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April 19, 2024 39 mins

Our inability to make decisions is wasting our time, keeping us acting from a place of fear and stuck in a life we don't want! It's also not entirely our fault and often stems from unconscious mechanisms, neuroticism and fears that we haven't recognised. In today's episode we break down: 

  • Why you struggle to make decisions
  • The consequences of our chronic indecisiveness 
  • Perfection and indecision 
  • Choice overload 
  • A fear of failure 
  • How to overcome your indecisiveness using the 80/20 rule
  • The 'trusted advisor' method 

Listen now! 

Follow Jemma on Instagram: @jemmasbeg 

Follow the podcast on Instagram: @thatpsychologypodcast

 

 

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:04):
Hello everybody, and welcome back to the Psychology of Your Twenties,
the podcast where we talk through some of the big
life changes and transitions of our twenties and what they
mean for our psychology.

Speaker 2 (00:21):
Hello everybody, Welcome back to the show. Welcome back to
the podcast. New listeners, old listeners. Wherever you are in
the world, it is so great to have you here.
Back for another episode as we, of course break down
the psychology of our twenties. Today, we're talking about an
all too common mental dilemma or barrier that we tend

(00:47):
to face a lot in our twenties, and that is
chronic indecisiveness, struggling or being unable to make a decision
to save our lives, getting stuck in this rut of
analysis of information, seeking of hypotheticals and pros and cons lists,
and then eventually making a decision, taking action, and finding

(01:09):
that we are constantly ruminating and thinking about the alternative
and what might have been. It is exhausting, it is
time consuming, it's unproductive, and most of all, it's really
mentally frustrating to have to overthink every minute, little decision

(01:30):
or detail of our lives. There are a lot of
decisions that we feel compelled to make in our twenties,
like what we want to do with our lives, what
we want to do for work, what kind of person
we want to be, what kind of person we want
to date, Where we want to go to school, where
to live, where to travel to whether to travel or
to save money, to take that risk or play it safe.

(01:52):
Those are some really hefty choices, ones that I think
every one of us struggles not to overthink because it
feels like each decision we make we always have to
give up something else. There is this loss of what
could have been that we're very afraid of, and so
instead of this possibility of having to recognize what we

(02:12):
had to give up by choosing a certain path, we
stay stagnant. We get so caught up in the benefits
that we might be missing out on that we never
actually move forward. I think this decade is a wonderful
decade of opportunity, no doubt about that. Our adult lives
are really just beginning. There are so many doors that

(02:32):
remain open to us. But it's also a decade where
we feel like the stakes are really high because of
how formative these years seem to be. We don't want
to kind of be to rash in closing ourselves off
or restricting ourselves to any opportunities, and in that way,
we tend to borrow a lot of stress from the future,
and we can tastrophize and imagine a life where we

(02:54):
are unhappy until it feels like it's destiny. We also
tend to waste a lot of time contemplating, and that
time that we spend contemplating, we could be spending actually
seeing a result and being decisive. So it makes a
really kind of toxic cycle. Well, I think that it's

(03:15):
time that we talk about it today. I want to
get into all the nitty gritty. There's psychology, of course,
of what makes us so indecisive at times, why we
struggle to make not just big decisions but small decisions,
daily decisions, some of us more than others, and what
that contributes to in the long run, But also how

(03:35):
to be active rather than passive in our lives. How
do we let go of out indecision and accept all
the possibilities for what could happen, all the different options,
and still feel confident that we are kind of making
the right one, still feel confident in ourselves and our intuition,

(03:56):
even if it feels scary, How do we kind of
break our of the procrastination and the contemplation cycle. And
as someone who deals with this on a daily even
when it comes to this podcast and questioning, you know
what topics to do, what to write about, what studies
to quote, what decisions I need to be making. Trust me,
we are in the same boat. I have a lot

(04:17):
to say about this, So let's get into it. Okay.
So firstly, what is the actual problem with being indecisive?
Why are we even talking about it?

Speaker 1 (04:31):
Well?

