How we get stuck acting like a Waffler


October 26, 2012
tumblr_mcipssc05F1r1rlhw.jpg

It’s easy to tell when we’re acting like a Waffler: We simply can’t make a decision. Sometimes called “analysis paralysis,” this happens when we think and think and think about the choices until we’re frozen with indecision. We see the pros and the cons of each side, but can’t prioritize one over the other.

People who act like Wafflers on a regular basis tend to be super smart. Their minds can sprawl and crawl aspects of an idea that rarely occur to the rest of us. Inquisitive by nature, they want to be absolutely certain of their decision based on all the evidence.  Makes sense, right? But when they start asking questions like “what if he doesn’t like it?” or “what if the money runs out?” the possibilities grow exponentially and the swirl begins.

There are two key concepts that stop the swirl:

1. Trusting your gut instinct, and

2. Believing that most decisions can be undone.

Gut instinct is our inner voice that draws on emotion, understanding, and experience. It calculates in seconds what we may never figure out through pure logic. When we combine instinct with reason, decisions become clear. (For more on this, see “How to use your gut instinct to make a decision.”)

Will every decision we make be right? Probably not. And that’s okay. Really. It is O-KAY. Because we can change our mind. People do it all the time. (For more on this, see “Making a wrong decision can be good for you.”)

More Unstuck Advice

Why don’t I take my own advice? Giving advice can be easy. — If it’s really bothering you, just talk to him about it. — You should make sure to negotiate your salary. — Definite...
7 simple ways to reflect Reflecting is really an honest way of listening to ourselves. By letting go of concerns, rules, and desires, we surface unfettered emotion. And with t...
How to avoid falling into the judgment trap You’ve firmly decided to break that bad habit. After acknowledging an area where you can be better, you’ve put yourself in a place of thoughtful humil...