We all procrastinate in various ways. Sometimes we procrastinate because the resistance of getting started feels like too much. Sometimes we procrastinate because of perfectionism or fear of not knowing how to do the thing. Other times we procrastinate making a choice or a decision about something. We feel like if we don’t make a decision, that can sometimes be better than the alternative.
Avoiding making a choice, not responding to someone, or not making a decision at all is doing something. Inaction is also a choice and a decision, albeit passive. The problem with inaction and not making a decision is that it makes us feel powerless, undermines our confidence, and holds us back. We can waste so much energy trying to pretend that thing isn’t there or worse, ruminating and torturing ourselves about what decision we should make.
We think that by not making the hard decision (getting started, saying no to someone, heck, even breaking up with someone or having that hard conversation), we are making it easier on ourselves. I bet that if you think back to the times when you made a decision and took action, it felt better than doing nothing at all.
Here’s something else to consider – not making a decision when it comes to someone else- in a business relationship or any kind of relationship is damaging to the relationship. The person you are avoiding will likely feel unseen and disrespected. As someone who has to negotiate just about every dollar I make, I can tell you that hearing a fast (or even a slow) no is better than getting ghosted or no response at all.
Making a decision is the catalyst that turns thoughts into action, even if it’s hard. I always try to let my excuses go, make a choice, rip off the bandaid, and get rolling. This is not a suggestion to be impulsive and not think things through, but if you are stalling on something (we all know when we are doing it), it is not serving you well in the long run.
Going around and around on the “Should I or Shouldn’t I” is often more painful than just making a decision and getting moving. It feels good to have direction and agency in life, and that comes from choosing. (And that also includes choosing yourself in certain scenarios too!)