Indecisiveness. Something that many struggle with, including myself. I've been thinking recently, what is the root of indecisiveness? I'm not talking about making hard and important decisions, cos those need to be well-thought out. I'm talking about day-to-day choices like "Where should we eat?", "Should I meet my friends or do projects at home?" and "Which shirt should I buy?"
After much introspection, this what I found out:
Perfectionism -> Indecisiveness
The consuming need to be always right. The need to be perfect. The inner voice that says "I cannot and must not make mistakes." Kiasu-ism. When presented with choices, the perfectionist is compelled to analyse every option with great thought in order to get the best deal. He is always concerned about "what if I miss out? what if this really better?"
Many times, he is in inner conflict between 2 ideals, e.g. choosing between "best quality" and "saving money" or between pleasing a friend or a parent.
But more than making the right choice, the perfectionist want to be right before others. Which lead us to...
Fear of Failure -> Perfectionism
Somewhere in the deep recesses of his heart, the indecisive perfectionist hears a subtle voice telling him that he is a failure. A voice he constantly denies. As a defense mechanism against the thought of being a failure, he is resolved never to make wrong choices, no matter how trivial they are. Which takes us deeper...
Low Self-Esteem -> Fear of Failure
Due a poor image of himself, the indecisive perfectionist fears to be labelled a failure. He takes criticism very harshly, and repeatedly blames himself for mistakes. Thus, in the core decision-making center of his heart, he must make perfect decisions to protect himself from criticism. Which brings us to...
Lack of Affirmation -> Low Self-Esteem
The indecisive perfectionist who fears failure and has a poor self-image, or the "poor guy" to be concise, has a unsatisfied need for approval. According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, every human has a need to feel accepted and belonged. A lack of affirmation from others, especially from parents, can cause one to spiral down to low self-esteem. Some would swing to the other extreme of overconfidence and arrogance, but that's a different topic.
So there we have it:
Lack of Affirmation -> Low Self-Esteem -> Fear of Failure -> Perfectionism -> Indecisiveness
The root of indecisiveness is the lack of affirmation.
So we know the root problem, now what?
I am NOT insisting that we should start praising and encouraging indecisive people all the time. Of course affirming them when they make right choices would definitely help. But ultimately overcoming indecisiveness is an individual decision (paradoxical..).
But how? It is possible with human effort. Believe in yourself! Start saying "I am a decisive person" and believe in that! Share your problems with understanding and affirming people, and don't be too hard for yourself when you make mistakes - laugh it off.
But there's an even better way,
Look to God, our Father.
It is only natural that we have a need for approval and affirmation. But if we focus on searching for affirmation in others, we'll be disappointed. And sometimes, our parents disappoint us. However, God will never disappoint us.
God accepts you just the way you are.
God approves of you.
God always affirms you.
God believe that you can do it!
God understands you.
God is proud of the good things you've done for Him.
God loves you.
I hope this helped you, or at least helped you to be understanding towards indecisive people!
lol I meant to do this blog post to talk about my busy life, but woooahhh.. what the hell?
Sorry for the anti-climax :P