Some people are naturally decisive. They see the options and choose immediately. Then there are the rest of us. We think about it and think some more. We see both sides of the coin, we weigh the pros and cons, we ask people around us, and sometimes we still come out wondering which is “the best” choice—because we don’t want to make the wrong decision.
“Time and tide wait for no man,” as they say, and so the clock ticks away, anxiety creeps in, and a person can even miss the opportunity to choose at all. If you’re wondering how to be more decisive, here are 5 tricks to put you on the path to confident decision making.
1. Limit your options.
Are you the kind of shopper who looks at every option in the store to make sure you didn’t miss something? Even with a successful purchase, you keep wondering: “What if it’s cheaper online? What if she doesn’t like this? What if…” Instead, find a few good options and make yourself choose one.
2. Give yourself a time limit.
Children often need time limits to help them create healthy boundaries for how they spend their time. Sometimes, adults need to do that, too. We can determine how much time to spend on a decision by asking how important the decision actually is. How much time we give to a decision should be based on the impact the decision is going to have. Are you trying to decide which color shirt to buy, or whether to move your family to a new city? The less impactful the decision, the less time we should spend on it.
3. Get in tune with your gut.
Many of us who are indecisive have ignored our guts so many times that we wonder if our guts are even there. But we all have a gut, even if our fears and anxieties have stifled it. Some compare the gut to intuition. It usually speaks to you right away. It’s an almost immediate reaction or knowledge. What did you feel or think first? Say your decision out loud or to a trusted friend (someone who loves you unconditionally). Does it ring true?
4. “Choose like Jenny.”
When I was in high school, my indecisiveness didn’t serve me well during multiple-choice tests. “I just can’t choose because I can see how either one of the options could be right,” I once said to a teacher. He told me to choose like Jenny, a close friend who was decisive and confident. Do you have a friend who is decisive and confident, too? Do you know someone who thinks very black and white? Next time you’re trying to make a decision, pretend you are that person for a minute—and choose.
5. Pray about it.
As we get older and wiser, we realize that what we actually need is not always what we initially think we need or want. Our human minds are limited. But God is different; He knows the beginning, the end, and everything in the middle. He knows us even better than we do. So if you’re feeling indecisive, try praying about it. Ask God to guide you and show you what to choose.
What’s at the root of all this indecisiveness?
Fear. Often, it’s a fear of making mistakes. Other times, it’s a fear of disappointing others. Take a moment to examine your expectations of yourself and your motives. Are you striving to please others or seek what is right for you? If you’re ready to be a more decisive person, then it’s time to let go of fear, one decision at a time.
What helps you make a tough decision?