There is an epidemic going around America today. Thousands of people have a genuine challenge with simply making a decision. I’ve been thinking about this issue and have concluded that there are likely many reasons for this problem. At the risk of sounding like Dr. Phil, here are a few of the ones I came up with. Perhaps, you can think of some others and thereby help yourself to be more decisive going forward. Three primary reasons I believe people become indecisive include:

  1. Our ever-present “need to be right.” None of us wants to look stupid by making the wrong choice. Of course, many of us believe the entire world is watching us as we make our decision. While that may or may not be true, remember that not deciding is still a decision. You are simply “operating by default,” which is often the worst choice to make…David House, CEO of Bay Networks offers the following advice with regard to this issue: “People can spend months debating the ‘best’ decision without actually arriving at any decision. Every decision involves risk. And if there are 10 ways to do something, 8 of them will probably work. So pick one of the eight and get going. Life’s too short. You have 10 decisions to make after this one.” Don’t make the mistake of concluding that a successful neighbor has always made 100% of his or her decisions correctly. It is far more likely that he has learned from past mistakes and that you are now seeing the “wisdom” of their prior decisions in the one they are now working on…
  2. Making decisions often includes making a change. Let’s face it. We are all far more comfortable when we do not have to deviate from our regular routine, location, and environment. We naturally assume that any change will be a negative, but that is not necessarily true. Yet, is that the case? I like flying across the United States in six hours, as opposed to a 3-week trip by stagecoach. Don’t you? Allow me to provide you with several sound examples where change was, indeed, a positive force. A client who started sending his calves to an outside calf ranch and dropped his calf losses from 18% annually to just 2% has been rewarded with tremendous herd growth. When his facility gets too full, he can start selling extra springers. How about the client who changed his Veterinarian and Breeder at the same time? Average Days Open has dropped by 20 days, his breeding costs have decreased, and his number of fresh cows has been climbing monthly! That is what makes a dairy more successful.

“Pull the trigger” on this decision and move forward, i.e. do not second guess yourself. Life is too short for all that nonsense. Finally, evaluate your results and adjust your course, as needed. Remember, there can often be situations that have more than one good alternative. It may also force you to make some changes. As former U.S. Armed Forces Chief of Staff – General Eric Shinseki stated, “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.” Move forward and make the necessary changes today. You’ll be glad you did!