4 Psychologically Healthy Habits to Overcome Fear of Making Decisions

It is said that knowledge creates ignorance: our ability to answer questions means that by answering an unknown, many others arise in our minds, from all these new things we know.

Something similar happens with our ability to make decisions, which is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, we are so good at working with various options or hypotheses and anticipating the consequences of choosing each one, but at the same time, this task has so many implications that it is sometimes daunting and our emotions overwhelm us. This is why some people yearn to have nothing to decide, which can degenerate into a real psychological problem. In this article, we will look at several habits that help to cope with and manage this fear of making decisions.

What is the fear of making decisions?

For many years a series of beliefs about human beings have spread which lead us to have a very biased view of ourselves and which do not start from a realistic or scientifically informed perspective, but rather from prejudices and discourses motivated by ideological reasons. One of these myths about Homo sapiens, which places us in a position of superiority over other animals, is that we are an eminently rational species, and that our minds have evolved to make decisions based on logic and consideration of costs and benefits almost from pure mathematics.

This idea fits very well if what you want is to feel good about yourself and be able to find it a seemingly rational explanation of everything we do. It is comforting and “comfortable”, and invites optimism. However, as always, the reality is much more complex than that. Both everyday life and history abound with examples of people behaving in highly irrational ways, generating much more discomfort than well-being, even triggering situations in which it was clear from the start that none of the people involved had nothing to do with it winning but a lot to lose.

In this sense, the following question should be asked: if the human being is a purely rational animal, how is it that in certain circumstances we would rather have a few options to choose from than a few others? Why is it common to be grateful that someone makes decisions for us, even if they are relatively important? Fear of making decisions is also a sign that many psychological processes do not operate on logical rails, but are influenced by very different aspects, some of which come from our emotional side.

In this case, what we observe is an avoidance pattern: the person experiences anxiety and all kinds of anxiety-related feelings when they are in a situation where they have to make a decision, and try by all the means of postponing this task or of delegating it to another person. It is a multicausal phenomenonin which the following psychological phenomena may play a role:

  • Fear of giving a bad image if the decision is good.
  • Belief that one is not smart enough to decide taking into account all the relevant aspects to consider.
  • Fear of guilt right after making the decision.
  • Anticipation of anxiety in the face of one’s own fear of making decisions (vicious circle effect).

Habits for overcoming the fear of making decisions

The most effective way to deal with this type of fear and insecurity is to consult a psychologist, but you can also apply these habits to your daily life (as long as they do not conflict with the instructions of the professional who addresses your specific situation). Case).

1. Set rules so you don’t fall into avoidance

The easiest way to temporarily alleviate the fear of making decisions is to not make them or to press someone else to make them for you. So, to begin with, memorize these two rules: Never delegate decisions in your personal (non-professional) life and never delay making a decision beyond a certain number of hours. It is important that you only follow these two basic rules, so that you know very clearly what not to do and that you can build a new way of life on these patterns of behavior.

2. Accept your imperfections and make them visible

In order not to be afraid of looking bad or feeling bad about your skills and standards, it is essential that you get rid of the pretense of being a perfect person. Assume it’s okay to be wrong, and make that part of yourself visible by telling others about the times you were wrong, acknowledging your mistakes when you realize them…and most importantly, apologizing. If you normalize excuses, it will be easier for you to accept them as a fundamental part of life.and to remind you that most mistakes don’t weigh like a constant slab.

3. Keep an up-to-date diary

Scheduling is important for overcoming the fear of making decisions. If you stop being associated with having “waitlisted” decisions (for a limited time), you are more likely to stop trying to avoid them. For this, updating a diary can be a very good routine.

4. Regularly review your successes

If you become aware of the decisions you made that turned out to be right, you will have a more nuanced and realistic view of this kind of experience and you will normalize them.

Are you looking for professional psychological help?

If you are looking for psychological support services or are interested in starting a therapy process, please contact me.

My name is Tomas Santa Cecilia and I specialize in the cognitive-behavioral intervention model, with adults and adolescents, as well as companies. You can count on my services both in my office located in Madrid and through the online mode by video call.

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