Speaker 2 (04:31):
I think there are obviously a few problems with chronic indecisiveness. Firstly,
you never really gain a sense of agency or mastery
over your life, your choices, and your experiences. You leave
them up to chance because you never feel ready to
make a decision. Secondly, I think chronic indecisiveness allows us
to be ruled by fear, and that fear means that

(04:54):
we aren't always actually going to make the best choices.
We're just going to make the easiest one, the one
that leaves us feeling safest. And I think indecisiveness also
is huge time raiter, right, I think we become very
conscious of all the things that we could be doing
in the time that it takes for us to make

(05:15):
a decision. Now, I often encounter this misconception that people
who are indecisive are lazy, But I actually think that
that is the furthest thing from the truth. When you
are someone who struggles deciding between things, making decisions, making choices,
actually what you're getting caught up in is the constant
mental equations that you're doing, where you're considering every possible outcome,

(05:39):
every possible scenario. I think a lot of the time,
our indecisiveness comes down to this very unconscious fear of
choosing wrong, a fear of making a mistake, of not
being perfect, of disappointing others or disappointing ourselves. Now, this

(05:59):
is some that psychologists do have a way of measuring.
One of the most common question is is the Frost
Indecisiveness Scale, and this essentially asks participants to great a
series of statements between strongly disagree and strongly agree, and
they include things such as like I try to put
off making decisions, I have a hard time planning my

(06:22):
free time. I often worry about making the wrong choice.
And it seems that deciding on the most trivial things.
Takes me a lot of time. These questions really get
to the bottom of not just how indecisive we are,
but why we are indecisive. Here's the scary thing. The
higher that someone scores on this scale, the lower that

(06:44):
they tend to score on measures of life satisfaction. Now,
this is based on a study conducted in the Netherlands
a few years back, whereby they wanted to see if
there was any correlation between indecisiveness and our own for
all well being, and there definitely were some people who

(07:05):
were self reporting that they put off decisions that they
were worried about making the wrong choice. They were also
the same kinds of people who were more likely to say,
if I could do my life over again, I would
do it. The conditions of my life are not great.
There are a lot of things that I want to
change but I don't feel able to, which I think

(07:28):
just shows the link between not feeling a sense of
control over your life that actually contributes to you being
indecisive because you don't feel like anything you do is
going to make much of a difference. It comes down
to something else as well. We are faced with hundreds,
if not thousands of decisions every day. We have to

(07:50):
think about what time to wake up in the morning,
what we want to have for breakfast. We have to
think about whether you know, how we're going to get
to work, what we're going to listen to on our commute,
whether we should call our friend or not, whether we
should reply to that text, when we should reply to
that text, what to have for lunch, what we're going
to wear. The list is honestly endless, and some estimates

(08:13):
suggest that in a single day you and I are
making around thirty five thousand decisions. That honestly sounds ludicrous,
that sounds so excessive, But when you break down just
how much we have to decide on in our daily life,
that makes a lot of sense. That is a lot

(08:33):
of information to process and a lot of decision making
for one small brain. And what it can lead to
is decision fatigue, whereby the more decisions we feel we
need to make, and the more important those decisions feel,
the lower our quality of decision making. Is That occurs

(08:54):
for quite obvious reasons. Right when we have a million
things to think about, Eventually we have to start to
cut some corners or we begin to behave impulsively because
we don't quite have the necessary cognitive space to rationally
and logically think everything through, or the other alternative is

(09:17):
that we just don't make the decision at all. You know,
Think about when you come home from a long day
of work. You're exhausted, you're tired, you're sitting on the couch,
and you have to decide whether you want to go
for a run, whether you want to see your friend
clean your room, or I don't know, go out for dinner.
But suddenly, like two hours pass and you realize you've

(09:38):
spent that whole time on your phone, sitting on the couch,
and so you end up doing none of those things.
That is an example of what happens when you face
decision fatigue. You end up choosing the path of least
resistance because there's been so much else in your mind,
on your mind, bothering you, consuming your limited cognitive space,

(10:00):
that you just end up doing the thing that is easiest,
and that is mindlessly scrolling on your phone. Now, I
will say not all indecisiveness is necessarily negative. There is
definitely an important line between being decisive being someone who
gets shit done, and being impulsive or being rash and

(10:21):
not thinking things through. I think when it comes down
to big decisions, it's important to have some caution. It's
important to actually have a clear idea of what you
want and why. And that is kind of the lucky
balance that we need to strike, not getting too caught
up in the what and the why, but actually making

(10:41):
sure that we're conscious of what we actually desire. So
there was a really interesting BBC article published a couple
of years ago, and it made the argument that indecisiveness
actually makes us smarter because we tend to engage in
more complex decision making when it comes to our choices

