Decision committing is not an easy thing. Our brain can only make a set number of decisions everyday which is why most of the time we either automate them – choosing to go with what works (according to our limited experience) or instead, we waste considerable time and effort just to avoid and delay them, hoping they would go away.
We will do almost anything to avoid a decision, why? Because reaching a decision (no matter how small) is a test of will and self-discipline against an evolutionary mechanism that treats change with fear. Some attribute this to our ancestral hunter’s brain whereby change was never a good thing.
As a result, the notion of decision making was always treated as an almost “mystical” experience throughout history. Stories about people reaching a crossroad that forced them to make a decision are wide spread. In mythology, crossroads (also fork-in-the-road or several doors to choose from) stories are places of great power where pacts are made with devils or powerful witches seal deals with a kiss. Once you reach a crossroads, you either find the answers you were looking for or end up with even more questions and at the hands of the goddesses of fate.
As you can see, decision making was a huge problem even in our ancestors’ time; we have a natural born tendency to avoid them. The problem only got worse during our lifetime since the sheer number of decisions grew exponentially.
So how can we deal with this rooted inner conflict, reduce the stress caused by change and go to sleep with a clear conscience every night after making hundreds of decisions during the day?
#First, you need to remember what you are fighting for
We are always on the path to improve but we fear the change it might bring. Sometimes, it’s important to take a pause and try to remember why and for whom we’re doing the things we do, it can help us muster the strength needed to pass our next crossroad.
For instance, I find that spending some quality time with my family helps me after a rough week to connect back to my inner adventurer, you know, that fearless guy that is not afraid to tackle the dragons of his life.
The love you have for yourself and the people around you is the most powerful force that can motivate someone. It can help you overcome your inner demons and do practically anything you set your mind to do.
A man won’t storm cannon lines for any sum in the world. But take the one he loves and put her behind those lines and nothing will ever stop him.
#Second, you need to confront the fear that causes you to procrastinate
Before you commit to something are you shaking? Feeling nauseous? Dizzy?
Although working out of our comfort zone causes unease, we need to experience the full spectrum of emotions rising in us when we’re trying to avoid a decision to understand how to cope with that decision…So although it’s frightening, deal with that decision head-on and get out of your comfort zone.
If you acknowledge that you have that fear and you understand that by dealing with the task you fear from, you might even emerge victorious. Ultimately, you may understand that the fear might also be a power for progress that can drive you to action rather than paralyze you.
#Third, you need to ask other people for their opinion, not their approval
Other people’s experience can help you reach a decision, since the people you’ve consulted with probably had a similar problem and they dealt with it, they can probably share a few insights with you that might help you reach the right decision.
With that in mind, you should never apply advice or look for approval in the people you’re talking with…Without understanding what sets your problem apart from theirs and without seeing the bigger picture, people will judge and criticize your decisions and as a result, you’ll postpone your decision and hesitate.
#Final, unburden your mind on every occasion you have
Walking around with a checklist in your brains is a great way to procrastinate your life away. Our brain is a decision center fueling our lives with instant and long term commitments. If we use our brain as a storage room for pending check lists, then we are guaranteed to avoid decisions as long as we can and obsess on them as much as possible.
Write down every day your “big decisions of the day” and use the time you set specifically for that task. You’ll start getting things done because you’re not walking around trying to solve unsolvable situations in the wrong time/place/context.
When you have everything in lists, you decide what to do with items on those lists much faster and you move to deal with the rest of your day much more effectively.
Help yourself do the right decision at the right time, you’ll need to know why you’re doing it, confront your fears and use them to motivate you and maybe even consult with your loved ones…but avoid their judgment and empty your thoughts into a list.