How to Be More Decisive, and How It'll Change Your Life

Have you ever felt like your overthinking and indecisiveness have held you back from what you really want in life?

That happens to the best of us, but things don't have to be that way. That's why we reached out to Selena Rezvani, leadership consultant and author of Pushback: How Smart Women Ask—and Stand Up—for What They Want. She knows a thing or two about how being decisive can get you further in life instead of letting others make decisions for you. Keep reading for her top tips on being more decisive.

Sweety High: Why do you think so many people—women in particular—tend to be so indecisive? 

Selena Rezvani: Women are great, capable decision-makers. The issue is that girls are often over-taught to avoid risk and to be cautious. Analysis paralysis is practically encouraged. I was definitely raised that way. We bring that conditioning into adulthood with us.

By the time we're fully grown, men, who are groomed since birth to be decisive, seem to be more practiced at the skill. Let me repeat: Women are excellent decision-makers. The issue is that we often don't have as much experience as men acting decisively in formative years.


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SH: What do we lose out on when we can't stick to our guns and make our own decisions?

SR: Indecision, even though it feels safe, is actually a decision. If your goal is to be a leader, indecision won't be the thing to get you there. Indecision makes your world small. It waters down your stand on an issue. A wrong, but committed decision is usually less catastrophic than indecision.

 

SH: How do our lives improve when we learn to become more decisive?

SR: Putting support behind your decisions means putting support behind yourself. Prepare to make mistakes sometimes, but go ahead and put a line in the sand and say what you really think. By doing that, you're endorsing yourself, your skills and your knowledge.

 

SH: What steps can we all take to become more decisive? 

SR: Trust the experience and knowledge you've built over time. If being decisive isn't normal for you, practice making small decisions in your life. For example, decide in 30 seconds what you'll have for lunch, then follow through on that decision.

By repeating this in small, time-limited ways and following through with your decisions, you'll build your comfort for making bigger decisions quickly. If you're weighing a decision, try asking yourself quickly, "Based on what I know, what's the worst that can happen and what's the best that can happen?"

Lastly, make a public commitment. Using clear, empowered language, say, "I'll vote for X," "I recommend we go with Option Y" or "I'm ready to commit to A."

 

SH: What has personally been the most important rule you've followed in your own life to be more decisive?

SR: Knowing that everyone else is just winging it and that I'm as qualified as they are to make big decisions.

 

If you still have a lot to learn on the subject, click HERE with 14 struggles you might relate to if you're indecisive.