Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Real Cause of Indecision

Revealed: The Real Cause of Indecision
And How to Get Over It Now!
By Rich Schefren
One of the realities of life is, you can't know all the facts about every decision, and there's rarely one key fact that switches on the light bulb. And in spite of this, you still have to make decisions. The bigger your business gets, the less certainty you can have about any decisions because there will be more factors, more variables involved. Heck, the bigger your business the more decisions you'll face, period.
In certain ways, indecision is nothing more than procrastinating. You don't want to decide. You put off making a decision. And generally you do it for absolutely no good reason. You can have all the facts in front of you. All the information you need and you still refuse to make a choice.
That's because indecision is about keeping as many options open as possible, while decisions are about making commitments. I'll talk more about that in a second. But first let me ask you a question...
Are You Indecisive?
Has someone ever asked you to go out for a beer at the end of the week and you responded by saying you'd let them know in a couple days? Have you ever answered like that even though you knew you had nothing going on on Friday. When you were certain that nothing was going to change between now and the end of the week?
That's indecision. The simple avoidance of making a commitment.
Some people think being an effective decision maker is some kind of innate ability. That if you're not born with it, you're doomed to be indecisive. Not true. Indecision is unwillingness to make a decision. There are a lot of reasons for this. Too many to dig into in this report. But there's a single cause I want to explain that lies at this behavior's root.
When you make a decision, you're effectively eliminating other alternatives. Thinking about that beer on Friday, you may tell yourself you have reasons for postponing the decision like something may come up, or I'll see how I feel on Friday. But those aren't real reasons. They're simply excuses for not deciding and making a commitment.
The Danger of Indecision
When you're working on your own and you don't make a decision, nothing gets done. It slows your ability to accomplish any task. It diminishes your ability to grow.
There's another very important intangible effect of indecision.
It takes a huge chunk out of your self-confidence. And when you lack self-confidence, it makes every decision feel like a life or death battle. It actually makes you question your own abilities.
As your business grows, your decisions will begin to have more significant financial impacts on your business.
You start missing out on many very profitable opportunities.
The point is, if you engage in this behavior badly, it has will have the effect of poisoning your business. Of damaging your own image of yourself as well as the perception others have of you.
So if you've ever waffled over making a decision, you have to start working to correcting it now. A year or six months from now, it may be too late.
How do you go about correcting indecisive behavior?
Reprogramming Yourself for Action
The good news is, if you exhibit indecisive behavior, it's eminently correctable. Decision making is a learned behavior like anything else. You can retrain yourself to make decisions and make better decisions. And when you do it often enough, it becomes second nature, a behavior you do almost unconsciously. It boosts your confidence and the confidence of everyone around you. Let me tell you why.
When you make a decision, you are taking a form of action. Right or wrong, it is a form of action. Action is important in our subconscious minds. When we take action, we get a sense of accomplishment. We feel good. It's an act of "clearing your plate."
Think about this. How many old emails have you opened but still not done anything with? How many papers or reports are sitting on your desk. How many open files on your computer? Clutter like this is a sure sign that there is decision making problem at play.
Once you make a decision on an issue, that issue goes away. It may become a task for you to check up on later, but the original dilemma goes away. And you move forward.
So, how can you start changing this behavior?
The "How To" for Becoming a Decisive Leader
The solution is simple - and a bit scary.
If you find yourself putting off making a decision for no good reason - and by "no good reason" I mean:
1) You understand the purpose of the decision that needs to be made...
2) You have all the discernible facts you need at your disposal...
3) You understand them all as well as their potential impacts...
and still find yourself looking for some time to "think about it" - force yourself.
Demand a decision of yourself... before you do anything else.
Making a decision is a question of commitment. And to be successful, you have to be able to commit to a course of action. Understand that there are always going to be risks involved in every decision you make. That's part of the territory you got into when you became an entrepreneur.
If you make a mistake, you have to adjust. That's a simple fact of life. Something you learn from.
But in the meantime you must swallow your discomfort and make a decision.When you overcome your resistance to making a decision, you immediately start to build more confidence in yourself. Confidence that grows with every decision you make, with every action you take. And that confidence will spill over to your team (if you have one.) Making a decision is the first step toward business inertia -- forward progress that will feed on itself continuing to build momentum and taking you forward with less and less effort on your part.

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