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The reasons why people struggle to make decisions and what you can do to change it!

Every single day you make hundreds of decisions. What to have for dinner, what time to meet up with friends, what machines to use at the gym, what film to watch. 

But why is it that some people are indecisive in other areas of their lives? 

Ultimately, people are afraid of failure and repeating past mistakes, but they’re also afraid of change. 

In this post, we’re here to discuss what makes people indecisive and more importantly, what they can do to be more direct and more confident in the decisions they make. If you find a way to overcome your fears and reservations, your life will be easier and far more rewarding- I guarantee it! 

Why people struggle to make decisions 

You’re a perfectionist

Being a perfectionist can be beneficial in some areas of life, but when it comes to decision-making, it isn’t. People with this mindset analyse every detail, outcome and scenario over and over again because nothing can be short of perfect. But the truth is, nothing in life is guaranteed and nothing is perfect- so how do they make a decision?

If you are waiting for perfection then you will be waiting forever! Perfection prevents progress!

You have no long-term goals 

In life, there are short-term goals and long-term and both dictate our life decisions. However, people who lack long-term plans can struggle to make choices, because what exactly are they working towards? And is there any real point in making such a decision?

You’ve never had to make decisions before 

If you were a spoiled child, the chances are your parents made all of your decisions for you. It was their way to protect (and control) you from the consequences of your actions. The problem is when you eventually reach adulthood and have no way of escaping responsibility, decision-making is like learning to ride a bike for the first time. What if it goes wrong? What if I make the wrong decision? It’s the fear of the unknown- but that’s an important part of life and growing up. 

You’re a people pleaser 

People pleasers sacrifice their own wants, needs and interests to keep others happy. But when they’re forced to make a decision, it’s not simple. One route might keep one person happy but upset the other. In this instance, what do you do? People pleasers suffer from an identity crisis because they lose sight of what they actually need anymore. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that people like this can’t make decisions because how do they know what they actually want?

You’ve been bullied 

Being bullied is a massive knock to your confidence and can trickle into all aspects of your life. If you lack self-esteem, making decisions is hard because you just don’t trust yourself and constantly question your own actions. 

How to be less indecisive 

Stop overanalysing and don’t drag your feet 

It is normal to consider different outcomes when making a decision, that is natural. But overanalysing things can lead to confusion, and confusion can make it hard to decide what you want. 

My advice is to make quick, informed decisions (not to be confused with impulsiveness). Don’t spend hours, days or weeks going over the same shit time and time again, consider your options, trust your intuition and make your bed. It’s that easy.

As an incredibly DECISIVE person, I’ve never struggled to make big decisions, even if my line of work. Why? Because I ask myself the same question every single time I’m faced with a choice: ‘will it kill or bankrupt me?’.

99% of the time, the answer is no, and most decisions are reversible. So, what is the point in dragging my feet, weighing up the same things over and over again when my time could be spent doing something productive? 

People focus too much on the best and worst case scenarios when their focus should be on the EXPECTED scenario- the outcome that is most likely going to happen. Don’t become transfixed on only the positive or negatives, consider everything, find your middle, most likely outcome and make your decision based on that. 

If you’re finding it hard to shift your mindset, start small. Try picking out a restaurant in less than five minutes. Give yourself outfit options and stick with the first that sparks your interest. When you start to feel more confident and relaxed, up the ante.

Forget about the past 

If you’ve made a bad decision in the past, it can bruise your ego and trust in your decision-making. Everyone has been there. But what you need to remember is that not every outcome will be the same, and you just need to let go of what has been.

Don’t obsess over ‘what if’ or ‘what if it happens again’, change your mindset and focus on the positive possibilities. The biggest lesson I have learnt in life is that mistakes can pave the way to a more successful future. 

When I was in my early twenties, I made some bad decisions and lost everything- and I mean, EVERYTHING. But it didn’t stop me from getting back on the horse and making more decisions about my career and lifestyle. Since then, I have learnt that no decision is ‘easy’, but whether or not the outcome is good or bad, it’s a lesson and a blessing.  

Just accept that things can go wrong

Once you accept that failure is part of life, you’ll find it easier to make decisions. 

Whether it’s regarding your career, family, love life or lifestyle, you WILL fuck up at some point. It’s inevitable. But so does EVERYONE, no matter how successful they are. In business, every decision is a gamble, no matter how much work you put into it or how passionately you feel about it. But isn’t that what makes life exciting? 

The prospect of failure doesn’t scare me. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. But what does scare me is not taking risks and playing it safe all my life. Do you really want to reach the age of 80 never taking a chance?

So, the next time you come to make a decision, don’t think about what could go wrong, think about what benefits it will bring your life. 


Make time for decision-making 

When life is hectic and you feel like you’re juggling a million things at once, it can be overwhelming and stressful. This is not the time to make decisions.

All decisions, whether it’s what career you follow, what friendship group you surround yourself with or what you put into your body determine the projection of your life. Decisions are IMPORTANT. 

If you’re busy and struggle to cancel out background noise, prioritise decision-making and give it your full attention. 

Make time in your calendar, cancel social events, or move work commitments around- do whatever it takes to create time to allow yourself the time and space to have a clear mind.

By doing this, you’ll be less at risk of making impulsive, groundless decisions or overanalysing every single thing in your life. 


For career advice or tips on how to become a better businessman, get in touch via info@matt-haycox.com for tailored mentoring.

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