Indecision: To leap or not to leap

Oh, that tug-of-war between yes-and-no, here-and-there, this-and-that! In anticipating and weighing all possible outcomes, are we broadening our horizons or shutting them down? Firing up or killing the engine?

I err on the side of over- rather than under-thinking things. While I have often found that tendency to be excruciating and debilitating, in an almost physical way, and would have quite readily proclaimed that I hate indecision, I was recently prompted, ironically, to think again and revise my decision. Indecision, as uncomfortable as it is, haunts us for a reason. I don’t want to promote the wrong kind of indecision here, in an age in which many of us are drowning in seemingly un-seizable possibilities, turning the privilege of opportunity into the burden of paralysis; no, I only intend to give indecision the second (or third) consideration that is, by dent of meaning, its due.

What changed my mind on indecision? I read something that stopped me from condemning it on principle. I wish I could pinpoint where I came across it, but maybe it doesn’t really matter because I can paraphrase it, and I’m not trying to claim the insight as my own. Here’s the gist: some of us are so plagued by our fear of uncertainty that we make a decision for the wrong reason, namely to relieve ourselves of the state of indecision. So our decision is not made for the sake of its consequent outcome, but for the sake of escaping the need to decide. Needless to say, this often leads to an unfavorable and even regrettable situation. Instead of resolving a manageable and necessary mental tension — that of weighing the options — it creates a problem that you then waste time trying to rectify. Of course, making mistakes is not altogether bad, but being able to avoid them is better. There is a fine line between being too afraid to ever take a leap, and leaping only to leap. Looking where you might land is common sense. Leap when the risk is worthwhile, not when you are driven by fear of not-leaping. When is that? How do you know?


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