to be sub-divided into parts, with each part having their own personality, role, beliefs, wants, and needs. And at your core, there is perspective, wisdom, curiosity, confidence, compassion, calm, courage, and acceptance.

Ponder the question, What would I do/have/be if I had $10 million?”

Clarify your values and think about your goals. Think about what is important to you. Is it family, relationship, location, community, security, stability, adventure, risk, growth, a challenge? Think about your goals. What are your short-term and long-term goals? How would this decision help you make progress towards those goals? How might this decision keep you from making progress towards those goals?

Practice Gratitude. I always come back to gratitude and appreciation. Check-in with yourself, “Could it be that everything is fine and complete as is?” Check out the “Five Minute Journal.”

Really ask yourself, “What’s the point?” Write what comes to mind. Read your response. Are you doing something because someone (e.g., parents, significant other, society) is telling you to?

Be Bold. We only have this life to live so take a chance, take more risks. Any action is better than inaction. It doesn’t have to be perfect, monumental- any move towards action versus avoidance is leading you in the right direction.

Also, “Indecision is a Decision.” What do you think of the outcomes of indecision? “Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing is so futile.” -Bertrand Russell.

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