How do I stop questioning almost every decision I make?!

I’m scared sometimes of even making small decisions. It paralyzes me sometime—I just want to bury my head forever so I do NOT have to make another decision.
Asked by Marie
Answered
12/06/2021

Hi Marie,  Thank you for reaching out to ask your question.

There are a lot of reasons why this may be happening, but I'll try to hit on a couple of potentially more common reasons and we can go from there.

If this is a conditioned response for you - for example, you used to make decisions and felt that they weren't appreciated, heard or perhaps the outcome wasn't what you had hoped for, we can condition ourselves to expect that when we make a decision, these will be the outcome, so we know we need to make a decision but we are afraid to because we believe there will be no positive outcome for it and we go back and forth in our brain trying to make the best decision and we paralyze ourselves into not making a decision at all.

The problem with that is that as humans, especially as we get older, we HAVE to make decisions a lot of the time (what to wear to work, what to eat, where to go after work, how to budget, etc.) and when we can't do it, someone will do it for us.  This often leads to an outcome we don't want - it's more than the likely the outcome the person making the decision for us wants, and/or it  leads to learned helplessness.  We learn that someone will always make decisions for us, bail us out, help pay our bills, whatever it is and we learn that it is ok to do that and we become dependent or co-dependent on that person.  We always want to strive to be as independent and free-thinking as possible.  That would be the healthiest way to live for yourself and for your partner or any significant relationship you have.

The other reason is confidence.  Perhaps we are not confident in our choices and it leads to questioning - to the point of indecision.  If we know our own truth (what we are about, our morals and values, who we are and what we stand for), it's much easier to make decisions because we know the intent in which we made them.  We usually make decisions to further our goals in some way, or for survival reasons - just to name a couple of examples.  When your confident about yourself, you know that even if you didn't make the right choice, that this decision was just one instance.  Being wrong, or making the wrong choice is not going to hurt us in the long run, and probably not even in the short run.  You try to look at all choices/decisions, good or bad, as learning and growth opportunities. It's when we stop learning and growing that we are really in trouble.  

So for you, I would see if any of these apply and how to combat that is to make one small decision and tell yourself, that whatever the outcome it will be ok.  The more you do that and see that it will be ok, the more confident you become.  A great show to watch on Netflix is  called The Good Place.  One of the characters on there is a person who has a terrible time making decisions.  The show eventually goes on to show his growth and him being able to conquer his indecision.  

I hope this helped some.  Wishing you well.  Diana

(LPC, FT)