It is one of the biggest frustrations people have with the government, with the workplace, with their loved ones, significant others and even with themselves—the inability to simply make a decision:
- "I do not understand how they can sit and sit and sit on that legislation."
- "I wrote that article months ago, and it's still sitting in her office."
- "We've been dating for four years now. He still won't make a commitment!"
- "I don't know what I should major in. There's just so much pressure!"
Of course, the more invested you are in the person or situation affected by indecisiveness, the worse the emotions surrounding it.
But the truth is, as bad as all of this is, that real pain doesn't come from other people's indecisiveness. You know very well that you can never control what others feel, think or do; that looking outside yourself for inner meaning, joy and purpose is worse than irrational. It's actually self-destructive.
If we've learned nothing else from pop psychology over the past 50 years, we have absorbed this: The only person you can control is you.
So complaining about other people's behavior, including their indecisiveness, is worse than a waste of time.
It masks the real problem, which is that you are the indecisive one.
You are delegating to another your inherent responsibility to make tough choices. It's easier to blame someone else for failing to do things right. But life is pretty harsh that way. It's set up to make us all walk the path at some point.
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We won't get away without confronting them—the choices we never wanted to make. The ones we find most confusing, most complex, most heart-wrenching.
It's appropriate to think about this election year, how we get so caught up in blaming other people. If only they'd done this, if only they'd say that, if only they knew what they were doing. But these mind games don't fool anyone and they don't help any cause that I'm aware of, either.
Instead of waiting forever for indecisive others, you can make a decision, right now, today. If your life isn't working, change it. Let everybody else worry about themselves.
When you take your power back and make a decision, you have peace of mind. Even if you fail.
For "they" proceed as they will anyway, for a million reasons that have nothing to do with you.
The truth is, you do not have to think about, worry about, or focus on the rest of the world. Not anymore.
The only person you need to manage is you.
Copyright 2016 Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D. The opinions expressed are her own, and the content of this post is not intended to represent any federal agency or the government as a whole.