Rid Yourself of Indecision and Live with Intention
Have you ever found yourself, what I call, ‘coasting’ through life? You are awake and you are out in the world, but you aren’t really there? Your mind, your thoughts, your presence, is somewhere else. You find yourself pulling into the parking lot at work, and you know you drove there, but somehow it feels like it never happened. Whole days pass and you have no idea what you did, what you ate or where you went. Where were you that whole time? Were you even there?
I want to live with intention every single day. This means making choices and ridding myself of indecision, being purposeful in my activities, having what I need and value, and of course being active, present and self-aware in the moment as often as I can. I see living with intention like turning off cruise control. I am going the exact speed, the exact direction, the exact location that I have consciously chosen and I am controlling the wheel. Of course, taking control of the wheel doesn’t make you immune to hardships and challenges, but it allows you to be an active participant in your life – and this is your life, you should be an active participant in it!
Just Make a Decision Already!
Stop saying things like “I don’t know”, “I don’t care”, “it’s up to you”, “you choose” and “I am good with whatever”. Do you really not care? Are you really good with ‘whatever’? For some reason no one seems to like making the decision. No one wants to choose the restaurant that disappoints and no one wants to suggest the activity that sucks. Even so, you DO have an opinion. You DO want something, so take the time to figure out what that is. Make a decision and stand behind it.
Indecision is a copout. You should have what you want. More importantly, you should take the time to know what you want. Making decisions is consulting yourself and deciding how you feel about something; take a stance and figure out what that is.
It is easy to be overrun with choices and in the face of being overwhelmed we panic and default to these indecisive copouts. We leave the decision up to someone else. And when we leave it up to someone else, we are leaving it up to chance; you are rolling the die! But the reality is, you ALWAYS have a preference!
It was only within the last few weeks that I realized how indecisive I was - indecisive to a point of fault! My indecisiveness was not only frustrating others, but also frustrating myself. It was the weekend of my birthday and as the day approached people started asking questions; What would you like? What do you want to do? Where do you want to go? What would you like to eat? What kind of cake do you want? And everyone knows ‘the birthday-girl chooses’, so people waited...
For someone who evidently hates making decisions I felt overrun! So what did I do? I did the easy default “errr I don’t know!” Perhaps if I just said ‘I don’t know’ long enough the day would come and someone else would make the decision for me. It was actually the day prior to my birthday that I really became aware of this, my complete inability to make a decision – I was coasting. So I decided (yes, decided!) that I was going to start making decisions, and I was not going to leave it up to chance anymore.
Easier said than done of course! Just trying to incorporate decisiveness into the day was a challenge. From the start of the day to the very end I tried to think about what I really wanted in that moment, and to be honest, the process felt exhausting.
I learned very quickly there were primarily three roadblocks on the path to decision; 1) not wanting to come off as bossy, pushy or selfish 2) worrying about pleasing others and 3) wondering how that decision would impact others’ image of oneself.
Of course, it is important to think of others, it is important to know that the world does not revolve around our individual desires and we often will put the needs of others before our own. But here is the distinction; we may not always GET what we want, but we should KNOW what we want. There are times that we need to go ahead and put ourselves first, in the little things and the big things too.
Go ahead and take some time to focus on your decision-making skills. Chances are, you are probably more indecisive than you think you are, so start paying attention! Get to know what you want and take control of it. When you start tuning in and start making decisions you are on the path to living intentionally; no more mistakes or leaving things up to chance - it's all you now!
Big, small, easy or tough - what decision did you make today?