How we get stuck acting like a Waffler

October 26, 2012

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.”)

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