Not deciding is a choice. We can slice and dice this a million ways, but the end result is the same. Choosing NOT to decide on something (indecision) is in actuality, a decision. And it’s one of our favorite one’s to make!
Why do we do this? For most of us it boils down to one thing: WE DON’T WANT TO FAIL. Its basic ego protection (human nature). Why take accountability if you’re scared you’ll “fail” or if someone else may not like the outcome? We choose to do nothing because if we didn’t choose for it to happen then it happened TO us not BECAUSE of us, and that- my friends- in the short term feels a heck of a lot better than the alternative. Especially when it involves vulnerable topics like weight, relationships, career success, health, failed businesses, etc.
The issue: this seriously messes with what psychologists call our “locus of control”, or our belief that we can influence external events and outcomes. When we’re indecisive, we forget that we not only shield ourselves from the bad, but also from the good. How can we truly feel responsible for something we know we didn’t actively choose, even if the outcome is great? We can’t and we don’t. We end up feeling completely powerless all of the time and become a passenger to our own lives. Yeah, we skirt some of the negative stuff, but at what cost? We can never feel good about what we do AND we aren’t putting ourselves in a position to learn a dang thing because we’re also denying ourselves the experiences to learn and grow.
Is it important to sometimes wait or mull things over before firmly making a choice? Absolutely. But note that you are choosing to give yourself the space and time necessary to be comfortable with the final result or to come to a more gainful solution to problem. Indecision is not that. Indecision is choosing not to decide and allowing other forces to control the “controllable” in your life. It’s surrendering ourselves to either outcome.
Choosing indecision on items you generally don’t care about is completely OK, but what’s not okay is consistently pawning off accountability. Don’t you want to take responsibility when things go well? Don’t you want to learn when something doesn’t go right and take credit for the ultimate outcome? Don’t you want to feel like you’re in the driver’s seat to your own life?
So ask yourself this: What are you choosing not to make a decision about? What is holding you back? What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
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