Written on 5/16/2008 by Evelyn Lim, a writer of self help articles on Attracting Abundance.
If you suffer from low confidence and feel insecure about your own abilities, you may find it difficult to make even the simplest of decisions. Even the horrid choice of choosing where to go for dinner sends you into a frenzy. Insecurity occurs for several reasons. Perhaps at a young age your parents striped your ability to make any choices by choosing everything you ate, everything you wore, etc.
Now that you are grown and in the workforce, you find yourself suddenly having to make a lot more decisions. With little or no previous experience, it is no wonder that you start to fumble. Anxiety and worry are your constant companions during the decision making process. While trying to decide on your options, you spend hours playing out the possible scenarios of failure. You are nervous about what others may say and think, swearing that you can already hear the sounds of snickering in your head.
Needless to say, the feeling of not being able to make a decision sucks! And it all stems from not having enough self confidence. Here are some consequences of having low self confidence in decision making:
- Paralysis In Taking Needed Actions: In some cases, fear can overwhelm and even paralyze you to inaction. Hence, you prefer to remain as you are to avoid making the wrong decisions. Yet in so doing, you feel lousy. Stuck and defeated you are trapped in no-decision land!
- No Trust In Decisions Made: Even if you finally do make a choice, it is very possible that because of your low self-confidence, you have no trust that your decision was the best for the circumstance. Once again, you break out in sweat, worrying excessively.
- Refusal to Take Charge: When it comes to the bigger decisions that you need to make, you may well prefer to abdicate the responsibility to someone else. You feel more assured because in your opinion, someone else can make a better assessment of the situation. Your reasoning: if you are less intelligent, less outgoing and less capable, shouldn’t you let the better man decide for you? Better yet, let your parents continue to decide for you even if it comes to making a choice in your career path!?! When things do not then proceed well, or you are not loving the life that has been planned and decided for you, it would be all too easy to put the blame on them and others.
- Shrinking Life Options: With low confidence in your abilities, it is inevitable that you find your options in life shrinking dramatically. You not only create limitations in what you can currently do, but are also more liable to miss out on numerous opportunities that may otherwise have been available to you.
In your current job, you think that this is as far as you can go. Others may find you capable but you choose to impose limits to your own growth and potential. Additionally, with no belief in your capabilities and resourcefulness, you find it hard to take up new challenges or to explore new frontiers.
So let’s discuss how you can begin to overcome your inadequacies. Changing your attitude from a negative to a positive one will be most helpful. Only when you can break free, can a whole new world open up to you. You fall in love with life because you are no longer tied down by your insecurities, fears and negative beliefs.
Here are 6 ways to help you overcome your low self confidence in decision making:
- Affirm Your Abilities Frequently: Try to recall instances that you have done well. The fact that you have ever done well is proof that you are capable of producing the same in the future.
Also determine what you are good at, and do more of these activities. It is important that you spend time nurturing and encouraging yourself. Give yourself a pat in the back, for even the littlest decisions that you make. When you do this frequently enough, you can gear yourself up to making bigger decisions in time.
- Remove Limiting Beliefs and Fears: Ask yourself if it is really true that you are no good or have little abilities? If you do have limiting thoughts, recognize that you do have a choice in your thoughts and thoughts can be changed.
If your limiting beliefs came about because you have never been allowed to make decisions as a child, then it is time to take charge. Your parents may have wanted to shelter you from making the wrong choices when you were young but you need to learn to be responsible for your own life from now!
- Take Action. Your very first instincts may have been to hold back or to procrastinate over making a decision. Your mind becomes frozen, as it gets caught up in a web of convoluted negative thoughts. In some situations, putting things in motion can get you started on the path towards making the right decisions. You can take action by finding out what it is you need to know, to make a better decision. When you take action, choices, that once look cloudy, can become clearer in what is involved!
“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” – Mark Victor Hansen
- Upgrade Yourself: Without a doubt, if you find yourself lacking in knowledge and skills to make the right decisions, consider upgrading yourself. Education does not end when formal school ends; it is a lifelong process. So pick up what you need to learn in order to make better decisions in your field.
- Support Your Decisions With Values and Visions: Depending on what it is you need to decide on, fall back on your values, desires and any supporting reasons. Hence it is important that you clarify what these important aspects about your life are first. They help to provide the much needed guidance needed to steer through the many life decisions thrown onto your path. If you have not sorted them out yet this far, it is no wonder you have been experiencing difficulties in making decisions.
- Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously: So what if you make a mistake? Ask yourself: What is the worst that can happen even if I fail? If the consequence appears trivial, then why not just take up the challenge of making the decision?
Making mistakes is really part of learning. You cannot truly learn and grow without having gone through failures and mistakes. What is important is that you pick yourself up after that and ask yourself what you have learned in the process. Instead of blaming or berating yourself, choose to learn from these situations, so that you can make better decisions next time.
“A man’s errors are his portals of discovery.” – James Joyce (Irish novelist, 1882-1941)
Practice Makes Perfect. Start small if you have to. Building self confidence is not an overnight thing especially if you have been having age old habits of disbeliefs in your own capabilities. Decide what it is that you want and the values that you hold dear. Be guided by them.
Work on removing your fears. As you keep at building your self confidence, you will begin to build more and more trust in yourself. From negativity and doubt, you will begin to experience a new sense of empowerment. You are now building a life that you can lay claim to. Making bigger and bigger decisions for yourself just becomes easier!
“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” – Golda Meir (Israeli Founder and Prime Minister. 1898-1978)