Action Paralysis is a state when people start second-guessing their own work and behavior, mainly because they don’t exactly know what the end outcome will look like. Often the paralysis lasts so long that the person doesn’t even have the energy left to take the final decision.
A few examples of action paralysis would be:
You go to buy a pair of jeans but got so confused between two pairs that you end up buying none.
After spending countless hours creating a painting you start second-guessing if it’s even good for the auction without even trying it.
It’s super hard to choose from 50 types of fries, but if you had just 2 options you would make the decision a lot faster.
Quick service restaurants often reduce the size option available from 3 to just 2, to make people decide a lot faster.
The main reason for being stuck in an action paralysis is that we try to analyze the outcome for each choice and as a result, our temporary computational power gets exhausted resulting in procrastination and no decision.
We start to think like if I order a large fries, will I be able to eat my burger, and if i order small fries, what if I am still hungry after that?
It’s an endless loop of “What ifs”
How to overcome Decision Paralysis aka Action Paralysis?
Yes, it’s important to analyze and think about the big decisions we take in life, but if we are getting stuck in this loop time after time, then it’s time to take a step back and evaluate why this is happening.
Here are some tips on how you can improve your decision-making skills.
Practice will small and invaluable decisions and things
Small decisions will help you practice decision-making and be more confident with them. Other than that even if you make a bad decision, a small loss won’t demotivate you as much as a big one.
Example: Color of socks, what to eat at a restaurant, what to wear for work today.
Try to Make a Choice Faster
To practice avoiding getting stuck in a loop, try to make decisions a lot quicker. This would help you save energy for further decisions.
So the next time you open Netflix, decide faster what to watch. You can just start by watching the show that grabbed your attention. Give yourself just 3s to start the show.
Be More Confident About Yourself
If you are confident about yourself then it would help you be happy with whatever choice you make. Moreover, you would be able to make the most out of the decision that you make, even if it wasn’t the best one.
Listen to Your Gut Instinct
Gut instinct isn’t something that you should ignore. Your instincts are majorly due to emotions and past experiences rather than logic.
So they might not be the best thing to trust when buying a car but could be really useful when trying to select a person for a date.
“When in Doubt, Taste the Risk”
Sometimes not taking the risk is the biggest risk. So it’s okay if it doesn’t turn out to be the best decision you ever made, it’s about making the best out of it.
Taking risks will make you a bolder person, and will carry over into the other aspects of life too.
Be More Acceptable
Life is nothing more than Choices and their Consequences. There will always be Good and Bad consequences, accept them and be happy about them, else you will drown in regret.
Ask for an Advice
Sometimes we need someone else’s advice to understand what we exactly want. You don’t need to follow their advice, their opinion might help you make a decision a lot faster and on your own.
In conclusion, there is nothing wrong with having options and thinking about it, everyone faces decision paralysis in their life, you need to give yourself a finite amount of time to be decisive else you would be stuck in an endless cycle of “What ifs?”
Some decisions like buying a home will definitely take a longer time to decide than ordering a pizza at Dominos.
Do be kind to yourself, and try not to be stuck in action paralysis.