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When You Can’t Make Up Your Mind, Try This Technique To Make Wiser Decisions

When You Can’t Make Up Your Mind, Try This Technique To Make Wiser Decisions

You just received a job offer from another company. While you have been working at your current job for several years and you enjoy what you do, this new position would offer you better pay and a chance to try something different. Suddenly, you feel that familiar twist in your stomach and your mind starts whirling.

The Problem of Indecision

All of us experience difficulty with making decisions at some point or another. We doubt our abilities and question whether we are making the right choice. An endless procession of what-if questions fill our minds, and sometimes staying stuck in indecision seems safer than making a decision at all. Yet, there are simple ways to become a more confident and efficient decision maker.

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You Will Never Be 100% Sure

When we are making a big decision that will greatly affect our future, we tend to want to be 100% sure that our choice is the “right one.” We bite our fingernails and analyze the situation forward, backward, and upside down, hoping that a perfect picture will emerge. The reality is that choosing the best option doesn’t require 100% certainty. In fact, nothing in life will ever be 100% certain, since every choice carries the potential for both risk and reward. Decision-making is less about complete certainty, and more about choosing the best option as it arises.

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You Can Always Make Adjustments

A great way to break through indecision is to remind yourself that you can always make changes and adjustments. You are not trapped by any decision you made yesterday, last week, or last month. You always have the right to change your mind or to make new decisions as you learn and grow. The biggest mistake is to make no decision at all. When you remain indecisive, you are really letting other people or circumstance choose for you. Even if you make a poor choice, you can always learn from your mistake. Letting others choose for you, however, stops you from learning the important lessons that will allow you to make better decisions in the future.

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Make a List of Pros and Cons

Few things can help you tackle a tough decision better than a list of pros and cons. While a list of positives and negatives for each outcome may seem simplistic, you will be amazed how much clearer your choices become when you write them down. We all have trouble sorting through information in our minds. For instance, have you ever made something a really big deal in your mind, but when you told someone else you realized it was really no big deal at all? The same thing happens with decision-making. We stress ourselves out when we keep all the what-ifs and possibilities swirling in our minds. Writing them down makes our options concrete and easier to grasp. Then, you are easily able to see which option includes more positives or more negatives.

Take Your Time

Often, we rush ourselves to make a big decision when we could have taken more time. We dislike the stress of sorting through our options and going through the pros and cons, so we try to just choose as quickly as possible and hope things will work out. Although it might provide some relief to make a quick decision, giving yourself time to process will ultimately bring you more peace. You don’t even need to spend the whole time consciously thinking about your choices. Just take a few days and “sleep on it,” letting your unconscious or intuitive mind take the lead. You may be surprised what insights pop up when you least expect them.

The most important thing to keep in mind when making decisions is that you don’t need to be perfect. Also, remind yourself that no one else makes perfect decisions either! Instead, think of the decision making process as an opportunity to grow and learn more about yourself and the world around you. When your goal is learning and doing the best you can, you free yourself from the pressure to be perfect. Without all that pressure, you may just find yourself feeling excited rather than stressed when the next big decision comes your way!

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Last Updated on March 31, 2020

How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

How often do you find yourself procrastinating? Do you wish you could procrastinate less? We all know how debilitating procrastination can make us feel, and it seems to be a challenge we all share. Procrastination is one of the biggest hindrances to moving forward and doing the things that we want to in life.

There are many reasons why you might be procrastinating, and sometimes, it is really difficult to pinpoint why. You might be procrastinating because of something related to the past, present, or future (they are all intertwined), or it could be as simple as biological factors. Whatever the reason, most of us follow a cycle when we procrastinate, from the moment we decide to do something to actually getting it done, or in this case, not getting it done.

The Vicious Procrastination Cycle

For some reason, it helps to understand that we all go through the same thing, even though we often feel like the only person in the world who struggles with this. Do you resonate with the cycle below?

1. Feeling Eager and Energized

This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it!

2. Apprehension Starts to Come Up

The beginning stages of optimism are starting to fade. There is still time, but you haven’t done anything yet, and you start to feel uneasy. You realize that you actually have to do something to get it done, and that good intentions are not enough.

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3. Still No Action

More time has passed. You still haven’t taken any action and probably have a lot of excuses why. You start to panic a little and wish you had started sooner. Your panic starts to turn into frustration and perhaps even irritability.

4. Flicker of Hope Left

You can still make it; there is a little time left and you ponder how you are going to get it done. The rush you get from leaving your task until the last minute gives you a flicker of hope. There is still time; you can do this!

5. Fading Quickly

Your hope starts to quickly fade as you try desperately to understand why you just can’t do this. You may feel desperate and have thoughts like, “What is wrong with me?” and “Why do I ALWAYS do this?” You feel discouraged, or perhaps angry and resentful at yourself.

6. Vow to Yourself

Once the feeling of anger or disappointment disappears, you most likely swear to yourself that this will never happen again; that this was the last time and next time will be different.

Does this sound like you? Is the next time different? I understand the devastating effect that procrastination has on many lives, and for some, it is a really serious problem. You also have, on the other hand, those who procrastinate but it doesn’t affect them in any way. You know whether it is affecting you or not and whether it undermines your results.

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How to Break the Procrastination Cycle

Unless you break the cycle, you will keep reinforcing it!

To break the cycle, you need to change the sequence of events. Here is my suggestion on how you can effectively break the vicious cycle you are in!

1. Feeling Eager and Energized

This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it! The first stage is always the same.

2. Plan

Thinking alone will not help; you need to plan your actions. I always put my deadlines one or two days in advance because you know Murphy’s Law! Take into consideration everything that you need to do, how long it will take you, and what you will need to get it done, then plan the individual steps.

3. Resistance

Just because you planned doesn’t mean that this time is guaranteed to be different. You will most likely still feel the resistance so expect this. This stage is key to identifying why you are procrastinating, so when you feel the resistance, try to identify it immediately.

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What is causing you to hesitate in this moment? What do you feel?  Write them down if it helps.

4. Confront Those Feelings

Once you have identified what could possibly be holding you back, for example, fear of failure, lack of motivation, etc. You need to work on lessening the resistance.

Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to move forward? What would make it easier?” If you find that you fear something, overcoming that fear is not something that will happen overnight — keep this in mind.

5. Put Results Before Comfort

You need to keep moving forward and put results before comfort. Take action, even if it is only for 10 minutes. The key is to break the cycle and not reinforce it. You have more control that you think.

6. Repeat

Repeat steps 3-5 until you achieve what you first set out to do.

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Final Thoughts

Change doesn’t happen overnight, and if you have some deeper underlying reasons why you procrastinate, it may take longer to finally break the cycle.

If procrastination is holding you back in life, it is better to deal with it now than to deal with the negative consequences later on. It is not a question of comfort anymore; it is a question of results. What is more important to you?

Learn more about how to stop procrastinating here: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

Featured photo credit: Luke Chesser via unsplash.com

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