Indecisiveness: The Path to Inaction
Updated: Aug 27
"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us," - Spoken by Gandalf the Grey in J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy book series The Lord of the Rings.
Have you ever deliberated on decision so much that the opportunity slid away?
Well, you are not alone. I would like to think it has happened to all of us more than once, frequently for some people, and scarcely for others.
I know it happens to me every once in a while regardless of all the personal work I have done. In the end, we are all human beings: human beings living a human life. And the funny thing about decisions is that, at least in my experience, they can seem bigger inside of us than what they really are outside of us and vice versa.
"Sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you make the decision right." - Phil McGraw
Now for me particularly, I have noticed that indecision, whether others' or my own, has an unmistakable relationship to fear of loss. And as redundant as it may sound, behind every decision, there is always a choice. Behind every choice, there is something that we hold onto and something that we let go.
Whether we choose A and let go of B, or vice versa, or even when we let go of both, we are connecting to loss, or more accurately, to a sense of loss. The 'bigger' the decision we need to make, the 'bigger' this idea of loss. This sense of loss connects us to pain. And let's be honest here. Feeling pain and/or discomfort is not something we really like.
There is an instinctual drive within is that makes us avoid pain (especially the emotional kind). To avoid the pain, we avoid the sense of loss and to avoid the sense of loss, we avoid making decisions. Hence, indecision as a state of being; leading to the procrastination of life.
Great. Now what?
Well, let's let that sink in. If there is in fact a connection between decision-making and our fear of loss/avoidance of pain, we can start by playing with our conception with loss/losing. The first step to face our fears is to understand them and then face them. It is easier to fear what we do not understand.
So, our first order of business is to do some introspection on loss. Have I ever felt this before? What are my beliefs surrounding loss? Is there anything to gain from feeling loss? Is it possible that feeling my losses can help me grow and be appreciative of who I am and what I have? What does it really mean to lose something/someone? What does it mean specifically to me?
Now, in ontological terms, the underlying emotion within loss is sadness, because sadness is defined by loss. So, am I allowing myself to feel my sadness, or is it one of those emotions I am suppressing?
The act of asking these questions and answering them will help you understand your relationship with loss and decision-making, and DO something about it.
Is there a Coaching tool that you know is efficient in dealing with loss?
One such tool that is available to everyone and has guaranteed results, is simple and powerful, is gratitude. Being able to see the gifts that can come from A or B, instead of just focusing on our potential losses, is a way tilt the balance in the favor of taking action. Shifting the fear-of-loss mindset, to create an excitement-to-experience mindset.
As I am rereading this piece, I am reminded that we all come without a map and compass, and it is okay to get lost from time to time. Right? So in the words of Phil McGraw... "Sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you make the decision right"!