Living in the generation of opportunity and having nearly limitless choices can be amazing … but it can also create an issue of too many options, making you indecisive.
Going into post-secondary, or even coming back, is a major transition and will lead to a lot of decisions to make. You face a new schedule, new people and maybe even a new you.
We’re in the generation of FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out. We want everything to be instantly fun, rewarding, and gratifying (and who wouldn’t). Many of us will hold off on making plans in case something better comes up; never knowing what we could have experienced, or who we could have met if we just committed to the proposed plans. Our indecisiveness and worry about making the “wrong” choice can rule us.
Luckily, we’re designed with parts of our brain for quick, instinctual, subconscious decision-making – the “limbic”, or “reptilian” components.
“Studies have found that, when it comes to making major life decisions, such as which house to buy or which person to marry, trusting your intuition leads to better outcomes than trusting your logical, thinking brain,” says Psychology Today Canada. For example, car buyers who spent lengthy periods deciphering information about their car choices were found to be satisfied with their purchase only 25 per cent of the
time, while buyers who acted out of intuitive-thought experienced a 60 per cent satisfaction rate.
Get rid of ‘what-ifs’
I’m not saying you shouldn’t think things through and question your choices about what makes you happy, I do think you should take more action and spend less time in your own head, dwelling.
Don’t let your worries about “what-ifs” control you and leave your indecisive; you have your intuition to lead you in the right path – so use that to your advantage!
Your gut is usually correct. Animals use it everyday to determine whether they attack a problem, adapt to their surroundings, or search for a more comfortable environment. We all have this fight-or-flight response, but humans are the only ones that choose to ignore it.
The fear of making a “wrong” choice and having to live with the consequences is very real and understandable – you do have to live with these decisions you certainly don’t have to let them define who you are.
You can spend a long time contemplating a decision, or make a judgment from a gut-feeling, but both of them can equally end in negative results. So why not listen to your gut and have faith that your subconscious knows what’s best for you — at least then you’d be spending less time and worry making the choice.
And, if you do make the “wrong” choice, own up to it, but don’t victimize yourself and feel embarrassed or bad about it. You can fix things and make a change.
While these actions aren’t the life-or-death decisions that our reptilian brains may have been created for, why not join that club, talk to that cute person in your class, or write for your school newspaper (shameless plug).