A few weeks ago, I was confronted with a decision. Whilst not a huge life-altering choice to make, it did remind me of the impact that indecision can have on us and I felt called to share my experience and some ideas on how you might be able to move through indecision next time you’re facing it.
Overcoming indecision: Acknowledging the detrimental impact
Back in October, a last-minute opportunity arose to see one of my favourite childhood artists and the inspiration behind my dog’s name – Madonna. I spent the best part of a week going round in circles, trying to figure out whether to go and how I could make it work. It started to consume my thoughts and my energy.
Having been a lifelong fan, and having had the chance unexpectedly presented to me, it felt like I should be making the journey down to London. But, on the other hand, was I just doing it because I felt I ‘should’ and was it better to remember her in her heyday from when I saw her previously? I felt so confused and so distracted.
Whatever the source of indecision for you right now, it is worth acknowledging the numerous ways in which it can have a detrimental impact:
- Indecision can cause stress, which in turn can impact your physical and mental health.
- Indecision can lead to inertia, which means that you stay stuck right where you, unable to take any action.
- Indecision can lower your vibration, which means that you continue to attract the circumstances or people which you don’t want (as opposed to a higher vibration to attract what you do want).
- Indecision can be hugely distracting, taking up valuable time, energy and headspace which you could be using in a much more positive or constructive way.
Overcoming indecision: Exposing the root causes
For me, as a recovering perfectionist, it is quite clear why I find decision making challenging sometimes. In this case, I wanted to make the perfect decision. I wanted to know 100% that this was the right thing to do. Of course, we rarely get such a guarantee. It’s like chasing a butterfly.
I also think indecision can be a way of trying to avoid any discomfort when there are potential downsides to either choice. As a protection mechanism, and often subconsciously, sometimes our brain does everything it can to avoid any discomfort.
Indecision can also be a product of an overactive mind and getting caught up in the Ego Self. As I have described in my book You’re Here for a Reason, this keeps you focused on the details and the ‘shoulds’ instead of the bigger picture and what feels right for you.
Why might you be finding it challenging to make a decision at the moment (or next time you experience indecision?)
The power of decision making within your career
If you’re considering a career change, I know how debilitating it can be to be stuck in the indecision as to whether to leave your current job or to stay in it. I experienced this myself before all of my career changes and also witness it in my clients when they first come to coaching.
Conversely, whenever a client arrives at the point of decision, I can often see an almost visible shift in their vibration and they exude a lightness which wasn’t there before. This then releases a powerful wave of energy which propels them through their crossroads onto a more aligned path.
Of course, it can sometimes take time to arrive at this decision-making point. As obvious as it sounds, the first decision to be made is whether to actually do something about an unsatisfactory work situation rather than just put up with it. It can be hugely empowering just to decide to begin the change process – whether that ends up being a simple change to put in a new boundary or something more considered such as embarking in some career coaching with a professional coach.
Even if you aren’t considering a career change, the ability to make decisions is hugely helpful in being more effective in your role, particularly if that involves an element of leadership or management. Not only can it save time and energy but it can also instil an air of confidence in those around you.
7 ways to overcome indecision in your career
So here are my 7 suggestions on how you can overcome any indecision in your career or in your life. Start with the one which resonates with you most.
1. Connect with the benefits of making a decision – try and imagine and connect with the feelings behind the freed up energy and headspace, the ability to focus on other things, the release of stress, the palpable sense of relief and the higher vibration you will be emitting once you’ve made your decision.
2. Recognise the impact of not making a decision – remind yourself what you are going to continue experiencing and putting your body and mind through whilst you are suspended in a state of indecision – the stress, the confusion, the inaction, the distraction.
3. Accept the discomfort and imperfection – this was a big one for me and, rather than run away from the potential discomfort, once I started to embrace it and to see it as am opportunity to grow, it allowed me to finally make my decision. Plus, I realised that there was actually far more discomfort in not making a decision than in what I might experience from either choice.
4. Call on your Higher Self and your inner voice – often indecision is linked to us trying to figure things out on a purely cerebral level. But when we call on our Higher Self and the voice of our intuition and feel what the right decision is, it can cut through the noise of our minds which is keeping us stuck. It might be shouting quite loudly or it might be a tiny little whisper which you need to get quiet to hear.
5. Stop thinking about it for a while – if you have gone into overthinking mode, I recommend that you step away from it for a while. Have a break from it and do something completely different, or better still, go for a meditative walk where you can clear your mind. Your intuitive voice will have a better chance of getting through to you and providing you with inspiration on the best course of action.
6. Look out for the signs and messages – if you tune into it or even ask for it, there may be some signs and messages presented to you to help you in making a decision. This could be in the form of a post you see on Instagram, something somebody says or even (as was the case when I was deciding whether to move to London when I was living in Florida) a word or a phrase which you see repeatedly (in my case it was the word ‘London’ clearly emblazoned on a t-shirt!
7. Take the Career Change Quiz – if your indecision is involving a potential career change, then you can take my Career Change Quiz. I designed this to help you decide whether now is the right time for you to make a change, whether you might be better to stay where you are or whether there is some deeper thinking needed before you can decide.
In the end I made the decision not to go to the Madonna concert. It felt like I was being driven by my Ego Self and a fear of missing out plus it just wasn’t going to work with the commitments I already had. And so, I embraced the discomfort of seeing the videos on Instagram and the reviews online. It just reminded me of how much this meant to me and how deeply I have always been affected by music.
And I most definitely enjoyed the feeling of relief having released myself from my inner turmoil!
(Interestingly though since then, the Universe has presented me with two other opportunities with which to see Madonna. The jury’s out on exactly what that means yet or whether I will actually go, but I’m sure at the very least there’s another blog post waiting to be written…)
Hello, I'm Rebecca
Career Coach for people on a spiritual path
I support mid-career professionals who are ready to make a career change, launch into a more purpose-led career or business or simply enjoy a more fulfilling or balanced working life.
I believe that we all have a purpose here on earth and that life is too short to be stressed, unfulfilled and playing small.