Two Reasons We are Indecisive

I feel indecisive often. I get frustrated because I can’t seem to make decisions quickly. I debate options in my head and am blinded by the pros and cons of everything.

Though I definitely need to work on the time I spend making decisions, there is more going on here. I recently came across a concept I found very interesting, which explains much of why we are indecisive.

I found it while listening to one of the extras included with the book Decisive by the Heath Brothers. Chip Heath shares that while researching for the book, they found two root causes of indecision:

1) You don’t have the right information about your options
2) You don’t have the right options

The first cause is fairly intuitive. You think you have enough information to decide, but you are missing important advantages and disadvantages. Not having enough information about your options slows you down, because you are either blocked entirely or forced to research options while trying to decide among them. You could easily choose a bad option just because it looked the best compared to your incomplete data.

The second cause is pretty sneaky. “Hey you have something in your blind spot,” you say to me. I respond, “What? I don’t see anything!”

How can we remedy not having the right options? Decisive gives great techniques which force you to consider new options.

I’m not sure why this resounded in me, but it did. It made me feel a little better about my indecision. Not that I’m a victim — not saying that. But if I’m just indecisive, that’s a hard thing to work on! This way there is something tangible I can improve. I can be more aware of the information I have on each option, and I can force myself to consider new options.

And by working on those two root causes, I have a plan of action to increase my ability to decide.

Are you indecisive? In what ways? If you do not have this problem, what advice do you have?