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How Indecision May Be Hurting Your Career

Did you know that on average most adults make about 35,000 decisions each day? If you find that number shockingly high, think about all of the micro decisions you make throughout the day. In a post on Roberts Wesleyan College they write, “As consumers Americans have come to expect an incredible variety of choices… And we’ve got them.  Every day we are faced with increasing number of choices: Which of the thousands of cable channels do you watch? How do you like your coffee? What drive-through do you get it from? Do you cook for yourself or choose to become a valued customer at Mighty Taco?” It’s no wonder many of us deal with decision fatigue and the vast number of possibilities and options we have to choose from can sometimes become more of a hindrance than an opportunity. In today’s blog, we’ll look at the ways indecisiveness in the workplace may be negatively impacting your career.

Indecisiveness Can Make You Look Less Competent

In an article on Career Contessa they write “While indecision is completely acceptable at times, a constant state of indecisiveness can imperceptibly chip away at your reputation. The anxiety you demonstrate in the face of making quick decisions (i.e., what you would like for lunch) can follow you throughout your professional life. If you’ve spent the last year sending out, “Well, what do you think?” emails to your boss, are you demonstrating the qualities of a self-starter? Don’t miss out on new and exciting opportunities because of your past indecision.” Being indecisive at work may lead others to view you as a procrastinator, or worse, lazy. One helpful way to move past this is by asking yourself this set of questions: “Why am I being trusted to make this decision? What is a similar decision I have made and how did I come to it?  How important is this particular decision?  What is the worst-case scenario if I make the “wrong choices”? Make and own decisions that are guided by your experience, logic, expertise, and instincts.”


Indecisiveness Can Make You Feel Stuck

When we don’t know what to choose, we may find ourselves not wanting to pick anything at all (which is a choice in itself). But when we stay stuck for fear of making the wrong choice, it often hurts us more in the long run. Get comfortable with the idea that not every decision you make in life is going to be the “right” one. Even decisions that don’t turn out the way you hoped will still offer you a chance to learn and grow. As Leon Brown said, “Mistakes are the stepping stones to wisdom. We learn from trial and error; we become wise by understanding problems.”  Get comfortable with the idea that mistakes happen and not let the fear of those mistakes keep you from making important decisions at work. In an article in The HR Digest, they write, “Indecision comes as a result of the fear of making a mistake, which only harms your growth in the workplace. You can’t grow when you have the mindset that you don’t want to make any decisions that will hurt your career or make people see you as a failure. It stops you from making and learning from mistakes.”


Indecisiveness May Lead to Missed Opportunities

Those who are indecisive at work may get passed up for opportunities and promotions.  In the same HR Digest article they write, “No one will want to consider giving a promotion to a person who is indecisive and hardly makes any contribution to the growth of the company. You won’t be given such opportunities because you have proved that you can’t handle and make decisions that can benefit your company.” Companies want to hire leaders and managers who are confident decision-makers that can develop their team and benefit the organization.