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How is your indecision holding you back?

Updated: Jul 7, 2018

I named this image indecisive because that’s sort of how it feels, and when I posted it I wrote in the caption beneath that indecision is an overlooked flaw that doesn’t get a bad enough rap for how destructive it can be.

People refer to certain things or behaviours as ‘enablers’ usually with a negative connotation, indecision causes a similar but opposite problem; it is, let’s say, an 'in-abler', or inhibitor if you will, in the worst possible way. It holds people back and embeds a fear of the unknown. It stops people from contributing meaningfully, prevents them for living to their full potential and makes them difficult to be around.

Everyone has it to an extent and sometimes it can be bred of another fear - fear of commitment, fear of causing disruption, fear of letting people down, none of which are autologically* negative concerns but if that person tackles those fears behind a shield of indecision they only make things worse. They let both themselves and other people down.

It may seem obvious but because it’s not considered a “sin” like the archetypal flaws such as jealousy, lust, anger or greed I wonder if it is perhaps not given the gravity it deserves. That may be because it’s more insidious than it is obvious - it sits comfortably within a group of rather jovial sounding flaws like “messy", “disorganised”, “not creative”, “hopeless at maths” - simple phrases we throw around that all seem harmless enough but which ingrain a sense of “not good enough” in our minds.

The thing is that they are not harmless at all. The more we tell ourselves and other people that we are a certain way the more we believe not only that it’s true but also that it’s something we will never be able to change. These traits become destructive habits that are ingrained into our lives and which don’t serve us at all. Indecision stops us from paving out a way to move forwards with our lives. We lose a sense of identity because we do jobs other people tell us we’d be good at, we eat food we don’t love because it’s what other people want, we let other people suggest our style, our music tastes or just go along with circumstance.

It’s a habit worth breaking if you want to know that you’re becoming the kind of person that you want to be in this life and not what someone else expects. That’s not easy by any stretch but it’s good practice to tell yourself an alternative narrative in order to start re-moulding your mind so that it moves you forwards and doesn’t hold you back. It’s a self questioning, self-supporting task of making sure that your brain works for you so that you are making your own waves rather than just riding whichever ones happen to come along. It's like people say: "you are you, not someone else" but just who you are you need to figure out for yourself...


* an "autological" word is one that expresses a property that it also possesses, like "pentasyllabic" I tend to use it more generally to express something that is "in and of itself" because I am yet to find another word that comes close to that expression and have been looking for one ever since I did my degree - it would be incredibly useful if only it did exist!

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