Recently, I went online to purchase plane tickets for a vacation. I entered my dates of travel and clicked go. Numerous flights appeared. Some were leaving late at night with short flight durations. Others departed in the morning, but had several layovers or plane changes. There were a lot of options. Then I noticed the “my dates are flexible” filter, so I clicked it. If left on a Tuesday instead of a Saturday, it would be less expensive. Could we do that? What about returning on a Thursday rather than Sunday? There were so many possible scenarios and pricing options that I was afraid to choose one. What if I made a mistake? What was the best possible option?
It sounds like a lot of wasted time now, but when I was trying to decide on a flight, I was overwhelmed by the number of choices. And, I wanted to make the right decision. Have you ever felt that way?
Now, let me pause to say that I realize deciding which flight to take for a vacation is a privileged problem. I’m not trying to figure out how to feed my children or find us shelter. This decision isn’t about healthcare, addiction, or homelessness.
But, this situation got me wondering if other people struggle with making decisions. Do we have too many options? What do we think will happen if we choose the wrong one? Does everyone second guess their choices?
If you can relate to being indecisive, read on…
Why are we so indecisive?
Whether it’s what to make for dinner, which yoga class to do from the on-demand library, or what to watch next on Netflix, we are constantly making decisions. Some choices don’t really matter much, and the outcome isn’t that important. But, other decisions can be life changing, and fear of making the wrong choice can cause us to freeze, worry, and doubt ourselves.
Take a moment to think about a decision you struggled with recently. Were you afraid of making a mistake? Sometimes, fear of failure can cause us to be indecisive. Our people pleasing and/or perfectionist traits may be the source of our decision making challenges. Maybe we lack confidence in our ability to make a good decision. There can be a variety of reasons why we have trouble making decisions. Identifying the source can be the first step in improving our capabilities.
How to improve decision making skills
The next time you notice yourself getting feeling anxious about making a decision, try following these steps:
- Pause and take a breath > When we practice yoga, we often take time to pause and notice our breath and how the pose feels in our body. The information we gather from the pause can help us decide whether we want to modify the pose, use a prop, or make the pose more intense. We can pause before making decisions off the yoga mat, as well.
- Get perspective > Ask yourself if this is a life or death decision. Will the choice you make matter in 5 years or even 5 months or 5 days? The answers to these questions can help you identify whether or not you need to spend some extra time on the decision, or simply make a choice and move on.
- Visualize > picture yourself making the decision and moving forward with that choice. What does it look like? Feel like? Get as detailed as possible. Then, do the same for the other option. How does each one feel in your body and in your mind? Go with the choice that makes you feel the most peaceful, content, and calm. Learning to trust ourselves helps us to build confidence.
- Make a choice and COMMIT to it > Avoid second-guessing yourself by using an affirmation. Each time you wonder if you made the right choice, use a phrase that affirms your decision. Some affirmations I like are: I made a great decision. I’m getting better at making choices! This is what I chose today.
Here’s the thing I realized about choosing the “perfect” flight at the right time and price… there’s a possibility that the flight will get changed due to weather, staffing, FAA issues, or any number of other things. No matter what I choose or how much worrying I do about making the “correct” decision, stuff happens. I have to trust that it will work out, and I will be able to deal with whatever happens. My yoga practice has helped me understand that my mindset can help, too.
One decision you don’t have to make is how to put more peace in your yoga practice. I have created an ebook to help you do just that. Click here to get your FREE Guide to a Peaceful Yoga Practice and get started today!