The surprising habit that affects your finances

I’ve noticed something recently. If I have trouble deciding on something, I get a feeling of being “stuck.”

Ever have that happen to you?

woman thinkingPerhaps you couldn’t make up your mind about where to put your 401(k) money or IRA. Or maybe it’s a big decision, like whether or not you’re going to take that new job, or get married.

Even the small decisions—should I attend that meeting?—might feel like they take too much time and effort, and raise fears of the unknown. Decision-making can bring up all our insecurities.

I call this the “Decision Dilemma.” When it happens, it can sap your time and energy, and lock you into that uncomfortable place called “stuck.” I recognize this because I’ve been there too.

Life coach Gregg Swanson has another view of difficult decision making.

“When a person has doubt, their decision making capabilities are often extremely slow…like molasses in the winter. When someone has a scarcity belief their decision making is usually wait and see if something better comes along.”

Slow decision making results in missed opportunities, stalling inaction, and even reduced social connections and friends. Ever try to arrange a trip with someone who has trouble making up their mind?

There is another dark side to the Decision Dilemma, particularly for women. I see a connection between women who have trouble deciding and those who struggle financially.

How does slow decision-making affect your financial life? When you feel insecure or unsure, you’re probably not going to invest, which slows down the prosperity engine. Passing over networking opportunities that could get you a better job may cause your career to stall. Postponing the decision to get financial help or guidance can leave you short for retirement, which affects your financial security.

So, what is the solution to this Decision Dilemma?

  1. Know your overall goals and purpose. Then, you’ll know what’s best for you. When an opportunity presents itself, you’ll just have to ask, “Does this fit my goals? Is it in alignment with what I want?” If it is, be ready to do whatever it takes to participate in that opportunity.
  2. If you need more information to make your decision, get it quickly. Get more comfortable with the fact that all decisions are made with imperfect amounts of information.
  3. Practice making decisions without a lot of waiting. Start with making small decisions quickly and then graduate to the bigger ones.
  4. Be kind to yourself as you replace self-doubt with self-determination. Just practice saying “Yes” more often to opportunities that meet your needs and goals.

I like this quote from Napoleon Hill, author of the early 20th century classic “Think and Grow Rich.”

“Promptness of decision is a very important factor in the attainment of a pleasing personality, and it is a very prominent trait in all successful persons. It is a habit which can be acquired through self-discipline. Promptness of decision develops as a result of a confident, constructive, sure and progressive positive mental attitude. It is closely related, as you will readily perceive, to definiteness of purpose, the starting point of all achievement.” Napoleon Hill

Can we all decide we want to achieve what’s in our best and highest good? Yes! Count me in. I hope you’re on this journey of discovery too.

Robin Applegarth CRPC®

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