Do You Delay in Decision Making?

How to decide? Pic Credit: Pixabay

Decision making is a critical matter. Often, we delay or procrastinate our decisions.


We keep on prodding, probing, collecting knowledge and information but still can not make up our mind to take that ‘important decision’…

Actually, it is not that we don’t have the ability to take the decision but it is our ‘fear’ to take the wrong decision that prevents us from taking any decision. We want our every decision to be ‘right decision’.

In our life, we take few critical decisions. And each decision that we have taken so far is the ‘right’ decision considering the situation, circumstances and our understanding at that point of time. It is only in the hindsight that we ‘judge’ whether that particular decision was ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.

Decision making is important and time critical. Don’t let the ‘fear’ of taking ‘wrong’ decision hamper your decision-making ability.

Don't be in a state of Indecisiveness!

Sign board depicting 'Right' and 'Wong' with two differently directed arrows.

I was always fascinated by the defense and police personnel. Seeing the men in their uniform was a delight for me during my growing up years. And it somehow remained in the back of my mind. But when an opportunity appeared to be one among them and done the uniform, I was not sure if I wanted to follow it as a career. The reason being I also wanted to pursue my higher studies from a US university. I was in a state of sheer indecisiveness whether to join the armed forces or to go for the higher studies?! It was really a stressful period for me. Imagine I was just twenty years old then!

In life, such a situation often arises where we have to make a decision and we are not sure as to what decision to take. In the example that I mentioned above, I had two choices. Many a time you just have to decide on something but still, you cannot make a decision as you are not sure of yourself. In the process, you start overthinking and it results in creating more stress in your mind. How can we avoid this state of indecisiveness? Can we really avoid it?

When you are in a state of indecisiveness, your mind oscillates between the positive aspects and the negative aspects of a decision that you intend to take. The mind does not let you decide on a particular options that you might have before you. It only cultivates multiple thoughts which keep your mind wastefully engaged in unnecessary overthinking. This overthinking restricts your decision-making capacity in the present time and creates a psychosis or rather a fear psychosis- the fear of the unknown. The state of indecisiveness does not serve any purpose other than to create a confused state of mind. So, what is the solution then? If it was so easy to make a decision on somebody or something, why the hell would be anyone like to be in a state of indecisiveness?

Is this state similar to the sate of ‘Dilemma’? No, because when you are in a state of dilemma, generally you have to make a decision from either of the two options available to you and you know that both the options are equally bad! I am not categorizing the dilemma under the various heading as ethical, moral, emotional etc. Here let’s restrict our definition of dilemma as an unsure state of mind on taking a decision when given a choice.

Let us now analyze why our mind is unsure of taking a decision. The probable reasons could be:-

  1. Decision could have a probability of a failure.
  2. Impacting larger audience in a negative manner.
  3. May create financial insecurity.
  4. Impact any of the existing relationships.
  5. May harm your reputation.
  6. May impact your business or profession.

So on and so forth…

If you do a deeper analysis of all the above reasons you will find one thing in common- the fear factor! This fear factor creates the state of indecisiveness or dilemma in your mind and makes you overthink resulting in further enhancing the fear factor and in the process, you continue to harness the notional fear in your mind and procrastinate your decision for long! In fact, that notional fear does not allow you to take any decision!

What to do then? My simple advice would be; when you are unable to take a decision which is important to your overall self, take a break ; take some time out. Sit in isolation and write down on a piece of paper what is bothering you. Then write down the probable solutions which will mitigate that botheration. Arrive at or pick one solution that would meet the maximum of your overall solution requirements. Of course, there would be some amount of risk involved but then every major decision that you took in life had a certain amount of risk involved. There is no escape from it!

How about sharing an example of this? Let’s take my example only which I mentioned in the beginning; choosing a career between armed forces and higher studies abroad. You know after going through a painful period of the indecisiveness for a few weeks, I sat down and decided what would be more beneficial and more suitable for me in the long run? And after some deliberations, I decided to choose higher studies abroad options. It’s another matter that despite getting I-20(Admission letter from a US university that allows you to apply for visa) from four good universities I ultimately could not go for my higher studies to the US! But at least I took a decision!

And the next important thing to remember once you take a decision; stick to it! No matter what! At no point of time, ever regret that decision! You see, in life, we normally take five to six decisions that overall shapes our destiny. Some of the decisions may go wrong or might not be that fruitful. But ensure you take corrective actions rather than regretting or cursing your decision. Just remember, life is a journey and on a journey, we have all kinds of experiences- some good and some bad! And we still continue with our journey…

Now, I hope you have understood the crux of the matter that no matter what:-

  1. Never be too long in the state of indecisiveness.
  2. Take a decision and stick to it.
  3. Don’t ever regret the decision that you have taken.
  4. Life is a journey, enjoy every milestone!