(11:03):
and what we want from them. We take a lot
more time to pause, to think things through. We think
about things from a different perspective. Right, It's kind of
like you have this ball in your hand. Either you
pick it up and throw it, or you take time
to examine it, you look at it from all different
angles before you end up throwing things away, before you
end up just tossing it anywhere. I want to throw

(11:25):
something else into the mix as well. So, according to
a recent paper from two researchers out of Germany, what
matters in our life satisfaction like that research paper was
saying before you Know it said that if you're indecisive,
you're not as happy. What they found was that it's
not about being indecisive, it's actually about being ambivalent, and

(11:47):
the two things often get confused when we overthink what
the right choice might be, what's going to make us happier.
That is an indicator that you're actually thinking about your future,
You actually care, You care about doing the right thing.
When you're ambivalent, though, and that's why you're not making decisions.
That kind of demonstrates that you just, you know, you

(12:10):
have this level of apathy whereby maybe there's something else
going on in your life. You're unhappy, you're self sabotaging,
maybe you're even depressed, which means that you actually don't
have the energy or the motivation to care about what
happens to you. And that is the worst kind of indecisiveness,

(12:30):
indecisiveness that comes from not caring about your future. The
indecisiveness that we typically think about, though, is indecisiveness about
caring too much. And I think it's super fascinating because
it face value. Society tends to see people who struggle
making decisions as just being lazy, right, But really they

(12:52):
can be anxious, they can be perfectionists, they can be
struggling with this concept known as choice overload depression. There
is so much more nuance to be had in this conversation.
So what causes us to become chronically indecisive or chronic
overthinkers when it comes to our options and our choices. Well,

(13:13):
we're going to focus on four explanations, starting with the
biggest one, which is the fear of failure or the
fear of choosing wrong. A lot of us experience decision
paralysis because we are very innately aware of the possibility
of screwing up right when it comes to being life choices,

(13:36):
even small ones. We cannot mentally handle the possibility of
being wrong and then eventually regretting our decision. A lot
of us fear regret, especially in our twenties, and we
know that a fear of regret contributes to an action
when we are trying to make a choice between option A, B,
C D. What we're judging these choices by is the outcome.

(14:01):
And all of this is based on hypotheticals. We don't
actually know what's going to occur, right, So we are
like subconsciously running this like mental pro con equation in
the back of our mind to determine what we think
will maximize the things that we want, whether that's happiness, wealth, pleasure,
and minimize the things we don't want, like pain, disappointment.

(14:24):
But we actually don't know how these things will turn out,
and so we're faced with a lot of uncertainty. When
we face uncertainty, we tend to catastrophize, which means that
we focus excessively on how things could turn out poorly
for us, rather than the likely chance that they will

(14:46):
turn out all right and if they don't, will be okay.
The reason that we focus on the possibility of things
going wrong is because our brains naturally want to protect
us from emotionally and physically, mentally psychologically painful experiences. And
the way that it protects us from them is by

(15:06):
avoiding them in the first place. And the way that
it avoids them in the first place, I know, keep
following me here, is by trying to predict the future.
We cannot predict the future, so instead we choose the
option that makes us feel safe and more comfortable, and
what ends up happening is that we get so worked

(15:28):
up by what could possibly occur that we just don't
make any decision at all. Not making a decision makes
us feel less responsible if the worst case scenario were
to happen. It's also why we kind of constantly seek
reassurance from others. Right We ask our friends what they

(15:49):
think we should do. We get our parents or even
our partner to make our choices for us, whether that's
like deciding on the restaurant for tonight, or the plans
or the movie. All of this is a way of
reducing or even eliminating our sense of personal responsibility and
accountability that we believe might contribute to a greater sense

(16:09):
of disappointment or regret if things aren't as good as
we thought they would be, if the restaurant is a
let down, if we actually end up screwing up our lives.
At least we can kind of maintain a sense of like, well,
at least it wasn't my fault. At least it wasn't
all me. At Least these people helped me. In this
day and age, we are also increasingly facing a bias

(16:32):
known as choice overload. So it is both a blessing
and a curse that this generation we have so much
freedom to choose what we want with our lives, more
than any generation before us. We have so much freedom
to decide whether we want a work full time, whether
we want to go back to UNI, pick up a trade,

(16:52):
or travel or freelance, or pursue our creative interests, or
work behind a bar. Like I think, especially the creation
invention of the Internet, our eyes are a lot more
open to the opportunity that this world provides. But researchers
have begun to notice that when we have too many options,

