When it comes to making decisions, I am the worst. I’m the type of person that most people hate – I’ll go out of my way in order to avoid making a final decision and if there’s someone else around that I can pawn off the decision on so that I don’t have to make it myself, you better believe that’s what I’ll be doing. Trust me when I say it’s not something I’m proud of doing, but it’s how I’ve always been.
Recently, upon once again being put on the spot to make a decision and refusing to do so…as usual, I thought that maybe it was time I really got to the bottom of why I’m just so terrible at making decisions. Then I sat there debating whether I really should or not, because even deciding to figure things out is a decision! Just kidding on that last part – I figure the only way to know why I don’t like making decisions is to try to ascertain just what it is that makes me feel such disdain towards them.
I start simple, with a question: When I’m faced with a decision, how do I feel in that moment?
This one was easy because it’s so prominent every time. Panic, definitely panic. But also uncertain, anxious, confused, sometimes annoyed – it’s all these things rolled into one sudden emotion burrito that initially keeps me from making a decision and what I blame for the fact that every time someone asks where I want to eat I suddenly forget not only which restaurants are around but also what sorts of food exist in our universe altogether.
Of course, 99.99999% of the time panic isn’t a necessary emotion when it comes to making a decision. I mean, if someone wants to know where you want to eat there’s really no logical reason why you should freak out. And yet, I and I’m guessing at least a handful of you reading this, initially feel panic and freeze up when faced with a decision. This brings up my next question and what I feel is the most likely culprit for why I hate, despise, and avoid making decisions like it’s my full time job: WHY do I feel panic and anxiety when faced with a decision to make?
When it comes down to it, it’s the same thing that holds me back from doing many things even though I know it’s not a great reason – I don’t want to disappoint or let anyone down, including myself. I don’t want to make the wrong decision and look back with regret. And I don’t want to make a decision that says “I care more about my desires than anyone else’s.” I know, there’s a slim to none chance that anyone is going to read into my decisions and think these things, but our brains are convincing things and I truly believe that it’s these things that hold me back.
So what do I do about it? In the spirit of honesty, most of the time I do nothing and continue to avoid any sort of decision making. But when I must and there’s no one I can pass such a thing off on, I try to remind myself that nothing lasts forever. Yes, it’s simple but for me it works. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be an anti-romantic and say that all things are destined to come to an end – it’s not about that at all, so please don’t send me hate posts talking about how you promised your love forever and intend for it to last at the very least that long. No, I’m talking about these decisions – even if I do make the wrong decision, I’m unlikely to have to endure any negative consequences forever. Few things are that dramatic, especially choosing a restaurant.
Am I cured? No. Far from it. It’s who I am, a serial non-decider. But for what it’s worth, I’m learning to be okay with that.