#66: The Etymological Reason “Deciding” is Hard (+ 4 Steps to Freedom From Indecision)

Aug 24, 2023
Kirsten Parker
#66: The Etymological Reason “Deciding” is Hard (+ 4 Steps to Freedom From Indecision)

Why does the act of deciding inspire such feelings of fear & finality?

Well, turns out it's not just you being dramatic and/or indecisive...!

Etymologically speaking, it actually makes a lot of sense that we take decisions so dang seriously.

Here's why:

  • "DECIDE" — From the French "décider" — from the Latin "decidere"
  • From de (meaning "off") and caedere ("to cut" / “to kill”)

So when you DECIDE, you are cutting (or killing) off all other options than the one you choose.

 No wonder FOMOand RAUL are such powerful influences!

(For the full explanation of the Romanticized Alternate Universe Lie, see Ep #29: The Cure for “If Only” Agony)

This means we can normalize the idea that deciding can inspire real fear. (We are, after all, biologically inclined to fear death.)

Indecision happens when your decsion-making baseline is fear.

That's when you start living in Overthinking, Second-Guessing, Over-researching, Over-indexing what other people do/might think, Catastrophizing…no matter the content of the choices inspiring this drama. 

 To get freedom from indecision, you need to shift your baseline.

Which means changing how you automatically think/feel/act when it comes to decision-making  aka, what we do in our coaching.

(Click here to schedule your free consult!)

But you can do this in small consistent ways on your own too.

Here are 4 steps to freedom from indecision:

1. Accept the reality that deciding involves cutting off other options.

We just found out the the CIDE in "decide" means the same thing as in "pesticide" and "homocide." (Yeah. Let's digest that.)

The less we try to avoid this outright, the more decisive we allow ourselves to be.


2. Embrace the power of decisiveness.

Sure, from one angle it’s scary to “miss out” on other options. From another angle, however, it’s very powerful to be the one moving yourself and your life forward.

Remember you don’t have to over-focus on what you’re NOT choosing. It’s easy to forget how powerful your decisions really are, but they really are literally creating your life and building your future.

(Another way you can think about cutting things off is that when you “decide,” you cut off what’s NOT most aligned / important for you, which is yummy).

3. Smallify everywhere you can. 

Deciding in ONE GIANT SWOOP is scarier than making “10 small choices” – and even though most of what we do in life is the latter, we overwhelm ourselves by thinking about the former.

If it’s TOO scary to think about making the big giant decision, take a breath and a big ole’ step back.

What ten smaller choices will you have to make between now & that big one?

It’s the difference of looking at the different milestones you’ll hit over the course of the trail vs. saying “OMG we have to climb 1500 feet!” That’s not something you do in one swoop - neither are most big life choices.  

4. Question what’s questionable.

Don’t use this etymology against yourself. Just because you’re “cutting off all other options” doesn’t mean you’re jumping off cliffs every single time you pick an outfit or craft an email response or even make a career move.

Our brains are drama machines – do not forget this!

If you’re getting the pit-in-your-stomach “ohmygosh this is so final” feeling when you think about a decision, you have permission to question what’s questionable.

Is it final? What are you “cutting off” really?

In our daily decisions, we’re RARELY cutting ourselves off from experiences & opportunities forever, that’s it, game over for the rest of all time. 

More links!

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