Ah, indecision. We know that unpleasant feeling. What do we do? It’s like time is frozen and we are stuck in choosing the best option. What should be done. What to eat. What to watch. What career options exist. What to study. How much money to make. From the seemingly inconsequential choices to the life-changing ones, we are faced with thousands of choices per day.
While it is typical to struggle with indecision from time to time, constant indecisiveness can become a major problem. Not only does this waste your time, cause you to worry, and prevent you from getting ahead, it can even prevent your progress from being made. It can also hurt your finances.
We discuss common causes of indecisiveness and describe how it can impact your financial plan. Importantly, we explain how you can protect yourself against indecisiveness to safeguard your financial security.
What causes indecisiveness?
Some people experience indecision at times for various reasons. If you want to overcome that feeling of “stuckness,” you should analyze the reasons that are causing it.
You can better identify the causes of your indecisiveness by identifying the sources (or sources) of your uncertainty.
1. Fear of failure
Fear of failure, or of making just one mistake, frequently causes indecisiveness. When you are so afraid of making a mistake that you often freeze up, you make poor decisions.
Such inaction typically leaves people immobile, preventing them from moving forward or pursuing their goals.
Similar to a fear of failure, sometimes those who just do not wish to make a mistake and want everything they do to be perfect, always, can be indecisive.
Waiting until the right moment or having the correct answer means just waiting around. This can wreak havoc on all aspects of your life.
It takes you away from making choices and moving forward, never wanting to be wrong or to appear weak. When, in actuality, the only way to go onward and grow is to take action and, sometimes, not be perfect.
3. Information overload
The world can be overwhelming at times. We don’t have many options for watching TV and movies at night, but we have countless entertainment choices. We do not have only one late-night eatery to choose from; we now have fifty.
Perhaps you went back to re-watching or redoing something that you have already finished? This is an example of information overload. When you don’t have enough time to sift through all of your options. This can leave you feeling indecisive.
4. Lack of confidence
If you aren’t confident in your skills or abilities, you may not have the confidence necessary to make good decisions. Of course, we all need to have some knowledge in order to make informed decisions. However, there is a point where we know enough to make a decision, but we still feel like we can’t.
Have you ever felt that someone else should make the decision because you weren’t qualified enough? Or perhaps you could make the choice, but only once you learned more? That is a sign of impostor syndrome, which often leads to indecisiveness.
Eventually, indecision is a major consequence of procrastination. Procrastination does not mean that you are lazy like most people think. So, if you are a procrastinator, don’t be hard on yourself about it! Procrastination is mostly caused by anxiety. In particular, the worrier was anxious about the unknown.
Procrastinators feel anxiety about the future and tend to avoid making important decisions because they procrastinate and do not feel confident about their choice. Instead of making a choice, they procrastinate and defer it.
How indecisiveness can harm your finances
Now that you know what causes indecisiveness, it’s time to think about how it affects your day-to-day life.
It has been said that every decision you make is an economic one. That means that indecisiveness can significantly affect your finances!
In addition to all of those daily decisions you make, these are some of the most important, direct ways inconsistency can harm your budget.
1. Procrastinating on financial goals
Your best course of action is to come up with a plan of action. Whether you are deep in debt or have a substantial amount of money saved and don’t know what to do with it all, you ought to have a plan. Choosing a plan and abandoning financial goals will lead to economic losses.
Delaying financial goals might make you feel like you’re failing to start an emergency savings fund or ignore your student loan payments. Anyone who procrastinates will experience stress and may even feel out of control.
2. Missed opportunities
Many times, not making a choice is a decision in itself. This indecision may involve missed opportunities. It might be a minor one like not changing your cell phone plan to a cheaper provider.
If you are confused when choosing between various plans, you could potentially make an error and pay more than you should.
Many people find investing overwhelming. What do they do all day? They do not do anything. Being busy is not for everyone, so they do not elect to participate in a company’s 401(k) plan and they do not have an interest in learning about other investment opportunities.