(17:14):
this actually has the opposite effect that we would assume.
It doesn't necessarily make us feel more free. It actually
makes us feel in a really strange, counterintuitive way, it
makes us feel more restricted, because now now that we
have more options, we start to perceive that we have
a greater risk of choosing the wrong one, if that

(17:36):
makes sense. So, if you only had two job offers
to consider versus let's say six, there is like a
fifty to fifty chance that you'll choose the right job
in the first scenario, and in the second scenario, where
there are like six different options, there's only a fifteen
percent chance that you're going to choose the best case scenario. Obviously,

(17:59):
there there are other factors that come into consideration, and
things aren't always coming down to that kind of simplistic math,
but that's how our brain sees it. Our brain sees
all these things in front of us and goes, okay,
more opportunities, that is more information to consider. There is
more of a risk that we're going to choose the
wrong one. Essentially, we also tend to feel like with

(18:24):
each choice we kind of close more doors than we open,
which is really scary, especially when we are so young
and we want to feel really free and liberated and
able to do what we want. So again, we put
off making a decision to keep our options open, when
in fact, what we're actually doing is closing ourselves off

(18:47):
because we're never fully embracing those opportunities. We're just keeping
them there in case we might decide one day that
we want to do them. So it's really interesting because
when we are in de sip and we are forced
to make a decision, we actually tend to look at
less information than people who are more decisive, because we

(19:09):
understand intuitively that more information is going to make it
a lot more difficult for us to choose just one thing.
We don't want to get caught up in this choice overload.
One researcher put it really well, So, for instance, you're
an indecisive person and you're shopping for a car, and

(19:30):
what you might do is willfully choose to not do
as much research as you should so that you have
fewer options, so that you have fewer things to consider.
That is like one way of being strategic about our
indecisiveness so that we don't overload ourselves. But the thing

(19:52):
is is that in those situations, we don't make an
informed decision, right, We just made an easier decision. We
recognize that if we were to have all the information,
to all the facts, there is no way that we're
getting through all that. There is no way that we
are not going to that we are going to make
a choice and not have some kind of doubts about
it because that's where our decision or procrastination comes in.

(20:13):
It might not surprise you either that people with ADHD
are more prone to this as well, because they already
feel overwhelmed by a lot of information coming from their environment,
So making choices like this becomes agony. I think across
all neurotypes in decision and indecisiveness is also more pronounced

(20:35):
if you are someone who just lacks a certain level
of confidence in your own skills and abilities and your
ability to make good choices. Now, our confidence really derives
from our sense of self esteem, our resilient, competent, intelligent,
we see ourselves as being, and therefore, to what degree
we feel that we can trust our assessments of a
decision or a choice. Our level of confidence in our

(20:58):
decision making ability comes back to how we were raised.
As most things in psychology tend to do, there's always
some kind of behavioral psychological mental origin in childhood. So
if you were raised in a family in which you
had maybe overbearing parents, that's one example, especially an authoritarian father.

(21:21):
That's what one study suggests that it's not just about
an overbearing mother, but an overbearing father in particular, if
you were raised in that environment and you never had
the opportunity to make decisions, or you were raised in
an environment where any small failure was really intensely criticized,
you don't feel strong enough in your ability to trust

(21:42):
yourself and the choices that you're making. So in those
situations when your hand is kind of forced, you genuinely
are paralyzed. You have this constant mental back and forth,
not because you don't know what you want, but because
you don't trust what you want. I don't trust that
this might not lead to some kind of consequence that

(22:04):
you can't foresee. You're not used to making decisions for yourself.
You feel like if you are to mess up, you're
going to be criticized, people are going to judge you,
So you spend more time thinking things through. So family
is another explanation, but another component of our indecisiveness that
I find particularly interesting. I think this relates to me

(22:25):
a lot is the interactions between indecisiveness, perfectionism, and anxiety. Now,
perfectionism is a very broad personality trait. It essentially describes
people who are overly concerned with striving for flawlessness, and
they're very critical of themselves when they don't meet the
kind of unrealistic standards or goals that they set for themselves.

