What gets in the way of decisions?
So, we had a good idea but it could have easily have been delayed and forgotten. There are many reasons why we avoid decisions. The following are typical reactions when decisions are needed:
We ‘decide’ to wait and see, think it over or sleep on it. Thinking it over can be good if it leads to a decision but all too often it only leads to further procrastination. “There’s no point in prevaricating about the bush.” Wallace (from Wallace & Gromit)
When options of equal value are presented and it seems impossible to decide between the two. In this case you need to find out more information about the options to ensure that there is some difference or simply pick one. It is usually better to choose incorrectly than not to choose at all.
There was an interesting example of this in a episode of Star Trek Voyager on television. The Doctor had to make a instant decision between treating two patients both with the same life threatening illness and only one of them would survive. The Doctor did the right thing and made his choice, the other patient subsequently died and the Doctor spent the rest of the program wondering if he took the right decision. The Doctor, by the way, is a hologram…… I guess if you don’t know Star Trek this will mean nothing to you so we will move on.
Impulsive or quick decisions come in two flavors. Emotional and Instinctive. Instinctive decisions are usually very good. We make these everyday while we drive. Emotional decisions are less likely to be successful.
Where you let others take your decisions for you. This is okay as a child but adults fall into this trap far to often to avoid taking the responsibility. The excuse often used is to get someone else’s opinion but the result is avoidance. You give up your freedom of choice for a measure of false security.
You will find this issue very common in companies where the employees get into trouble for making mistakes. Individuals pass the decision on to the Boss to avoid problems when they go wrong.
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When faced with important decisions some people start to feel sorry for themselves for being in the position to have to make the decision. If left to simmer this introspection can turn to depression making it impossible to make reasoned decisions.
Always deciding to do the opposite to the norm. This is considered to be expressing independence but in fact it is simply reacting to other people’s decisions. This is very common amongst teenage children. They show their independence by making decisions that are the opposite of what Dad would do. I am delighted to tell you that they usually grow out of this.
‘I am keeping my options open’ or ‘I am not committing myself one way or the other’. This is usually fence sitting to avoid the decision.
The real trick with decisions is to make them. Success is measured by the number of decisions you make.