Do I do this? Do I do that? What do I do? Sometimes the answer is very straightforward and simple. Sometimes it is not. Either way, oftentimes we freeze. We are afraid of doing the wrong thing… and so we don’t do anything.
I had a client who was so worried that she would make the wrong choices, she put everything off. She was so paralyzed by fear that she inevitably caused herself more stress by delaying.
You might think that this scenario was basically a demonstration in decision making. But was it? On the surface it may look like she needed some decision-making skills. However, it was more than that; it was really about what was going on underneath. And for the record, there is always an underneath to all of us – those thoughts, beliefs, patterns, habits, etc. that drive us. While those might not have hurt, it really boiled down to the lack of confidence in herself that lead her to be unable to take advantage of opportunities as they arose.
When it isn’t about buying the red shoes over the blue shoes or investing in personal/professional development or even what to have for dinner, then it’s about your internal drivers. If you find yourself in a similar place — having a hard time deciding — first figure out if it is due to lack of confidence. If so, here are a few questions to ask yourself to help make confident decisions:
- What makes me think that I am not a good decision-maker? Let’s say that at some point someone of influence in your life said you were a poor decision-maker or possibly said something like “Hurry up, you take so long to make up your mind.” Is this true? Probably not, but because you believed what they said, it’s very hard to make any decisions. You never feel that they are good enough.
- Who am I really trying to please? So many of us fall into being people-pleasers because we want people to like us. And if anyone ever says “You stink at decision making” then the propensity is for us to prove that we actually are good at making decisions. Yet, because we try so hard to please other people, we aren’t able to make decisions because we are afraid others will disapprove.
- So what if I chose Option A and after the fact realize that Option B was the better choice? There are many things in life that we can choose again — or differently — next time. The beauty of this is that there are no mistakes, only opportunities to learn. If you realize you wish you made a different choice in the past, choose again. It is okay to change your mind.
Ultimately the way to begin feeling confident about making decisions is to start making them on a smaller scale – do I buy the red shoes or the blue ones? Then you’ll build that confidence muscle one decision at time and be able to eliminate the stress.
Author Bio: Kim Ravida is Founder and CEO of Kim Ravida Coaching. Kim works with women and women business owners to structure their lives and businesses in a way that fits them so that they reach their goals, make more money and live their lives with less stress and more success. She places an emphasis on fun, freedom and practicing good self-care.
For free resources go to www.kimravida.com/resources to see books Kim recommends, free downloads and listen to her previous Blog Talk Radio Life Coach Chat Channel radio shows.