When the stakes are high, making a decision can feel like a mission impossible—and endlessly vacillating between choices leaves you feeling stuck and miserable. But while we all have trouble deciding which way to go from time to time, there are a few powerful ways to deal with indecision:
Name the Fears.
More often than not, we're indecisive because we're afraid. Ask yourself, "What's the worst that could happen?" Then ask yourself, "If
that happens, then what? And then what?" The goal is to work the fear down. If what you fear did come to pass, would it really be as terrible as you've imagined? And how would you address it? What would you do to cope? Often by simply identifying the fear—and figuring out a concrete way to deal with it should it come true—you remove a lot of its power to control your decision-making.
Nothing leads to indecision faster than letting your actions be guided by the desire to impress or satisfy others—the things you think you "should" do. Inevitably, the part of you that just wants to do what you
want to do will rebel. When you stop worrying about what everyone else will think, the best decision often becomes crystal clear.
If It Can wait, Let It.
Though it may feel as though you need to decide right this minute, chances are that you don't. Sometimes sitting with (or sleeping on) the decision lets you get a handle on the facts. If you have a good idea today, you can have a better idea tomorrow. If you don't need to decide right this second, don't.
Avoid Analysis Paralysis.
Indecision is sometimes a result of too much thinking. There comes a time when no matter how much you think about it, the decision is not going to get any easier. So rather than attempting to mull it all over for the hundredth time, let the numbers decide. Make a list of the pros and cons for each of your options. This strategy sounds so simple, but the act of writing down every facet of the situation, good and bad, is surprisingly clarifying. I promise that it will help you find the answer that's been waiting for you all along.
Are You Living the Life You Want?
I'm so thrilled to be part of Oprah's The Life You Want Weekend
, which travels to eight cities this fall. I'll be one of several speakers sharing advice
to help you set out on the path toward lasting happiness and fulfillment—and I hope to see you there. But if you can't make it, I offer you this challenge: Ask yourself whether what you're doing with your time is helping you pursue the life you want—or whether, as I mentioned in this month's column, you've been making decisions based on others' needsor wants. Only when we follow our own heart's desires can we fulfill our true destiny. Good luck!
Iyanla Vanzant is the host of OWN's Iyanla: Fix My Life and the author of Peace from Broken Pieces.