Overcoming the Fear of Making Decisions and Taking Action to Grow Your Business
Making decisions is a key part of running a business. But what happens when we struggle to make decisions? We often analyze them to death, and then never take action. Or we make choices out of fear instead of out of what would be best for our business. Indecision can have several consequences, both for individuals and groups. On a personal level, indecision can lead to missed opportunities, unfulfilled potential, and wasted time. Indecision can also lead to anxiety and depression, as individuals dwell on what could have been. For groups, indecision can lead to stagnation and conflict, as different members compete for influence. Indecision can also be costly, as organizations forego the benefits of timely action. In today’s fast-paced world, indecision is increasingly seen as a liability. Those who can make quick decisions and adapt to change are more likely to succeed. As a result, the ability to make decisions is becoming an increasingly valued skill.
Here’s the secret: Even if you make a wrong decision, it’s still the right decision because at least you’re moving forward. Why, you are probably asking, is it so important to move forward with a decision even if it’s the wrong one? From that decision you’ll meet somebody, a door will open, or you’ll learn something that gives you insight into making the next best decision for your company. Most of all, your team will finally have closure and can move on. They will forgive you for a wrong decision, but they won’t forgive you for a decision that took forever to make. While you were struggling to decide, your team was left hanging in midair. In this post, we will discuss how to overcome the fear of making decisions and taking action to grow your business.
1. Understand the fear of making decisions
There is no one single cause of indecision and inaction. Some people may struggle with these issues due to feelings of fear or anxiety, while others may feel overwhelmed by a sense of perfectly balanced options. For others still, feelings of guilt or regret may prevent them from making decisions that they believe will lead to a negative outcome. Ultimately, the causes of indecision and inaction are complex and varied, and can be influenced by a range of internal and external factors. However, for those who grapple with these challenges regularly, some strategies can help to mitigate their effects. By learning how to cope with uncertainty and become more mindful when making decisions, it is possible to minimize the impact of indecision and inaction in our lives. Uncertainty is a normal part of life, but it can also be stressful. Here are some tips for coping with uncertainty:
- Understand that uncertainty is normal. Accepting that uncertainty is a normal part of life can help you feel more comfortable with it.
- Make a plan. Having a plan can help you feel more in control when faced with uncertainty. Make a list of things you need to do to prepare for the situation, and then take action.
- Stay positive. It’s important to stay positive when facing uncertainty. Remember that even though the future is unknown, you have the power to control your present and make choices that will impact your future.
- Seek support. Talking to someone you trust about your feelings can help you cope with uncertainty. Sometimes it helps to share your worries with someone who will understand and offer supportive advice.
- Trust yourself. Ultimately, you are the only one who knows what’s best for you and your business. Trusting yourself can help you make decisions, even when faced with uncertainty.
2. Take small steps to overcome your fear and increase your confidence
To overcome these patterns, it is important to develop a clear sense of purpose and recognize what truly motivates you. You need to know what drives you and what your goals truly are so that you can make decisions with confidence rather than letting doubts or fears hold you back from pursuing those things that matter most to you. With practice, it will become easier over time to prioritize your values, think critically about potential outcomes, and move forward with focused determination toward your goals. Ultimately, by learning how to harness your internal drive and motivation, you can break free from indecision and inaction to pursue all that life has to offer.
- Develop your Big-Picture Vision. This tells the story of your life and business. It’s what drives you to keep pushing forward to make your dream a reality.
- Prioritize your values. Get centered on what you and your company stand for, the deeper meaning behind it, and how you should best express your contributions to the marketplace.
- Shift from reactive to proactive. Inaction still is a choice, and it fuels a vicious circle of fear, reactivity, and feeling of not being in control. Even small steps can transform your feelings and give you the confidence to take more action.
- Gather information. When it comes to business decisions, there are a few things you can do to make the process easier. First, try to get as much information as possible. This will help you feel more confident in your decision-making ability. Second, involve your team in the decision-making process. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that you are making the best decision for your business.
- Take action. Once you have all the information you need, it’s time to take action. Trust your gut, make a decision, and then take action. The more you do this, the easier it will become. And don’t forget to celebrate your successes along the way!
