Decision Analysis Paralysis

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Anyone else have a habit of checking with other people before making decisions?

I reluctantly raise my hand on that one.

I remember I use to have to run it by every single one of my friends to the point it felt like it was their decision. I had no one else to blame for that but myself.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s great because I can bounce ideas off of someone else , get some tweaks, and find different perspectives .

But what happens when they stomp on your dreams, thoughts, hopes and everything you thought your idea could be? THAT’S THE WORST!

A bit dramatic, but you get my point.

I often hear people say that the reason they turn to others or spend so much time before making a decision is because they don’t want to make the “wrong” choice.

The title of this post actually comes from a client that said I had “decision analysis paralysis.” I gasped when I heard it!

First of all because they were able to label their thought so accurately and also because I knew that was the perfect name to call this decision making process!

Decision Analysis Paralysis is the process of feeling “stuck” between options and not knowing which way to go.

This process can cause you doubt yourself, live in fear , or spend too much time thinking through every possible scenario.

Now it is my job to figure out how we get from Decision Analysis Paralysis to Decision Conqueror ( okay mine isn’t as flowy, if you have another name idea let me know!).

I was reading the book called The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown, and some of you know just how much I value Brene’s work and love her for her true authenticity.

I came across this section in guidepost 5 of the book:

“When we start polling people, it’s often because we don’t trust our own knowing. It feels too shaky and too uncertain. We want assurances and folks with whom we can share the blame if things don’t pan out. I know all about this. I’m a professional pollster—it’s hard for me to go it alone sometimes.”

-Brene Brown, The gifts of imperfection

I immediately questioned my intentions.

Do I poll people because I don’t trust my own decision making abilities?

Moment of awareness: Maybe I don’t trust myself to make the “right” decision.

Now that I have become aware of my what I must start to explore the why. Where did this lack of trust came from and when did it start?

When faced with a decision and are experiencing some paralysis, pause :

  • Question yourself. Am I making this decision because I don’t trust myself or because I doubt my abilities ?
  • Walk through your options out loud. Sometimes it helps to hear it outside of your head.
  • Create feedback boundaries. Create specific questions and areas of feedback you would like for your board of trustees (friends/support) to focus on.

If you are looking to further explore:

  • Do you trust yourself in your own decision making?
  • What is your reason for polling others. Is it to make the “right” choice?
  • Do you start to doubt your original desire or decisions once you hear the opinions of others?
  • Any recent decisions come to your mind where you experienced decision analysis paralysis
  • Where did this lack of trust begin ? Were you always a pollster?

Small practice tip: Next decision you have to make, ask no one else. Go with your what you think is best. Start with something small until you build up your trust to make the next decision. Once you have gotten comfortable to trust yourself, start to slowly bring back in your board of trustees (friends).

Moral of the story is, stick to your guts. You ultimately know what’s best for you, and *whispers: there is no “right” answer. 🙂

What are some upcoming decisions you need to make?



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One Response

  1. Decision analysis paralysis – I didn’t know there was a name for how I feel day to day. this is definitely me, Lynell.

    Making decisions I have left to hubby, not because I want to, but because I want someone to blame if things don’t go right.

    It is now affecting my personal choices, I would be hungry, walk into a supermarket and walk right back without buying anything, just because there’s no one by my side to say get this or that.
    I might have to rethink things.

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