Indecision should by my middle name. It has an old school Latin ring to it. Heck, maybe I’ll apply to change it by deed poll…
No but seriously, I am incredibly indecisive. I have my moments of crystal clear clarity. During these moments I book trips to Thailand to volunteer with elephants and fly to Vegas to see Britney Spears but for the most part I leapfrog back and forth over a fence of options, unsure if I am doing the right thing and struggling to get started…
My mind is like a giant game of Twister, with each coloured square representing an option that I swot at before moving onto the next one.
Can you relate?
Indecision can have its plus points. Being indecisive is better than being stupid and chances are uncertainty will help you weigh up the pros and cons of your choices before jumping the gun and ending up married in Vegas.
More often than not though, indecision is just annoying. Perhaps you’ve struggled with the same decision for years or maybe there’s something more recent that’s come to light and you don’t know what to do with it.
In a battle to conquer my own indecision over whether to start a nutrition course, I took to Facebook to ask my friends how they dealt with their indecisive moments. Here are some of their suggestions, mixed with some of my own! Naturally, I have framed this question in the context of travel but you may extrapolate it to your career, hobbies or relationships!
Flip a coin
Ah, the good old fashioned coin flip. I don’t know that this technique is the best way to decide on a divorce or new baby, but it can work well for travel. Something that can paralyse travellers is the dreaded question ‘where should I go?’, especially if you only have the time/money for one trip. So pick two destinations and flip that coin. This doesn’t work if you need help whittling down your options from 20 to 2. For that you may need to be brutal…
Weigh the pros and cons of each destination
Grab a piece of paper and divide it into two columns. List all of the pros and cons that you can think of for each place. Considerations such as cost, distance, visas and vaccinations may impact your decision as may the weather!
Pros: Once in a lifetime experience; rare animals; beautiful scenery.
Cons: Expensive; many vaccinations needed; long flight.
Discuss with a friend
Our friends and family are often sounding boards on which we bounce off ideas. Sometimes just talking it out with someone sheds light on the correct choice. My main sounding boards are my mum, partner and brother who I can literally talk to about anything but I also know that I can always talk to my aunties and friends and that they can always talk to me too.
Give yourself time
Sometimes, indecision passes and certainty replaces it. If you’re feeling very indecisive, you may not need or want to make an immediate decision. Perhaps what you need to do is press pause and take the time to research, consider your options and fully formulate your opinion. Armed with greater knowledge, you may find the decision comes to you with ease.
Trust your gut
I truly believe that your intuition rarely misguides you. Think about where your intuition has already taken you in life.
Has it led you to take a course in psychology?
Did it lead you to your romantic partner?
Did it get you invested in a new hobby that turned into a side business?
Chances are, your gut has already taken you quite far in life and it wants to take you further. When you drown out your internal chatterbox, what does your gut tell you to do?
To get in touch with our intuition rather than our thoughts, we may need to find a way to shut our mind out temporarily. Meditation is a wonderful way to do this. I prefer guided meditations, as I find they work better for me. My chatty voices could be housed in a football stadium so hearing someone else talk me through the process enables me to concentrate. In the stillness and silence that you cultivate, you may find that messages come through that advise you what to do next. Even if you don’t manage to shut the voices up, you may dim them enough that what you truly want to do shines through.
For those who are prefer a more active means of relaxation, yoga is ideal. You might start feeling fidgety, clumsy and uncomfortable but by the end of the session, you’ll feel light and calm. Following up your practice with meditation is a good way to access your intuition.
Physical activity quietens the mind. It’s one of the few activities in life that shuts our minds up which is why it is so crucial and yet very few of us do enough exercise. If you’re feeling indecisive, hit the gym, go for a run or lift some weights. You will probably feel light and clear afterwards and in a better space to make decisions.
Sometimes we can capture our thoughts better when we write out a stream of consciousness. You may find a few gems hidden there. Writing also enables us to express mental clutter and junk and what’s left can be what we really need to hear!
Just do it
If you feel truly split, then chances are that there is no right or wrong answer, in which case you need to make like Nike and just do it! Often we agonise too much over our decisions (paralysis by analysis) but we can give too much weight to certain choices. There’s no wrong way so just pick and go.
What helps you conquer the indecision monster?
All my love