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How to be more decisive?

Updated on May 8, 2011

It has been said that more is lost to indecision than to wrong decision.

If you have ever been in a situation where you just couldn't make up your mind, you are not alone. Scientists estimate that up to one fifth of adults suffer from indecisiveness. (Díaz-Morales JF, Ferrari JR, Cohen JR.)

What are some practical tips to become more decisive?

First of all you should consider that indecisiveness may be coming from a lack of self confidence. We've all seen people who are highly confident just breezing through life, deciding their next steps without any difficulty. I believe you can be like that too.

The most important and yet the most difficult step towards being a decisive person is to stop worrying about what others will think about your choices. Usually decisive = independent. This is very hard for most people so that's why the matter should be approached in a step-by-step way.

You should try to get into the habit of making quicker, small decisions on your own. It can begin with even simple things like choosing what to wear, what to eat, where to eat, who to go out with etc. If you get used to behaving in this way, you will have formed a habit that will be tough to break.

Another tip is to set time limits. Don't allow yourself to take ages before you reach a simple decision. Simply state to yourself that you will make a decision before a specific time. Of course this should be realistic, for example nobody can make an informed decision about what house to buy in a matter of hours.

Another obstacle in your decision making is probably fear of regret. We have all made choices in life that we regret. Nobody can make only good decisions. The important thing to remember is that good preparation will probably improve your chances of making the right call. It is also true that the more choices you make, the greater the chance of making more correct ones. Try to gain confidence in yourself with every little decision you make.

Writing this hub reminds me of this song by U2 (this is the live version with Bruce Springsteen):

Remember there are many people who have a hard time setting their minds on something. Always considering your options also means that you have a very open mind and would like to embrace more of the world around you.

Indecision also keeps us safe sometimes. Our conscience somehow prevents us from making really bad choices. It's important however not to let the fear of decision-making paralyze you. Accept who you are and present yourself to the world just like that. Think about it, what's the worst thing that could happen?

Most of us have great difficulty opening up but I'm sure you've had experiences where doing this only made other people open up as well. You may even discover that there are many people in the same situation as yourself, just looking for somebody to relate to. You may even find new friends.

Further reading

To conclude this short hub I would like to recommend some books you may find useful:

Thank you for reading and I wish you all the best!



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