Thursday, July 23, 2015

Is your indecisiveness holding you hostage?

I have been blogging for over ten years now.  I’ve garnered a loyal audience, but nothing like the readership I got recently when I wrote about indecision.  Clearly this is a hot topic as over 2,000 readers stopped by to read what I had to say, which leads me to ask why?

Why is it that indecision is epidemic in our culture?  My first conclusion is that perhaps we just have too many choices.  “Back in the day” we were much more limited in what we could pursue as a career, for example.  At the risk of aging myself, when I left high school, you could be a nurse, teacher or secretary, that was it.  Today the options are endless.

But I suspect the more underlying problem is fear.  Fear of making the wrong decision . Fear of making mistakes.  Fear of failure.  And maybe even fear of success. So many of us strive for perfection, even when we know deep down it doesn’t exist.  So we wait until we think it is a sure thing before we make the final decision.  But if you wait too long, it could be too late and you miss out on an exciting opportunity.

Perhaps because I am an entrepreneur, I am more comfortable with risk.  I am used to ambiguity, as it goes with the territory.  So making a decision does not paralyze me.  Right now in fact I am poised to embark on a new venture which will shake things up.  Am I nervous?  You bet.  Am I worried it will bomb? Yup.  Will I be on a steep learning curve?  Yes.  But is this going to stop me?  No.  I get excited at the potential and I am building in time to plan.  This is not something that is going to happen overnight.

For me, staying still or with the status quo is never an option.  Perhaps it should be, but I want to grow and evolve personally and professionally, and sometimes that can get messy.  I need to be prepared for the worse case scenario, but at the same time have the faith and confidence that this will work.

In my original blog I spoke about how indecision was a decision in itself.  Sometimes in order to move forward we have to choose. Perhaps as a society we have started to overthink things instead of listening to our intuition.  It does in fairness, help if you have done some self-awareness work, in that you know and understand your strengths, weaknesses and foibles.  Being in tune with your values and your “code of ethics” can also help point you in the right direction.

If you are faced with some tough decisions, ask yourself what is the worst thing that could happen if I do A or B?  Think through what you could do to soften a bad landing. But I encourage you – make a decision – move ahead.  Nothing is carved in stone. If it doesn’t work, learn from it and move on. 

Just don’t sit there, literally stuck in the mud.  Break free from the indecision that is holding you hostage.  You deserve better.

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