Have you heard that phrase before?
If not, it means that you are spending so much time considering the options that you never actually make a decision.
A lot of us do this, especially those of us who struggle with fear.
When we have these huge life decisions to make, it feels like the stakes are raised, the importance level is set to high and what we choose could mean life or death.
I know that may sound dramatic, but just scan your own life for a few seconds.
Have you had to make a big decision in the past (or right now)?
Whether to stay in your job or quit? Whether to write a book or not? Whether to get married or not? What kind of business to start?
Did you find something in your memory?
How did you feel?
Some other not so good feeling or emotion?
Decision making can be scary and uncomfortable so it’s totally fine if you felt that way.
But what if I told you that not making a decision is actually the biggest part of what’s uncomfortable about decision making?
Well, it is.
I’ll give you an example from my life.
In the first week at home after quitting my job, it became clear that I needed to decide on a direction I would go in.
I began to brainstorm things I could do (write a book, do a sewing project, offer research services, create an information product, etc.). But I had no clear idea of what I wanted to do first.
Thus began the “analysis paralysis.”
Day and night I thought about each option, I talked about them, wrote about them, and considered each one again and again.
But no decision got made.
Instead I felt anxious, my shoulders and jaw were perpetually in a state of tension, I felt overwhelmed and frustrated AND I wasn’t moving forward with any of my ideas.
I wanted so desperately to make the “right” decision that I didn’t see that I was making myself more miserable than if I just chose something, anything, and started taking steps towards that.
While in that state of angst, I read two passages from two books that helped me get moving. Maybe they’ll help you too!
“By exposing you to real-life experiences and seeing how they feel to you, action will help you do much better thinking than you could ever hope to do sitting and weighing all the theoretical factors. Even action in the “wrong” direction is informative.”
Barbara Sher, I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was
And this one is a bit more spiritual so if it doesn’t resonate with you, just toss it aside.
“You must go out into the world so that your manifestations can reach you, so that the Universe can adjust your sails, and so that little serendipities, coincidences and happy accidents can fall onto your path that wouldn’t have otherwise if you had sat at home, waiting for a breakthrough.”
Both of these passages got me to finally decide on a direction (creating an information product) and almost immediately I felt lighter and more at ease even though I’m still not sure this is the “right” direction for me to take right now.
This simple realization made all the difference: it’s not so much about making the “right” decision, what really matters is making a decision, any decision, and working things out along the way.
So if you are in the midst of making a decision and feel like I did, just know that choosing a direction, any direction, will likely make you feel better.
If you need help deciding, using a random list generator or Wheel Decide can help you arbitrarily choose a direction. Remember, “even action in the wrong direction is informative” and making a decision and taking steps in that direction will teach you more about yourself and what you want than delaying that decision ever could.
I hope this is helpful and gets you moving.
Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts on decision making and any insights that popped up for you when reading!
I’d love to hear from you!
*The links to the two books above are affiliate links. If you purchase the books (which I hope you do, they’re super helpful!), I will get a small commission, with no extra cost to you! It’s an easy way to support Hug Your Fear while giving yourself the gift of a helpful book! Thank you!