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How to Overcome The Fear of Making Decisions. 5 Strategies to Know.

Having trouble making decisions or have a fear of making decisions? Does the mere thought of choosing make your knees tremble in fear and uncertainty?

You’re not the only one. Nearly 40 million in the US and 300 million worldwide suffer from anxiety and decidophobia, which is the fear of making decisions

Overcoming anxiety isn’t easy and there’s no perfect solution. That said, we’ve got five steps you can follow below to ground yourself and deal with each decision-making situation carefully and with a level-head. Read our guide below to discover more:

Fear of Making Decisions?

You can fight the fear of making decisions by listing all the pros and cons. However, some people don’t know where to start with their list. Workaround this by making a decision-making quadrant.

Get a sheet of paper and draw two intersecting lines, one horizontal and one vertical. You should end up with four quadrants. Here’s how to label your four sections:

  • What happens if X occurs
  • What won’t happen if X occurs
  • What happens if X doesn’t occur
  • What won’t happen if X doesn’t occur

List down the possibilities — limit it to 4 outcomes per quadrant — and then segregate them into two categories: pros and cons. Now you can properly deduce which option is the most appropriate. 

You won’t be able to predict every outcome but you’ll at least be able to prepare for a few of them. Don’t try to list every potential outcome; try to limit it to 3-4 per quadrant to avoid overthinking. 

Yes, limiting your choices matters. Let’s dive into this a little deeper next:

2. Cut Down Your Options

It’s nice to have a few choices but you could panic work up your anxiety when you get surrounded by too many. Too many choices is sometimes a bad thing so try to cut them down.

You can start by doing the method listed above. Try to list down all the pros and cons down based on possible outcomes of taking action or inaction. However, you should also arrange the options according to your priorities and needs.

Scratch off any options that fall to the bottom of the list. If you don’t need them, don’t want them, or they’re not high on your priorities then these choices don’t matter. It’s fine to get rid of them.

As much as possible, try to cut down your options until you only have 4-5 left. Now you can once again segregate them according to the quadrant and identify which one is the best choice.

It’s not always going to be easy or simple to reduce your choices like this. However, you can always tell yourself you made the best choice based on the cards life handed to you.

3. Trust Yourself

No matter what you do, no matter how careful you are, there will be times when your decision still leads to horrible situations. You’ll still make poor choices and mistakes from time to time. 

Don’t beat yourself over it. It’s okay to make mistakes. Instead of looking at this negatively, look at these instances positively and learn to keep trusting yourself. 

When your decision leads to great outcomes, congratulate yourself. If you end up in a poor situation, tell yourself it’s okay. At least you made the best decision possible.

Many people have a second or even third doubt before and after making a crucial decision. This creates tension and could lead to severe depression if things go awry. Keep in mind that not everything is in your hands and trust whichever choice you made, regardless of where it leads.

Why is this important? Trusting yourself ensures you don’t waste time worrying. Instead, you can now focus your time, attention, and efforts on preparing for whatever outcome heads your way.


4. What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

Tying into the philosophy of trusting yourself, keep in mind that no matter what happens, you’ll turn out fine. After all, what’s the worst that could happen?

Ask yourself this question and get back to the methods listed above. If none of the potential outcomes include risking your health or the lives of others, then you should still leap forward. 

Does the worst include losing your job or falling into debt? Those are horrible situations but with resilience and some help, you can still crawl out of those circumstances. Always remember that the mere fact you’re still alive already counts as a triumph. 

Also, don’t forget that there are people to help you. These could be friends, relatives, co-workers, or professional consultants like your therapist or advisor at work. All of these people can help you think clearly and identify the best and worst in each situation.

When it comes to making decisions for minor situations, you can simply take a leap of faith. What’s the worst that could happen if you can’t decide between Burger King and McDonald’s? What’s the worst that could happen if you can’t pick between a red shirt or a blue one?

5. Have Fun Deciding

Instead of facing decision-making as a terrifying situation, turn it into something fun. Having fun can eliminate much of the stress in making a decision.

Not sure how to start turning the tables? You can try discovering tarot or roll dice to add a little bit of flavor. These add a little bit of uncertainty into the mix but it’s always fun to leave a bit of choice to the whims of fate. 

If you want a little bit more control, play a game of “would you rather?” This puts a nice spin on the methods listed above. 

For example, you can ask yourself “Would I rather look like the Mother of Dragons from Game of Thrones or go with the black dress and look like Yennefer from The Witcher?” Make sure your choices are both positive in nature, ensuring you won’t lean into one option by default. 

Face the Fear of Making Decisions Now!

Overcome the fear of making decisions with these 5 useful steps today. Don’t fret if you don’t see results right away. Making decisions isn’t easy and the anxiety that piles on the fear of making a major mistake won’t vanish overnight. 

Why stop here when you can continue learning new lifestyle tips and other methods of overcoming the obstacles life might throw at you? Discover more guides by reading our other content today!