Photo by Yeshi Kangrang on Unsplash
Realize it or not, we make a countless decision every day. Whether it’s the one that we’re aware of with full concentration or the one that looks trivial because of habit. On this article, let’s direct our focus to the non-trivial one, especially something that looks scary to us. Something that looks big, and most of the time it holds us back from progressing towards ourselves.
I’m no exception either. I’ve been in a situation where I don’t come up with any decision a.k.a analysis paralysis. I let the situation dictate whatever option I have to take. Perhaps you ask, “What’s the difference then? Don’t you have to take anything if you can’t decide which one to take?”. It’s one of the myths that I want to uncover, and I name it problem delusion.
If we’re true to ourselves—which we should, the root cause of any indecision is fear. We’re afraid to make a wrong, stupid, or silly decision. But worse than that, we’re afraid to think about the problem that we face, the options and their consequences that are the product of taking a decision. That’s what I call the problem delusion. Most of the cases, the solution that we need to take is there, but it’s hiding by our unwillingness—that’s caused by fear—to dissect the problem and think about it thoroughly.
Now is the time to show some magic on how to be decisive. It looks like magic because it seems we don’t do a work at all. But in reality, it takes courage and discipline to do so. It is when we face any problem or decision to make, try to write down what discourages us to take some option. Write it until our body could know it, feel it, and aware of it.
One day I had to revisit what I’ve been usually doing for a year or so, which is about where I go to do a workout. There’s nothing wrong with the current gym, but there’s an emerging goal that simply can’t be done on it. So I looked for another gym, and thankfully I found one that seems suitable for the need. Here comes the problem though, something wrong with me that pulled me out and persuaded me to cancel it. At first, I understood that human in general doesn’t like change. But I was sure it’s not that simple. And the conflict of interest began to rise inside me. But instead of being trapped into indecisiveness, I looked for a better solution.
I personally have a habit to write down everything that matters to me, especially something that I wanna look up later. So I asked, “Why don’t I write it as well? What I feel, what I think, and especially what I fear about.”. As soon as I wrote it, things become clearer and I could recognize hidden thoughts and fear that holds me back. Then I asked more and more questions that made the fear gone because I realize that it doesn’t matter at all.
Though it looks simple, it doesn’t stop there! Some steps were taken to try some corner cases that might fail the final decision. It turns out to be trickier because the reality isn’t the same as what I thought on paper, which made me afraid as well. At this stage, I think it’s better to communicate what we found.
I’m lucky I have a wife that could hear me on this one. Without hesitation, I told her the case and my findings. I even told her completely about my fear around everything that I found, which was embarrassing. But you know what, there’re some cases where telling stories and fear doesn’t make us have more things to consider. And this is what I love, I got a decent amount of power that makes me brave enough to crush it all. Of course, with some grain of salt.
And it shouldn’t be a problem if we don’t have a wife/husband. The key is we have to find someone that’s trustworthy, preferably the closest ones to us. Once we have adequate force to move on, perhaps some other caveats to make us wiser, it should be enough for us to take it to the next level.
There’s no perfect decision ever, we have to acknowledge it from time to time. There’s only the best decision for our circumstances and context. And believe me, there would be a million excuses for us to be back to the indecisive state. So when it’s clear to take on which decision to make, take it completely, own it! But when it’s still unclear and leaves us with some good amount of doubts, pick anything!
Since we have gone from problem delusion above, it’s okay to picky anything just in case everything looks blurry. In my opinion, if you’re in this situation, it’s better to listen to your gut as well. Afterward, we should distinguish between the time to struggle with the problem and the time to execute the decision.
It’s so important for us to not look back and rethink. At this phase, we should be safe for what needs to do and what we’ll receive as consequences. Stop asking any other questions! By doing so, we’ll soon arrive at the result of what we’ve decided, and see whether there’s something that needs to consider. Regardless the result that might be good or not, we should find our lives move one step further to the progress that we need.
I finally decided to stay at the current gym though. But interestingly, by listing down my fear and communicating it, that makes me realize there’re things that could be discovered along the process and affect the final decision. Whereas conversely, it’s impossible when we just default to be indecisive.
Let’s not forget that even though we don’t decide anything, that’s the decision as well! The difference is we give up the chance to control what needs to be taken. We let randomness that we can’t control fills our lives. But imagine when we encounter problems or decisions to make, we decide to become decisive and put the decision on the table. Wouldn’t we see progress on things that we want to advance?
Obviously, it needs work to be more proficient in decision making. But the more we do it, the more we’re used to taking control of every decision that we make, the more we make a better decision. It’s not easy, but self-discipline will make it becomes a habit, which will be easier to do from time to time. Once we become fearless, I couldn’t imagine how many better decisions that we could make. How many research could be progressed. How many lives could be transformed. Isn’t it beautiful?
So that’s it! I hope sharing my lessons learned will make us better to always come up with a decision. I genuinely want to know if you have a better approach to come up with a decision, or perhaps you have some questions to ask, etc. Feel free to comment and put some words below! Remember that we have to communicate, right? Let’s learn together!