(22:48):
When they fail to meet their own expectations or maybe
those of others, but normally they are self imposed expectations,
this just means they place a lot more pressure on
themselves to do better next time, to not make that
mistake again, to make sure that we are hitting our targets.
Every time we're making the perfect decisions, we cannot screw up,

(23:09):
and so it makes them incredibly hyper vigilant to the
possibility of mistakes. Perfectionism makes it so hard to make
decisions because, like we said before, you just don't know
what's going to happen sometimes, and it's this trait that
is a lot higher in people who display anxious traits
or who have anxiety. Anxiety really exacerbates our perfectionism because

(23:34):
there is this innate tendency within both to really overthink
or ruminate on what could go wrong and what has
gone wrong in the past. So that makes it really
hard to not be focused on what could go wrong
in the future. So as a result, our perfectionism means
that it takes a lot of time to work through

(23:55):
small choices, small decisions, because they take on a whole
new degree of importance. If everything has to be perfect,
if everything has to go according to plan and be flawless,
then we're not taking any chances here. We're taking all
the time we can get to make sure that we
know exactly what we're doing and that this is the

(24:16):
right thing. For us, because again we can't cope with
the idea of misstepping, so we delay any kind of
action or movement towards our goals. We become again just
so paralyzed. In the contemplation stage, we think that if
we stay there long enough, eventually we're going to be
able to see some kind of have some epiphany about

(24:39):
what we should do, that the future will reveal itself
to us, will know exactly what the perfect plan is,
what exactly what's going to like optimize everything in our lives.
If we go to this school, then we're going to
get this job, and we're going to live in this
city and make this much money and meet this person
that is never going to be clear. A lot of

(25:00):
decision making kind of comes down to chance. A lot
of the outcomes of our decision comes down to chance.
And chance is not something we can control, which means
that it's not something that really lends itself to creating
like the perfect life, to making ourselves feel flawless and perfect,

(25:22):
to allowing ourselves to meet our high standards, not to
kind of be a dead horse. But I think perfectionism
is also a real breeding ground for unrealistic expectations right.
As annoying as it is, you can't get it right
every time. Every movie you choose to watch isn't going
to be your favorite, Every restaurant isn't going to be amazing.
Sometimes you do wish that you could go back, but

(25:45):
sadly you can't, and you have to make the most
of what you have. That's especially hard for perfectionists because perfectionism,
of course, it doesn't leave any room for that kind
of self compassion. It doesn't leave any room for valuing
what we want, for valuing our mistakes, because that is
not on the agenda, right, that does not match the

(26:09):
overall mission of getting everything right the first time. So
we've kind of got a good lay of the land
around what causes our chronic indecisiveness. And that's all great,
you know, that's all fine and lovely. But knowing that,
what do we do about it? If we're just sick
of getting stuck in the analysis, paralysis, of wasting our time,

(26:30):
of feeling judged because we get stuck and we're stuck overthinking,
we can't truly confront our fears. We need to make
the perfect choice, what do we do about it? What
do we do about it so that we can accept
failure as being part of this process, except that it's
not going to be the correct decision every time, but
still move forward and still actually do something. Well. I'm

(26:53):
going to talk about all of that and more after
this shortbreak, so stay with us. Curing or overcoming our
indecisiveness is not as simple as most people would think.
It's not about giving ourselves time limits. It's not about
going over the options and making pro con lists. It's

(27:14):
not about choosing randomly, and it's not about just swallowing
your fear and hoping that it goes away. That might
work for some people, and congratulations if it does, you
have done my work for me. But I think that
when we use those band aid fixes of being impulsive
or just trying to force ourselves into something that feels unnatural,

(27:36):
we're inevitably going to revert back to our previous pattern
and habit of procrastination and contemplation. So what we actually
are required to do is identify why it is that
you feel stuck, why it is that you lack confidence,
why does that you feel failure, that you are a perfectionist,
that you are anxious or ambivalent, and start from there

(27:58):
address the root cause before you can kind of address
the problem. Right. So the biggest contributor, as we discussed,
is fear of failure and perfectionism. We can't cope with
the possibility of things not turning out how we like
or experiencing regret. In order to overcome this, we need

(28:18):
to focus on being good, not perfect, and we call
this the eighty twenty rule. So the eighty twenty rule
is actually something that I learned from my previous workplace.
Shout out to them when I was a consultant back
in the day. And essentially, the premise is that in
anything that you do, it doesn't need to be one

(28:40):
hundred percent amazing, It only needs to be eighty percent amazing,
and you have twenty percent like room for error, twenty
percent like space to not be perfect. This stops us
from obsessing over the minor small details, and we focus
on the things that are going to be most important,

