We live in a world where the train moves fast.
But nothing derails the train faster than indecision.
We all have our moments where we can’t make a decision. In a life with so many options… so many choices… so many possibilities… often, the cumulative affect is a paralyzing time warp of indecision. We get lost in the shuffle, stuck on the universal pause button, hoping that the “right” next move or thought will clear it all up.
Or, it just drives us crazy.
So what creates indecision in our lives? As a counselor and personal life trainer, I have often found it is created by two distinct things:
1) The unknown. One of the toughest things about life is not knowing what you don’t know. We like understanding outcomes, but when the outcomes are unclear indecision can get triggered.
Right now as a family, we are facing the decision of which high school our kids should attend. We have two solid choices, but each has their pros and cons. We have toured both schools, talked to teachers and coaches, evaluated performance measures and talked to several other parents and students to gather their feedback. Our compilation of information is impressive, but it all leads to one very significant thing: we just don’t know which school provides the best outcome for our kids. There is no way of knowing which school will be the best in the end. It’s a 50/50 gamble and one we have been stewing over for months now.
And here’s the thing: I hate gambling with my kids’ future because their future really matters to me.
The unknown leads to uncertainty which leads to indecision.
2) Fear. Nothing reveals its ugly head through fear more than that creeping thought of regret over having made the wrong decision once you embark on the road of the “future” you are so uncertain over.
Fear begets present regret over a future decision which hasn’t even been made. It’s the perfect formula for indecision.
Decisions sometimes feel like they carry the weight of the world with them.
The truth is, that is a lie. But yet we believe it all the time. I suppose that is why a restaurant’s menu can sometimes feel like a prison rather than a multitude of savory possibilities when trying to make a decision on what to order – we put far too much weight on a present decision because an eternal perspective escapes us underneath the crushing weight we’ve created.
Fear in the sense I’ve described stirs up a wonderful recipe of overanalyzing. We over-process the options to death trying to figure out the right combination.
Why do we do this?
Simply… we are doing everything we can to protect ourselves.
We want protection from future hurts, disappointments, pain, loss, and failures. It’s interesting, isn’t it? If we are honest, we have all made “right” decisions and still encountered hurt, disappointment, pain, loss and failure. Why? Because others have choices, too, and sometimes… life just happens. Some stuff you can control… some stuff you can’t.
The reality of indecision is that it all comes down to trust. Can you and I trust ourselves enough – and God as well – that our best interests and the things we want can all work out? Can we find enough freedom in trust to know that the path we choose — through intentional thought and prayer – will ultimately work out for us?
The next time you find yourself being indecisive, ask yourself… “Who or what am I not trusting?” You just might have the best clue on how to get your train right back on the track…
Kristi’s passion is to equip and encourage busy women to move easily to the next level of their life and dreams.
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