Jason Hietbrink

The Self-Imposed Prison of Indecision

The Self-Imposed Prison of Indecision

Indecision is a thief. It steals from our ability to create, to enjoy, to grow, and to excel at the level we’re capable of. So why do so many of us wrestle with it and what do we do about it?

This is our dog, Willa (below). As you can see, she struggles with indecision. Literally half her body is out the door and the other half is inside.

If you’re a dog owner, you can likely relate to the experience of your dog wanting outside and then as soon as you open the door, they stand there.

 

Willa does the same thing but takes it one step further.

 

Eventually, after minutes of not being able to make up her mind, she’ll just lay down defeated by her inability to commit. But even in her discouragement from being able to make a decision, she still lays her head outside the door wishing she had the courage to take the risk!

I think deep down, Willa WANTS to go outside, but she’s afraid that if she goes out, the door will shut, and she’ll be stuck out there. And what if being outside isn’t as fun as she was hoping?

 

So, while she keeps a part of herself outside, she never fully commits. And therefore, she never really gets to enjoy being inside OR being outside. It’s exhausting; poor puppy!

 

Where is Indecision Showing Up in Your Life/Business & What is it COSTING You?

Perhaps you’re having indecision on:

…whether to hire that next person to your team,

…having a frank conversation with one of your employees about their performance,

…if you want to take on a new business opportunity,

…whether to take the action necessary to grow your revenue or slink back into admin tasks,

…putting the pieces in place to take your business to the next level or stay where you are,

…allowing your kid to make mistakes or creating more boundaries for them,

…whether to end a relationship or to double-down on it,

…sharing what’s REALLY going on in your life with a friend or keep it to yourself.

 

Indecision and procrastination COST you. It costs you in the present and costs you in the future.

 

 

When we’re indecisive, we’re living in a prison of our own making. It’s a prison that keeps us from being able to move forward and make progress. Our future is stifled by our inability to choose in the present.

 

But we’re also robbing ourselves and others in the moment because indecision creates unnecessary stress and anxiety.

 

And when we’re living in a state of anxiousness, we are incapable of being present for those we love and we can’t serve our clients or our team powerfully.

 

Why do we struggle at times making a decision?

I’ll come back to this topic of decision making again in the future, but for today, I want to share a few thoughts surrounding 2 of the most common reasons I see for indecision.

 

#1 – Fear of making the wrong decision

Like Willa, we’re afraid if we move forward with a certain choice, we’ll regret it later.

 

We know what it’s like being “inside the house” and if we go “outside” we might realize that life was better inside and we should have stayed where we were – with what we knew.

 

This is really just a mask for the fear of failure. What if it doesn’t work out? What if I make the wrong choice and regret it later??

 

I used to struggle with this a LOT. Like, embarrassingly so.

 

A mentor of mine once shared this with me, and it forever changed the way I see decision making:

 

There are right decisions and no decisions.

But there is no such thing as a “wrong” decision

 

You may argue that “no decision” is still making a decision, and you’re right. Technically not making a decision IS still a decision. But my mentor’s goal was not to properly define what a decision was; my mentor’s goal was to get me out of my head and let go of this idea that there are “wrong” decisions.

 

The truth is, unless you’re making a moral decision in your life or business, you cannot make a WRONG decision. Because when you make a decision, you don’t know what it would have been like had you made a different decision or chosen a different path. 

 

You THINK it would have been better to have gone a different direction, however, you have NO IDEA whether that other path would have been better, the same, or much worse.

 

To be sure, there are times where in hindsight we can see with certainty how a different choice would have created a different result (investing in a certain stock over another etc.).

 

However, even in those moments where we made a choice and it went south, there were still lessons to be learned. Whereas, inaction always leads to regret.

 

The only regret that turns into lessons is regret that came from taking action.

I’d rather live a life filled with lessons than a life filled with regret.

 

Regret surrounding inaction is the single greatest pain people report on their deathbed.

#2 – Perfectionism

The pursuit of excellence will motivate you but the pursuit of perfection will limit you. Stop pursuing perfection. It doesn’t exist.

 

Take action now, perfect later.

 

There’s no sense in putting pressure on yourself to get it “right” out of the gates. You can’t. Whatever you start with will always be improved upon later and that’s a good thing.

 

Anytime I’m sitting down to create something new, I’ve found it helpful to think of it in this way: “This is just phase one of what I’m eventually going to create.”

 

Apple didn’t create the iPhone 14 on day one. They started with version 1.0 and kept improving.

And guess what? Version 1.0 had all kinds of problems! And so does version 14! However, had they waited until it was perfect, the first smartphone would have never been developed!

 

If you’re not making mistakes then you’re not making enough decisions. And you only get better at making decisions through taking action.

 

You don’t have to get it perfect; you just have to get it going. The best time to get it going is right now. Ask yourself “what’s that next step that’s so small, it’d be impossible to fail?” Then take that next step.

 

Step out of the prison of indecision and free yourself to be able to grow to the next level in your business. Get messy. Remember there are no decisions and there are right decisions (deciding!). Take action now, perfect it later. You’ll be glad you did!

Step 3

Level Up

If we decide to move forward into a coaching relationship, Together, we’ll create a custom coaching plan to help you reach your goals in your business and your life. 

Step 2

Schedule a Breakthrough Session

We’ll do a free, 90-minute coaching call to define your goals, set a vision for the future, and deepen your commitment to that vision.