Every day, you are tasked with making a variety of decisions. You decide what clothes to wear, where to get your coffee, how much to tip the waiter, and more. Some decisions, however, are much more difficult than others. At different points in your life, you may be faced with key decisions, such as:
- Whether to continue a relationship or end it.
- Whether to apply for a new job or wait.
- Whether to buy a home or rent.
These are decisions that many people frequently struggle with. Indeed, some people even struggle with simpler decisions, such as where to take your partner to a restaurant, when to change your car’s oil, or whether or not to speak up in a meeting when you have an idea.
Many people struggle with these decisions. So they choose not to make any decisions at all. They feel that, consciously or subconsciously, if they choose not to make a decision then they cannot be responsible for its outcome.
That Choice is a Decision
What many don’t realize is that the choice to do nothing is a decision, and that they are making a decision that often goes against their own interests. They’re choosing:
- To Keep Things The Same – A choice to not make a change is often a choice to keep things the same, because nothing can change if no decision is made.
- To Give Someone Else Responsibility – A choice that you are supposed to make that you have someone else make is a choice to let someone else be responsible for the outcome of the decision.
- To Avoid Cognitive Load – In some cases, the choice you are making may be that you don’t want to think critically about something important, which also may be a sign that you’re choosing to avoid a topic and avoid thought.
All of these are decisions you’re making, even when you think you’re not making a decision. That aversion to making decisions can affect many areas of your life, including your relationships, your career, your happiness, and your ability to grow as a person.
The Importance of Making Decisions
The next time you avoid making an important decision – or even a non-important one – you should remind yourself that you’re actually making a choice, and that you are responsible for the outcome of that choice. Within the context of relationships, life fulfillment, your professional life, and more, it’s important to accept the responsibility you have to make decisions, and try to find the one that is best for you.