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Tea or coffee?
Should I buy a house or an apartment?
How should I invest my money? Crypto or buy a rental property?
Should I go out with my friends, or have a PJ party with Netflix?
Choices. Big choices. Small choices.
There are so many choices you need to make every day, and sometimes it isn’t easy to decide. You may even wonder, “Why am I so indecisive?”
If you are a typical Libra (like my bestie), “indecisive” may just be part of who you are, but honestly? We all struggle with making decisions at times, and sometimes, our indecisiveness takes over and has a significant impact in our lives.
Do you want to get your indecisiveness under control? First, you need to understand why you struggle with decision-making, and from there, you can take action.
I’ve got everything you need to know about why you are indecisive. Let’s get into it.
What Does It Mean to Be Indecisive?
To be indecisive means that you struggle to make decisions. You can’t make up your mind; you can’t choose among two or more options; you can’t take action. Indecisiveness leaves you in the in-between – torn, stuck, in limbo, paralyzed.
You feel overwhelmed and anxious. You can’t make a decision at all even though you continuously weigh up each choice against each other, or you delay it until the last possible minute (and then some). You may even do anything you can to try and get out of being in the decision-making driver seat.
Being indecisive happens to all of us. You may think that struggling with decision-making is a quirk, while others find you to be wishy-washy.
Some people only struggle with a decision every now and again, and it is usually the big choices that cause indecisiveness. They don’t sweat the little stuff.
But then there are the rest of us. We struggle with indecisiveness much more often, and it’s the big decisions AND the small decisions we fret over. In fact, the decisions we need to make over the small stuff feels just like the decisions over the big, important stuff.
How Does Being Indecisive Affect Your Life?
Not being able to make decisions can have a significant impact on your life. It affects your personal life, your career, your friendships – everything. Essentially, being indecisive leads to inaction, which severely affects how you function in society. It even costs you money, time, and opportunity.
Indecisiveness impacts you emotionally. You may feel forced into a decision, you may never make a decision and always have others decide for you, or you may ultimately choose, only to never be happy and continually think “what if…”
Your self-esteem may suffer, you feel overly stressed and anxious, and you struggle with mental anguish. Eventually, being indecisive can lead to depression.
There’s also the other side of the coin where indecisiveness isn’t always a bad thing. Not making a decision right away and rushing into something gives you time to think. You have an opportunity to gather more information and weigh up the pros and cons.
Not being able to make a decision straight away could be an indication that whatever you need to make a decision about is very important to you, but it’s essential to not be stuck in inaction and patterns of overthinking. You do need to decide – eventually.
9 Common Reasons You Struggle to Make Decisions
Do you feel indecision tugging at your psyche? Do you feel stuck? If so, here are the most common reasons why you struggle with decision-making:
Reason #1. Too Many Choices
Have you ever stood in the candy or ice cream aisle and just felt completely overwhelmed by all the choices on offer? You know you are craving something sweet, but on this particular day, it isn’t a specific double chocolate chip mint leaf ice cream craving or an M&Ms craving.
I’ve been there, and when there are too many choices on offer, I really struggle to decide.
So that’s one reason why you may be indecisive at times. Lots of options, so which should you choose? What is the right decision, and what is the best one? Are they the same? What if you pick wrong? What then?
Thoughts like these continue to spiral in your mind.
Yeah, the same thoughts (and many more) run through my head when I’m confronted with too many choices. (#itsucks)
Reason #2. You Are a Perfectionist … and Scared of Failing
If you are a perfectionist, chances are you don’t ever want to fail, and you struggle with indecisiveness. You probably see making a decision and your options as “right” or “wrong” and you most definitely don’t want to pick “wrong.”
You chase the ever-elusive “perfect decision” – and unfortunately, there is no such thing. And this further leads to indecisiveness.
There’s a constant tug-of-war between what is the right decision. The thought of making a mistake or things not going as planned is completely intolerable.
Reason #3. Your Upbringing
Parental or your caretaker’s influence also has an impact on how well you make decisions. If your parents were overprotective, controlling, or overbearing, you may not have had an opportunity to make decisions independently when you were growing up. The result? You could never succeed or fail by yourself.
So when you need to decide, you rely on others to make a decision for you – that’s what you are used to.
There’s also the case of having indecisive parents. Because your folks could never make a decision, you learned to copy their behavior.