(29:01):
and we focus on just getting that eighty percent right
so that we don't get stuck on the final twenty
percent and end up kind of losing all the work
that we've done before that. Right, Like, if for example,
you have an essay that you're trying to get done,
and you're getting incredibly indecisive about like what topic am
I going to choose? What am I going to write
it on? Is this right? Is this good research? Is

(29:23):
this going to get me? An A? You're spending so
much time focusing on everything being correct that you're actually
sacrificing one hundred percent of the project. Right. But if
you said, Okay, I'm just going to start and I'm
just going to focus on getting it about like eighty
percent there, eighty percent happy with it, you realize that

(29:44):
that remaining twenty percent isn't actually that big of a deal,
and so it stops your brain from getting stuck in
the loop. It takes the pressure off. You know, your
new one hundred is eighty and that twenty percent is
a nice buffer. I also saw some amazing advice that
said getting ten things done at eighty five percent or

(30:06):
eighty percent so good but not perfect is going to
do a lot more for your life than getting five
things done one hundred percent perfectly and stressing out over
the other five things that you didn't do. I think
in that situation, right, it really goes to show that
we spend a lot more time actually worrying about the
stuff that we didn't do than the stuff that we

(30:26):
did do, And when we think about that in the
context of our decisions, we spend a lot more time
worrying about regret than actually experiencing regret. I think it's
also important to delineate between the big decisions and the
small ones and focus on what is important. Devote your
time to that, rather than getting held up and all

(30:47):
the small stuff and getting stuck in a rut of
decision fatigue. Think about the decisions you need to make
as if they are on a scale. You have your littles,
you have your mediums, you have your massives. The littles
are the daily choices that won't really impact you for
more than like, maximum twenty four hours. You can make

(31:10):
most of them pretty impulsively or quickly, and most of
the time they won't matter. What you choose to eat,
what you choose to wear, what you do in the evening.
You can overthink them if you'd like, and you can
catastrophize each little one, but A you just create more
stress for yourself and you don't deserve that, and B
you probably won't even end up enjoying whatever it is

(31:31):
that you choose because you're constantly comparing it to something
potentially better. So by focusing on the bigger stuff, we
free up a lot of cognitive space that is probably
better devoted to the things that are actually going to matter.
It's also important to remember that every outcome normally turns
out to be okay, because usually we end up happy

(31:54):
with what we have and we do our best with
our circumstances regardless of what got us there. It's not
if you're caring this much about these small decisions that
is great, because that's not going to like not to
be cash about it, but that's not going to disappear.
You're not ambivalent, you're not apathetic. You do care, and
that level of care is going to carry with you

(32:16):
regardless of whether the decisions you're making now turn out great, amazing, fabulous,
or not so great. There's no way of knowing if
it would have turned out differently. You just have to
focus on the moment you're in and how you can
make your current circumstances better. Right now, you have all
of the necessary skills to get yourself out of a
situation you don't want to be in, and if you

(32:38):
made the wrong choice, your decisions aren't permanent. They can
be undone. The only decisions you can't undo are the
ones that you didn't make, are the ones that you
spent being indecisive about to the point where life just
kind of made the decision for you. You know, you
can change courses at UNI, you can switch jobs, you

(32:58):
can move back to your own hometown, you can return
early from a trip, whatever it is. But at eighty
ninety one hundred years old, you can't come back to
where you are right now and make these choices. You
can't come back and tell yourself just do it. It's
not going to matter. Just do the damn thing. You
can't reverse the regrets that you have around your inaction,

(33:21):
so it makes more sense to just do the thing,
even if you're not sure. And I also think it's
important to shift your mindset from seeing mistakes as a
failure to being part of the plan. Mistakes are a
necessary ingredient. They're part of the process. We learn more
from the times things didn't go our way than the
times they did, because these situations provide a space for

(33:45):
reflection and redirection. If everything goes perfectly according to plan,
one hundred percent, take tiktick. We never fail. We also
never grow because growth comes from discomfort. It comes from learning,
pushing past fear, and realizing that even if things don't
turn out completely okay, you're gonna be totally fine. You're

(34:07):
gonna be okay. Something else that really works for me
is to actually let my fear get as big as
it wants. I let myself catastrophize, even if it seems
a little bit counterintuitive, hear me out. The reason I
do this is because when you stare at the worst
case scenario, when you look at it head on, when
you make it as big and scary as you possibly can,

