The curse of indecision
Indecision is nature’s way of saying, “You may want to take a moment.”
Too long of a moment is risky because the mind tends to open the door to fear, denial, or uncertainty.
Life is seldom predictable. Unexpected situations supply endless opportunities to consider, make a choice, and decide on a course of action. Informed, confident choice is power. Decisive, well considered, prepared for the consequences, power!
Decisions are informed by the past, made in the present, with an eye to the future.
We draw on previous experience to inform our choices, decisions of great consequence reveal the thin membrane dividing decisive and indecisive. When the stakes are high an honest interpretation of previous experience is critical and tricky to accurately recall from memory.
Past, present, and future combine to inform the choices we make.
The ancient portion of the brain concerned strictly with survival remains a valuable asset. This evolutionary fail-safe mechanism embedded in our human psyche/physiology is meant to compensate for a lack of decisiveness. When seconds count, survival instincts inspire us to instantly leap from danger without thinking.
Not unlike a panicked squirrel crossing a road, indecision can be fatal when you’re facing down a bus. A direct and immediate threat cuts through indecision like hot knife through butter.
Our ancient brain is adept at handling emergencies, the trouble begins when we have ample time to chew on a decision.
Perhaps you’ve tossed and turned through a sleepless night unable to reach a decision, feeling like you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t?
As our decisions risk greater consequences indecision increases, and rightly so. A divorce or career change require more thoughtful examination than choosing what color of socks to wear. It’s wise to consider big decisions carefully and thoroughly, yet how much is too much? One might assume insomnia and anxiety a step too far.
Remember, even when you don’t decide…. you decided.
Any examination of indecision benefits from thorough scrutiny of your risk review board.
A functioning risk review board is a standard feature issued to humans as part of our survival package. The review board will discourage leaps from tall buildings and encourage safe driving. Coming to know the character of your risk review board is worth the effort.
Some members may be experienced and confident with a history of good judgment and sound decisions. Others come to the table fearful or paralyzed with anxiety, convinced a wrong choice will lead to catastrophe.
Your review board may have endured a long night of argument and analysis and ended the stalemate in frustration advising the unthinkable, a leap of faith!
The ancient brain and risk review board may be standard issue in the survival package, but we still must build and mature reliable discernment with intention and over time.
Decisiveness and confidence increase proportional to how well we know ourselves. Indecision can be fueled by fear of the unknown or a lack of courage, yet more often it’s the past or the future interfering with the ability to be present. Better able to accurately interpret our past or realistically imagine the future, we learn to make decisions in the present with ever increasing confidence.
Attempting to guarantee outcomes, completely avoid failure, or control the random nature of life is unrealistic.
When the best laid plan goes sour a measure of forgiveness provides more nourishment than self-flagellation. Instead of regret, remorse, and guilt use failure to inform and harvest discernment. Success and failure will remain co-authors and continue to influence our decisions.
“Uncertainty and change are a constant in life, decisions will be made, accept it. Understand, it is your right, responsibility and privilege to fully participate.” – A wise man.
The mind endeavors to do the right thing, the body tells the truth. The integrated individual learns to discern between the concerns of historical or aspirational characters with little judgment, consider the input, and given time grow confident in the decision-making process.
Frequent honest and realistic assessment of our individual assets and limitations is recommended. As our situation and circumstance change with regularity we also change in response. Decisiveness increases with experience and strengthens the ability to settle into the present quickly and respond appropriately. Difficult, rewarding, and well worth the effort.
Stripped of subtlety or situational complications and reduced to basics, fight, flight, or freeze.
The relevant question is –
Are you confident your risk review board will provide an accurate assessment and suggest an appropriate response?
If your answer is yes, good for you. If your answer is no, what do you plan to do about it?
Snake ‘Craig’ Bloomstrand