And if you have judgmental parents, chances are you don’t want to make decisions because you are scared of what they’ll think and how they’ll judge you.
Reason #4. You’re a People-Pleaser
Yip, back to the double P word. Please-pleasing.
When you people-please, you are always thinking about others. What would they want? What would make them happy?
Well, what about you? You matter too, and what you want counts.
So when you are a people-pleaser, indecisiveness manifests in one of two ways (and this can be circumstance dependent):
Imagine your date asking you where you want to eat. You may feel like Chinese, but you know they prefer Mexican. So you opt for Mexican, assuming that’s what they’d want, and you don’t want to upset them by choosing Chinese food.
Playing these kinds of mind-games – where you over-analyze what people want (but you never ask or confirm or share what you want) – with your date, partner, kids, colleagues, friends, and family has negative effects on your relationships.
Reason #5. You Focus on Only the Details
Decision-making also becomes a never-ending struggle when you get so caught up in the little things or details and become overwhelmed. While it’s a good thing to consider the little things, it becomes a nuisance when it keeps you from being able to make a decision.
You’ll see that people who never lose focus of the big picture make decisions quite easily and quickly compared to those of us who overthink, over-analyze, and over-whatever else the little stuff. You feel lost and confused, not knowing which way to go.
When you only zoom in on the details, it’s easy to lose sight of what the goal actually is. You also place too much emphasis on the little things, and while they matter, it’s more important to keep your eye on the prize.
Reason #6. Lack of Confidence and Self-Doubt
Another reason for “why am I so indecisive” is because you may lack confidence and engage in self-doubt. When it comes to decisions, you may know which way you want to or should go, yet you feel insecure.
When self-doubt and second-guessing yourself creeps in, you start procrastinating and putting off the decision-making moment.
Reason #7. You Overthink
Overthinking is often tied to many of the other reasons I have here on this list. And it’s one that can wreak serious havoc on your ability to decide.
There’s this constant loop of “what if this” and “what if that” playing through your mind as you examine every possible decision from all angles, wanting to leave no stone unturned. It might be because you are scared of failing, a perfectionist, or a people-pleaser. Or it could even be because you don’t want others to judge you. (Or #alloftheabove.)
When there are too many options or factors to consider at once, you start feeling paralyzed. The problem with overthinking is that you stray from what’s important, kind of like forgetting to look at the big picture.
Reason #8. You Have a “Lack Mentality”
Okay, so this “why am I so indecisive” reason might sound like I’m insulting you and calling you stupid. I’m not; promise (#scoutshonor).
A “lack mentality” or a “scarcity mentality” is when you optimize every decision – you multitask as you constantly grasp and overthink and overanalyze because you believe that there aren’t enough resources, opportunities, and options.
The decision becomes an overcomplicated equation as you try to think of everything, only to forget the most important part of the equation: what you want.
The opposite of a “lack mentality” is an abundance mentality: in every moment, you do what you want, trusting that whatever you need in the next moment or future will be there for you. You believe there is an abundance of options, resources, and opportunities.
You need to only worry about now; the future will take care of itself. And with an abundance mentality, you can focus on the bigger picture and on what matters, thereby making decisions much more easily.
Reason #9. Scared of Change
The last common reason why you may be indecisive is because you are scared of change. To be honest, most people like to live in their comfort bubbles – it’s comfy and safe, and they know what to expect. When you step outside your bubble, you are in the unknown, and this can be scary.
But if you want to grow and self-improve, change is necessary. So you may struggle to make decisions because you don’t want change, you are scared of it, and you don’t want to risk upsetting the status quo.
What Can You Do to Improve Your Decision-Making?
When you feel that you aren’t able to make decisions, know that it is something you can work on. You can become a decisive person, and it’s okay to be indecisive sometimes. It just can’t rule your life.
Follow these tips to become better at decision-making:
Final Thoughts on “Why Am I So Indecisive?”
Struggling to make decisions doesn’t have to put you in a tailspin or make you feel like a deer caught in the headlights. It isn’t always easy to decide, but you are more than capable of making decisions.
Perhaps you struggle to make decisions because you feel overwhelmed? If you think this could be the case, be sure to check out our guide on how to simplify your life and focus on what’s important and see whether a shift in priorities can help you become more decisive and confident.