3. Learn from your mistakes
In her book 10–10–10, author Suzy Welch describes a rule of decision-making I’ve found to be extremely useful. Suppose you are struggling to make a decision and are terrified of the consequences should you pick the wrong option. The 10–10–10 rule forces you to think about how you will feel about your decision in the future: 10 minutes later, 10 months later, and even 10 years later. Will it really matter in any of these time frames? Think about decisions you struggled with in the past that felt monumental to make. Do you even think of them at all now? Probably not. This practice helps you see that, in the “big picture,” the outcome most likely won’t matter anyway. Thinking about the decision in the future enables you to separate from the emotions of the moment. You can step back, think more clearly, and gain greater perspective and context to how relative this is in the bigger picture. Even if a mistake happens, is it worth all of this time spent agonizing? Probably not.
- Reflect on your actions. Instead of berating yourself, reflect on your actions and analyze what went wrong. This can involve looking at the facts surrounding the situation, thinking about why things went awry, and considering how you might do things differently next time.
- Gain insights into yourself. By doing this analytical work, you can gain valuable insights into yourself and ensure that you don’t make the same mistakes over and over again. Ultimately, learning from your mistakes is one of the most effective ways to grow and become a better version of yourself. So the next time you find yourself feeling frustrated or disappointed by an experience, take a moment to reflect on it deeply and use it as a teaching opportunity for future growth.
- View failure as an opportunity. By reflecting on our failures and identifying what went wrong, we open ourselves up to new possibilities and opportunities. We gain knowledge and insight that can help us learn from past mistakes and do better next time around. So while failure may sometimes seem daunting or insurmountable, with the right mindset and outlook, it can be one of the most powerful tools for gaining true success.
- Weight the risks. Failures are never really failures, but are doorways to much better things if you react properly to them. Which is the greater risk—going for it or living with the regret of not having gone for it for the rest of your life? It is always better to risk and fail than not risk at all.
- Be okay with making mistakes. If you’re not okay with making mistakes, then you’re never going to get anywhere. You have to be comfortable with the fact that you’re going to make them. The key is to learn from your mistakes so that you don’t make them again. And even if you do make the same mistake twice, don’t beat yourself up about it. We all make mistakes—it’s part of being human. What counts is how you handle them and what you learn from them.
- Make a new plan. If you’ve been living in fear, it may be time to make a new plan—one that involves taking more risks and putting yourself out there. Experiment with different things and see what works for you. And don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way.
4. Celebrate your accomplishments along the way
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind and forget to celebrate our accomplishments, big and small. But taking the time to recognize our achievements, no matter how seemingly insignificant, can help us stay motivated and focused on our goals. Each accomplishment, no matter how small, brings us one step closer to our ultimate goal. So take a few minutes each day to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back! You’ll be surprised at how good it feels to celebrate your successes, large and small.
Being a CEO can be lonely at the top. You’re the one who has to make all of the tough decisions. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you are a CEO who is looking to grow, trying to scale, or searching for a way to get more for your life or your business, then a business coach could be your next big step. But what’s better than a single business coach? A whole business coaching network comprised of CEOs who have done exactly what you are trying to do. Surrounded by a network that understands your long-term goals, you can reap the benefits of business coaching. You will come to better understand your leadership style, you will find new ways to set and exceed your business goals, and you will rejuvenate your personal and professional life.
Pinnacle Global Network can help you find a business coach network that is a good fit. Our network-style of coaching allows for multiple perspectives and diverse action plans. You will get more out of your coaching by being part of a community that understands what you are trying to achieve. When it comes to making decisions and taking action, don’t let fear hold you back. Remember that growth comes from taking risks, learning from our mistakes, and celebrating our accomplishments along the way. With the right mindset and a little help from Pinnacle Global Network, you can overcome any obstacle and achieve success in your business endeavors. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you grow your business.
Allison Maslan, CEO of Pinnacle Global Network, is the Wall Street Journal Best Selling Author of Scale or Fail, which is endorsed by Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank. Allison’s built 10 successful companies starting out at age 19.
Now she and her team of CEO Mentors pay it forward by helping business owners scale their companies, fast-track their success, and create a more meaningful life. Pinnacle Global Network, a world leader in scaling companies and empowering business leaders has guided thousands of CEO's and Founders to success over the past decade. Allison’s been featured in Inc., Success, Fortune, Fast Company, and Forbes Magazines, is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine, and a featured expert on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox across the US. She is also the host and producer of The Scale or Fail Show podcast, and the Women Who Own it Podcast in partnership with WBENC, the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in North America.