When you are trying to make a decision, sometimes it can feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Even the smallest of decisions, while you’re being indecisive, can feel massive. You say to yourself “it’s a big deal and I want to make the right decision”. I totally get it. However, is there a way to make decisions faster, without being quite as indecisive? Life decisions of course need to be thought through, but that level of thinking is not required for all decisions.
The weight of indecision
The weight of indecision can feel REALLY heavy. Some even describe it like a micro-stress because that’s exactly how it can feel. The feeling of indecision ruminates. It can set in like a bad storm. If you’ve ever experienced being indecisive over a long period of time, you’ll know what it’s like; it can go on for a few hours, days or even weeks. The bigger the decision the longer it can take. Sometimes though we kid ourselves that a decision is ‘big’ when in fact it’s not. Indecision can become like a mountain that you have to climb – the longer it goes on though, the steeper it seems to get.
The impact of being indecisive on your life
Often an inability to make a decision in one area can impact on other areas of your life. I recently challenged my Master Practitioner Masterminders to go live on Facebook every day for five days. A Master Practitioner said on one evening of the challenge “Do you know what? I should have done the live this morning because it’s been bugging me all day that that I needed to do. I should’ve just got on with it this morning because it ruminated all day.” She did it in the evening because she was forced to by a deadline. The weight she felt all day impacted not only on her, but it also impacted on her family as she was on a day trip out with them. She’d spent the day thinking “I’ve got to do a Facebook Live. I don’t want to do a Facebook Live. I’ve got to do a Facebook Live.” She spoke to her husband several times that day saying she’d got to do it. She was at best distracted all day. This is how indecision and the weight of indecision plays on our minds.
Often you don’t notice that it’s been a heavy weight until the weight is lifted. Once the decision is made, notice how the weight disappears. Decision made! It’s like a real sense of relief.
Internal conflict that leads to being indecisive
A lot of indecision comes from processing that goes on in our head, and sometimes we just need to get rid of those conflicts. Part of me thinks I’m good enough to go for the job. Part of me doesn’t. Do I go for it, do I not go for it? This internal ‘debate’, analysis of pros and cons, and rattling the options around our head can delay decisions and cause the feeling of weight to increase as times passes.
The ‘debate’ is our unconscious mind trying to keep us safe, is trying to help make the best possible decision. However, sometimes you just need to be able to get the clarity of thought to make the decision to move. Make a decision, commit to the decision, execute the decision.
On our NLP practitioner course, we have a specific NLP technique called the Parts Integration process. This is amazing at helping people get clarity of thought and when people are in that indecisive mode between part of me wants to do ‘X’ and part of me doesn’t.
Are you making ‘Mountains out of Molehills’?
Often we can allow ‘analysis paralysis’. We get into an unhelpful cycle of analysing the options. Fearful of making the wrong decision. This is not only exhausting, but increases the weight felt. The truth is that many people deal with ‘little’ decisions like it’s life or death. They lose perspective. The reality is, if it doesn’t turn out to be quite the right decision, give yourself permission to change course, to pivot, to do something different.
3 Top tips to help you be more decisive:
Decide to decide: JUST MAKE A DECISION!
I don’t think indecision is something that you can live with for long periods of time. In fact, I think it’s not healthy. I think sometimes you’ve just got to have the courage and the bravery to make a decision, execute the decision, and get on with it.
Would talking it through or thinking it through help you decide?
Our mind has filters and these filters are part of how your mind works. One set of filters are called Meta Programmes (filters of the unconscious mind that are powerful determinants of personality). There are 22-24 of them. One is called ‘Information Processing Style’. Some people are ‘Internal Processors’ and need the space to think about things by themselves only. Others are ‘External Processors’ and they think or process information best by thinking out loud (talking). Consider how you best process information and use this as a precursor to help you make a decision faster!
A model for thinking things through from 4 different angles
Our thinking is usually habitual. We look to solve problems in the same way each time. Applying the same logic. Sometimes though to find a different answer you have to think differently. “Always thinking in the way you have, means you’ll always get the answer you always got’ (a play on the well know quote from Albert Einstein). Change your thinking, Change your Results.
A model we use on the Master Practitioner programme is called Cartesian Logic. You don’t need to know where it came from and it’s history to be able to use it. You just need to know the 4 questions that you can use to ensure you are looking at things from different angles. Take a different perspective. Ask yourself these questions one at a time and see what pops into your head. Listen to what pops into your head and consider it:
- What would happen if you did?
- What would happen if you didn’t?
- What wouldn’t happen if you did?
- What wouldn’t happen if you didn’t?
Ask the questions, capture the answers, consider, decide and move! (one note: this tool is not for use by the analysis paralysis crowd – it will just delay you further!!! LOL)
So when are you going to decide?
Let’s make a decision, let’s move, and let’s get some stuff done. That’s what I’m all about. If there is something that’s bugging you right now and you know you need to make a decision, then commit to yourself that before you go to bed tonight that you’re going to decide. Make a decision, be happy you’ve made a decision and execute that decision. And do not leave yourself in the state of indecision with that weight and stress of ruminating about am I or am I not going to do it? Decide and get on with it.