(34:29):
it's never actually that bad. There is always a way out.
You realize that actually the thing that you're overthinking, in
the grand scheme of things, it's not life ending. It's
really not that important. It's not going to destroy you.
It's all coming down to the fact that our brain
likes to focus on what is scary and what it

(34:49):
thinks is dangerous to protect us, even if that thing
is not as important in reality. Okay, I have two
final tips for you. The the first one is to
choose your advice selectively. I think sometimes we use excessive
advice seeking as a way to put off making a decision.
When we do this, we get stuck in the information

(35:11):
gathering stage, where we mistakenly believe that the more we know,
the better and easier the decision will be. That is
unfortunately incorrect, as we not already, because it creates choice overload,
information overload. It means that there is just too many factors,
too many things to add to the pro con list.
So choose your trusted people, and I would say choose

(35:34):
two of them, whether that is a parent and your
best friend, a partner, a mentor, and then of course
you have yourself. There's three people there who get to
have a say in what you're going to decide. Then
make a decision based on averages. If you know your
best friend and your boyfriend both think that you should
do the thing, you should obviously do it. You don't

(35:55):
need to seek any further advice, and if you feel
the need to, I think that's real revealing. It's so
fascinating because when other people tell us what we should do,
it often makes us more aware of what we really want.
It's like when you're trying to decide what you want
for dinner, right and you ask your friend do you
want tie food or do you want pizza? I can't
really choose. You sell them like I just I don't care.

(36:16):
You choose, It's all up to you. And then they
say pizza and you're like, damn it, I really want
to tie food. And that is how you reveal your preference.
The same goes for some of our bigger choices. Right
when someone else has a strong opinion about what you
should do, sometimes it causes an equally strong reaction in
us that reveals our preferences. Done there, you go, you

(36:40):
know what you need to do now. And finally, this
is not like a practical thing, but go easy on yourself.
I just want to remind you you are one small
person and in the grand scheme of things, it might
feel comforting. Maybe it doesn't, But you know what, your
choices are not going to end the world. They're not
going to destroy lives. Most of the time, anything that

(37:02):
you do can be reversed. Anything that you do you
can fix, you can add on to. It's not the end.
Don't feel like you are locked into any one decision.
Don't let your decisions take on more gravity and severity
than they deserve. If it's not going to matter in
five years. Do not spend more than five seconds thinking
about it. In fact, sometimes the decisions that we're not

(37:27):
too sure of actually bring about even better scenarios than
we ever could have imagined in the first place, because
we can't predict the future, and if we tried, we
normally end up with the future that we didn't even
think of in the first place. So take the pressure off.
It's all going to be okay. I saw someone say
this the other day. But there is no one best choice.

(37:48):
There is no one decision that is going to completely
change your life. You can make the best of the outcome.
You can make the best of what happens. It's actually
not about the decision. It's about the conscious daily choices
that you make to just keep going with your life,
to keep yourself well, to keep yourself focused, to keep

(38:11):
yourself on a path. You know, it doesn't really come
down to the big decisions. It comes down to the
small daily choices, the littles. Like I said before, that
you can make quite quickly. So you've got this believe
in your capacity to make good choices. Remember that if
you don't, it's not the end of the world. You

(38:32):
have a chance to do it over. You have a
chance to reverse decisions, change your mind, undo them, So
go gentle on yourself. I really hope that you enjoyed
this episode. I hope you learned something. I hope that
it was comforting. And if there is someone else in
your life who needs to hear this, please feel free
to share it with them and leave a five star

(38:53):
review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, wherever you're listening right now,
make sure you're following along for future episodes. If you
enjoyed this episode, please let me know. I would love
to hear from you. I actually feel really indecisive when
I make this show. Sometimes I really worry about the
episodes I put out and like if anybody's going to
relate to them, if anybody even cares. Like I always think, oh,

(39:15):
what if people see this episode and they're like, well,
I'm not going to listen to that because it doesn't
apply to me, and then they never listen again. That
is an example of how I catastrophize my small, tiny choices. So,
like I said, I'm in the same boat. I would
love to hear from you if you enjoyed this episode.
If you can put my own sense of self doubt,
to rest, and until next week, be kind, be gentle

(39:38):
to yourself, and we will see you soon.
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