Monday, September 13, 2010

Making Decisions

I have been thinking lately about how I make decisions. I am not widely known for my decisiveness so making a choice can be a lengthy process and it just gets worse in groups. When deciding where to eat for lunch, this is only a minor annoyance and, hopefully, something more along the lines of an endearing quirk (wishful thinking, I know).

While considering more important choices, this trait is more troublesome. I spend so much time anxiously going over all the drawbacks and benefits of each choice when I could spend that time productively doing something. Eventually I bounce my ideas off of someone, often my long suffering husband, to help clarify my ideas. This sometimes exhausts the patience of the idea-bouncing recipient. Contrary to his belief, I do not ask his opinion only to do the opposite.

Here is what I have noticed. Often, I know quite early on what I really want to do; I just need to time to come to peace with the decision or to give myself permission to do it. Other times I use that time “deciding” to come to terms and buck up to do something I don’t really want to do, but needs doing. I had my time to mentally whine about it, now I have to put on my big girl pants and do what is important. So if somewhere is my head, I know all along what I am going to choose, why do I prolong the process? Why can’t I accept my decision as the right one before I hash out every little detail?


  1. Does it help, when sifting through the confusion, to identify what decisions or issues or blocking you from addressing the more numerous and smaller ones?

  2. With small issues I think I dislike limiting my options: eating at one restaurant means I can't eat at all the other ones I like.

  3. Here's a technique that I use sometimes for deciding between several items: pretend that you were suddenly told that you can't do one of the options. Quick - do you feel any regret? If not, then mark off that option - you don't really care about it. You can at least throw out the options that don't matter to you. On the other hand, if you just HAVE to go through the analysis, well, I can't offer anything.