“I have this big decision coming up about ________________ . I cannot really decide because both options have plusses and minuses. I want to make sure I make the “right decision”. The problem is I am becoming so anxious, I do not want to make any decision.”
We live in an age of anxiety that is characterized by many being frozen by bouts of indecisiveness. We analyze our college choice, our job prospects, our potential spouse and where to go on vacation. We analyze, then we analyze a little more and then just to be sure, we do one final sweep of analysis. In the end, we drive ourselves nuts or worse procrastinate our way to a dead-end choice.
Here’s some advice: Just decide. In life, 99% of decisions will not ruin your life. Often there is not one right choice, there are several that are great. Ask yourself honestly, “What’s the worst thing that could happen from this decision?” Usually the answer is not that bad. So, gather the information you need, then be decisive and slow to change your mind. Your blood pressure and anxiety level will thank you.
When you are stuck in life, it is a serious bummer. Nothing seems easy. Doing laundry, finding a parking spot, filling out an application, working out or cleaning your apartment can all seem like monumental tasks. The tendency for many of us is to shutdown and avoid the problem entirely. Sometimes taking a nap or or playing a few hours of video games or binge-watching Netflix seems like a better solution than facing our problems. The outcome is usually temporary relief, coupled with an even greater sense of stress or pressure the next day.
In my coaching, I have seen that committing to even one activity a day can be powerful to move forward. If you are out of shape and have not exercised for awhile, commit to a 10 minute walk each day for a week and then add one minute in each of the next five weeks. You will be shocked at what a difference that can make. If you are stuck applying for jobs, set a 3o minute window each day where you apply for at least one job. At the end of the week, you will have five apps in.
Our brains and mindset react positively when we follow through on things we said we wanted to do. So do not try to do everything, just pick one thing and start moving forward.
Patrick Donohue is a life coach who specializes in helping young men ages 16-30 launch their lives and their careers.