This indecision may delay your retirement planning, with potentially devastating results in the long term.
3. Not making smaller decisions can add up, too
Indecisiveness in your everyday life affects your finances as well.
Your indecision may be costing you money. Other people do not make spending decisions based exclusively on your budget or ability to pay âÃ‚Â€Ã‚Â“ they do so based on their own finances.
Your friends always flock to the fanciest of bars, so you end up spending $15 per drink there. When you select what you want, you avoid overspending on your own funds, and can make better decisions.
4. Lack of future planning
Indecisiveness can cause people to live only in the here and now. Or rather, to be stuck in a moment. Whether we plan for it or not, the future is coming. By avoiding making decisions and refusing to plan for the future, we are placing our future selves at a big disadvantage.
5. Stops you from seeking financial help
Stubbornness prevents many from seeking financial help when they need it. Fortunately, there are so many available resources that anybody in need can get the assistance they need.
Those who need help with their finances can receive it from financially savvy friends and family members to professional assistance like consumer credit counseling agencies.
But if you hesitate and refrain from reaching out, you forfeit the opportunity to find a new perspective.
How to counter indecisiveness
You are undecided, and it is hurting your bottom line. Fortunately, you don’t have to stay stuck in confusion forever.
1. Let go of your perfectionism
Do you know what? That “perfect” solution is nowhere near perfect. Sometimes you won’t get it, and sometimes you will. Instead of striving to be perfect, just do your best with what you are aware of.
Some of us are so obsessed with being perfect that we literally can not let go of the urge to be perfect. But there are many ways to overcome this tendency. Start by browsing sites such as this, replete with tips and tricks on how to get free from perfectionism once and for all.
2. Remember that action leads to positive change
Your progress is rarely going to be immediate. Only through action can you begin to make progress. Sure, you might be able to win the lottery. But, you probably will not (hopefully you will not).
Begin by paying your monthly bills and making a budget from there. Even the tiniest of actions is better than doing nothing.
3. Narrow down your choices
Aren’t we all overwhelmed by all the information out there? There are many things you can do to avoid unnecessary information overload. For example, if you are unsure of what health savings account to select, you can limit your options.
Don’t waste your time by looking through all available options. Instead, find a respected website, such as here, educate yourself, and select your option based on that.
4. Practice on the small stuff
Like anything else, it takes practice to make good decisions. If you’ve never made your own decisions before, your decision making muscles probably aren’t very strong.
To firm them up and get yourself comfortable making larger decisions, start by practicing making decisions about small things.
Each day, you are to choose whatever you will wear, eat, or obtain. Rather than letting yourself become overwhelmed by all of the available options, practice making instant selections. Before you know it, you will have left your indecision behind and be confident making important decisions, too.
5. Educate yourself
The power of information is importance. This is especially true for financial education. many of us weren’t taught financial literacy in school and we weren’t expected to be financially astute.
Fortunately, there is so much information available to help us learn about personal finance, including the many (free!) resources available here at Clever Girl Finance.
If you’re hesitant about a topic due to lack of knowledge or lack of confidence, educate yourself. Equipped with the right knowledge, you’ll be prepared to make your own decisions and take decisive action.
6. Use a pros and cons list
Finally, nothing gets you in a better position to make a wise choice than a list of pros and cons. Whether making a decision about your finances or where to live, you should often turn to a pros and cons list.
A pros and cons list helps you avoid making regrettable decisions by giving you all the information you need to make an informed decision. And it leads us toward growth and positive change when we take action.
Leave indecision in the past
If you happen to be feeling especially stuck financially, it could be due to indecision. While you cannot be sure of the best decision or the perfect action, acting is always preferable to remaining inactive.
There is always a way to recover from a bad financial decision, but if you are not willing to take a risk, you will never know what might be possible. To evolve, you should overcome your emotional attachment to your previous decisions. It’s time for you to leave your indecision in the past!