The Flow Chart
One of the primary symptoms for anxiety is indecisiveness. If you struggle with indecisiveness, there already exists a solution. For at least several decades, businesses have put the flow chart to good use. The flow chart is designed to address a problem by exploring multiple solutions on the same page. Consider you were offered two job offers, one job pays more with little benefits, while the other job pays significantly less with very generous benefits. If you found yourself struggling to decide on which job to accept, using a flow chart would help you quickly reach a decision.
So long as you know what it is you want, the if and then scenarios of the flow chart will lead you to a decision. For example, if having money at your disposal is important to you, the flow chart will help you chart possible scenarios with each decision you make.
For example, “I want more money, but it is important for me to have afford medical expenses.” “So if the benefits of the job with more money are enough to cover my medical expenses, then choose the job with more money.”
Or consider this next example. “I want money, but I also want a stable environment to learn and gain experience.” “So if the job that pays more money has a high employee turnover, choose the job that pays less money. So long at its employee turnover is less.”
With these examples, it would seem that the solution to indecisiveness is an open and shut case. However, it gets complex.
Your Instinctual Drives and Desires
Imagine you had a favorite tee-shirt, and one day you put it on and discovered that it was too tight. Either you gained weight, or it shrunk in the dryer. Regardless, the shirt no longer fits you. So there you stand, in front of the mirror feeling indecisive. You see, the truth is you know what the right decision to make is. Which is to spare yourself the embarrassment and not wear the shirt. However, your primal ego has gotten in the way. In transactional analysis, this will also be referred to as the child ego state. You want, what you want, regardless of the consequences. So the feeling of indecisiveness is you trying to convince yourself to make the illogical decision.
Even with the example given about the jobs. The solution is easy on face value. In the absence of any lingering medical issues, you choose the job that pays more money and less benefits, if money is important to you. If experience is important to you, go with the job that pays less, with less employee turnover. Why? Because the experience you gain will help you earn more money in the future.
All easier said than done, when you factor in the primal drive. The illogical desire to have and experience the best of both worlds. The flow chart has been successful in business, in that it forces all participants to put aside their child ego states and respond logically to a problem. Now this works, because people will corporate with each other for the sake of keeping their jobs. But on an individuals bases, the primal ego, becomes a force to be reckoned with.
So what is the one thing to do, if you want to stop being indecisive?
Honesty without Judgement
In a recent post, I discussed the concept of Albert Ellis’s unconditional self acceptance with positive regard. Where you learn to accept everything about yourself without shame or self rejection. This is the same mindset you must take towards putting a stop to your issues with being indecisive. You practice being honest with yourself, without judgement. As discussed in this post, indecisiveness for the most part is an illusion. When you experience indecisiveness, you are simply trying to illogically convince yourself to feel okay about making a bad decision, to experience instant gratification. If you choose to use a flow chart, that’s a good thing. However, you really don’t need a flow chart to listen to your inner self.
If you want to stop indecisiveness, commit to always being honest with yourself. If you want to always be honest with yourself, commit to a lifestyle of delayed gratification.
Ugo Uche is a psychotherapist and expert in anxiety and related disorders. If you would like to learn more, you are welcome to call and book your first appointment or fill out my contact form and click Send.
Ugo also provides Online therapy for those who cannot travel to his office.