The roots of my problem with indecision

I’m the worst when it comes to making a decision and then changing my mind back and forth until I’m so confused I just want to shut down and not think about it at all. Even simple things like choosing a restaurant or what movie to watch makes me nervous. It’s actually a problem and I’m consciously trying not to fall into the habit of flipping back and forth. Here’s what I figured may be the roots of where my problem with indecision comes from.

 

  1. Lack of self-confidence

How can I be sure of any decision I make if I’m not even sure of myself. I constantly question everything I do and analyze how my decision will affect not only me but the people around me. It’s agonizing sometimes and stressful. I look at other people who make decisions and stick with them (even if they might not be the best decisions) and I actually feel a bit envious. The thing is, I know that I am capable and intelligent and am able to accomplish most things I set my mind to, but for some reason, there’s a mental block that doesn’t allow me to truly believe in myself. It’s something I’m constantly wrestling with, but on the bright side, because I’m aware of it, it brings me that much closer to figuring out how to over come it.

2. Being a middle child

As a middle child, you tend to sort of get lost in the fold of all the hustle and bustle happening within the family. Being in the middle between a headstrong and dominant older sibling and younger sibling who is the baby of the family and hence was treated as such, it was often difficult for me to find my own voice. I either had to go along with what the older one said or if the younger one threw a tantrum, I just gave in. I learned to be adaptable and just go with the flow, which has its own advantage – most people comment on and appreciate how easy going I am. But what it also taught me was to rely on others to make the decisions. Having lived so many years with other people making decisions around me, now as an adult, it’s still a bit hard for me to escape that roll. It especially becomes evident when my siblings and I are all together, and I revert back to that younger middle child self, where I just let them decide on what’s going to happen. In this sense, my lesson here is to recognize that mold I was put in to, and try not to let it define me.

3. Worried about disappointing others

Sometimes making a decision might somehow touch upon the lives of others, for example, choosing a restaurant to go for dinner with my boyfriend. I hate choosing the restaurant because I feel that if my choice turns out to be terrible, then not only have I ruined my night, but also ruined my boyfriend’s night. Is that irrational? A little bit. I guess it goes back to lack of self-confidence and this need to be a people pleaser. I just want people to be happy and if I think that my choice might have caused some unhappiness, well then I’ll feel terrible and guilty and will worry about it incessantly in the aftermath. As I read over this paragraph, I realize how neurotic I sound and as I’m growing older I am consciously trying not to worry so much about everyone else’s feelings, but rather focus on my feelings. I of course would never hurt anyone intentionally, and will always reflect on how I may influence the feelings of others, but I also am aware that I need to be cognizant of my own feelings and how it affects me. Worrying so much doesn’t do me or anyone else any good. So my goal here is that when I do make decisions that might affect others, I thoughtfully think about the choices and come to the best solution that benefits both myself and the others. And hey, if I do end up choosing a terrible restaurant, in the grand scheme of things, it’s no big deal.

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