“The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision.” — Maimonides

Have you ever been caught in an agony of indecision? Stuck on the horns of a dilemma? Sat on the fence for an uncomfortably long time?

If so (and we’ve all been there), you’ll know that it’s not good. Think of how you felt while you struggled to make up your mind.



On edge?

Indecision takes up a lot of mental energy for no result. It stops you from sleeping and saps your motivation. It is a barren and unproductive limbo land.

I’ve had very direct personal experience of this. Some of you might recall when I was rowing Stage 2 of the Pacific voyage, and having a huge dilemma about whether to aim for my original destination of Tuvalu, or whether to change course for Tarawa. It was a horrible time of uncertainty and dithering that nearly drove me crazy, and certainly led to some less-than-whole-hearted rowing shifts. But as you’ll see in this blog post, when I finally committed to a decision, it was as if a weight had been lifted.

Was it the right decision? Who knows? And in fact, who cares?

So often indecision arises because of – or is unnecessarily extended by – fear of making the wrong decision. I’d like to release you from that fear, by suggesting that there is no such thing.

What if you adopted the attitude that whatever course you choose, you will stand by that choice and make it work out, no matter what? And the beauty is that you’ll never know what would have happened if you had chosen that other path.

Here’s another thought for you – people who plump for a decision and stick to it (“satisficers”) are generally happier than those who obsess about making the “right” decision, and even once the decision is made, return to it again and again like a dog chewing on an old bone (“maximisers”). There’s a great post about this on Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project website, and here’s a link to an article I wrote recently for Soul & Spirit Magazine on How To Be Decisive: 10 Lessons in Decision Making.

To summarise:

1. Tell yourself that there is no such thing as a wrong decision.

2. Make your choice, and more importantly, commit to that choice.

3. Then move on and don’t look back.

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” — Theodore Roosevelt


Q: What difficult decisions have you had to make? Or have you sometimes ducked making that tough choice? How did it go? Please post a comment and share!


  • I’m changing my career and have been in a state of indecision for six months about what kind of education I need to be successful. Do I go to school for a doctorate or piece together an associates with other certifications? It was so helpful to read this and know I’m not alone. I made a decision yesterday and feel a weight has been lifted!

    • Yayyyyy for you, Amanda!!!

      So happy to hear that this helped. You know what? No matter what the outcome, I am sure that you will meet wonderful people, have wonderful experiences… and that it will all form part of the Future You.

      And so long as you have decided that the Future You is going to be awesome, no matter what happens en route, you have already decided that it will contribute to your Future Awesomeness!

  • Roz, Thanks for linking back to that Day 96 post. It is really a fabulous reminder that even actual life or death decisions only stay relevant for a short period of time. Continuing on, in the flow of life’s journey, is where the magic lies. I’m going to start watching for my tendency to go into analysis paralysis and make it my mission to take action rather than debate myself over every little thing.

    • Hey Deb. Thanks for your comment. I’m becoming increasingly aware that, as women, we have a terrible tendency to over-think things. Consider the woman who is 110% qualified for that promotion, but holds back, while the guy who is 50% qualified will push himself forwards.

      It’s proven that this is what happens. And we’re not doing anyone any favours – not ourselves, not the world. So, given that most decisions won’t result in death, let’s be bold!

      What’s the worst that can happen?! 🙂

  • Hi Roz!
    This reminds me much of the PMdJ. This blog post is just the thing that I need to see today. Thank you. I have to commit to something that will take me in another direction and quite frankly not sure that it is the correct direction for me. But the reality is that I AM sitting on the pointy picket fence of undecision and that is really uncomfortable. Here all I was thinking about is what if I don’t like this direction? Well, then I will go another way, there is much opportunity to network that would help me in the other way if I do this first and if I decide this is not the way, then I am already on my way in the opposite direction. At the very least I am learning new skills and strengthening muscles I already have. Thanks, I needed this one today at this point in time.
    Have a great day. If you ever get into the Mid-West in the USA let me know, I would love to finally get a chance to see you in person after all these years of following your spectacular life journey.

    Very Best,
    Steve T.
    Pure Moxie du Jour

    • Hi Steve. Sounds like you’ve made your decision – and as you say, very few decisions are irrevocable, and one path often provides us with things that will be useful on a different path too. Best of luck with your journeys, whatever path you take!

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