Every day, we are faced with a decision to make. Sometimes, they are small and sometimes, they are decisions of great magnitude. However, many people have trouble coming to a conclusion whatever the size of the task. They usually fall into the following categories of dysfunction that will guarantee that nothing will get decided. Which one can you recognise in yourself ?
Put off the decision convincing themselves that it is not the right time or some other excuse that aids procrastination. Then feel guilty and ashamed.
Spend weeks mulling over different scenarios and possibilities, often afraid of making the decision. The end result is the same as above.
Ask 10, 20, 30 different people for their opinion, hoping to share responsibility for the consequences. While it is good to get input from others, much of the advice given by others is based solely on their own autobiography and are delivered with such sentences as ” This is what you should do” “This is what I would do” ” You need to do this”. Very rarely can one her ” Why don’t you look at it this way?” ” Have you forgotten to consider anything?”
Where does this tie in with self-esteem? There are four styles of decision making that most people accept as the main ways that individuals come to a decision. These are directive, analytical, conceptual and behavioural. Each style is a different method of weighing alternatives and examining solutions. Each has its advantages and disadvantages but each assumes that every decision we make about ourselves and our life carries a consequence, positive or negative. Our main issue is that we either fear the consequences or don’t want to face them. So we do nothing (which is also a choice), push the process or try to get others to bear the consequences. We also fear making a wrong decision and what that says about us as people. Our inability to make a decision then leads us to believe that we are flawed as people and self-esteem suffers.
I have always believed that the easiest way to increase self-esteem is to face the very things you fear consistently and prove that they can be done or that there is a willingness to face any consequences that come from them. People with healthy self-esteem will realise that there are firm guarantees to be had about making a decision work but a decision based on evidence presented and a back up plan will give a high chance things will work. When this is made with the right amount of self discipline and realism, even better!