What It Really Means If You're Indecisive (& How To Figure Out Exactly What You Want)

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be better at decision making and know what you want

Indecision is a way of making a decision by not following your own wants, needs, or desires. In other words, when you are always indecisive, you aren’t deciding to follow what you want or need.

If you use this type of decision-making method frequently, it may indicate your own underlying uncertainty about what you really want or need.

Oftentimes indecision indicates fear of failure or disapproval. In addition, it may also mean you aren’t following your true heart’s desires.

If you don’t know what you want, how can you make a decision to get what you want?

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In order to make decisions that are based on what you want, you first need to develop an awareness of your own feelings and desires. This may not be easy because you may make decisions in order to please others.

To figure out what you want, ask yourself some basic “clean questions.” Clean questioning is a technique, developed by David Grove, of using open-ended questions to discover what you really want. It allows you to access your inner world without the influence of what others want.

To use this clean langauge technique learn how to stop being so indecisive, follow these 4 steps:

1. First, develop your listening skills.

Listen attentively to your own answers without the influence of what you think someone else would want. Listening to your own thoughts takes practice because often the thoughts of others override our own thoughts. This first step allows you to determine what you think and feel about a decision. Take time to relax, listen, and then journal or write down your answers.

2. Then, ask yourself "clean language" questions.

In order to explore these thoughts and feelings, you're going to need to explore the issue a bit more and ask yourself some questions. Examples of "clean language" questions include the following:

  • What would you like to happen? This establishes your desired outcome.
  • And what needs to happen? This question establishes the conditions that need to be in place for your desired outcome.
  • Can it really happen?  Do you have the confidence that this desired outcome can really take place? This can be tricky, because our fears and the overriding of our concern about the desires of others, may negatively impact this answer.
  • Will you take the actions needed to make your goal happen? This question will also help you understand your motivation. If you are fearful, then you may simply be unwilling to take the necessary actions to implement your decision

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3. Next, come up with a metaphor for how it feels.

If the above questions seem overwhelming, ask yourself what it feels like. For example, “It feels like I will be underwater if X happens.” Or, “It feels as impossible as picking up a car.” This reveals a metaphor that you relate to and can use in understanding why you are indecisive.

It reveals the underlying barrier you need to address in order to find the decision that is best for you. The next step is to identify the “who” or “what” of the barrier. Then ask if the barrier is realistic or simply a perceived prohibition by a false belief. Most barriers can be overcome with thoughtful planning. Metaphors are the natural language of the mind and reveal a deeper understanding of our desires and motivations.

4. Finally, ask yourself this: “What would happen, if I make this decision?”

This explores the fears, prohibitions, and perceived barriers that hinder your decision. Once they are identified and addressed then making the best decision for you will be easier. These barriers are often not realistic or insurmountable but offer resistance to making decisions that are best for your life and not someone else’s.  

Using this technique can enhance self-awareness by revealing the inner workings of your indecisiveness. When you practice this technique it encourages you to think differently and may lead to transformation and decisions based on your own wants and needs.

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Pat Magerkurth is a life/business coach who studied women in the workplace. Her extensive experience in life and business can help you determine your best strategy for growth. Contact her at for a free consultation to determine if working together will help you move forward to make better decisions for your life and work.

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