As a Spiritual Life and Health Coach, I often hear from people how hard it is for them to make decisions.  So many times, in life, they become paralyzed in moving forward with even the simplest decision.

I call this “decision fatigue.”

What is decision fatigue?

I believe it’s when you struggle with trying to make a decision about something in your life. It could be a minor decision like deciding what’s healthy to eat or a major decision like whether your life is going down the right path.  Sadly, it doesn’t matter how big or small an issue is confronting you; you get paralyzed with even taking one simple step.

I saw this so much when I was organizing.  In my organizing business, I used to offer the option of 4-hour days or 8-hour days.  Eventually, I stopped offering 8-hour days because clients just couldn’t handle it.  Even at times a 4-hour session could be too much.  It wasn’t the lifting boxes or moving things around that wore them out, but it was making decisions.  After about 3 hours, they had decision fatigue.

It seems that the more decisions they had to make, the more exhausted they became. When decision fatigue sets in you are more likely to make the “easy” choice instead of the “best” choice.

When You Struggle with Decision Fatigue

When you struggle with decision fatigue it doesn’t matter what your intentions are, you never move out of “intentions” into action.  What could some of those reasons be?  Well, I can give you a few from my own experience because I suffered for a time with decision fatigue.

  1. I was called stupid so much in my younger years that I would think I was too stupid to make a decision.
  2. If I made the wrong decision and it didn’t work out, I didn’t want to be yelled at or worse abused. It was easier and safer to make no decision then take the chance that my decision could be wrong.
  3. You could be dealing with depression and just making the decision to get out of bed each day is hard enough.
  4. Perhaps you are dealing with some ADHD and your thoughts are in chaos mode.
  5. Maybe the internal pain you have in your body from past trauma is taking over your thoughts and your will.
  6. Or maybe you had very controlling parents who had to decide everything for you. So now it’s hard to make decisions because you never were trained in it.

Homeschooling Years Ago

I remember years ago when I was homeschooling, I attended a Home School Convention in Orlando FL.  One of the classes I took was given by a dad.  I don’t remember the class topic, but I do remember his name, Chris Davis.  Chris said this. “Dads, you need to give your wife a budget for mistakes.”  Meaning if there is a curriculum that you purchased, and it isn’t working there needs to be a budget to buy something that does.  See in homeschooling if something doesn’t gel with your child, they don’t have to be forced to deal with it for the school year.  You just find something that works.

That statement really impacted me because when I started my business 11 years ago, I remember talking to a friend at a Networking Meeting.  We were discussing that being a new business owner it can be hard to know which venue to take to grow your business.  I said to him, “We need a budget for mistakes.”  He laughed but agreed.

It’s ok to make mistakes.  Let me say that again, “It’s ok to make mistakes” because actually they are not mistakes.  They may just be a specific way you learned that will not work for that particular situation.

If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing wrong and trying again.”

How Can You Get Out of Decision Fatigue?

Start small.  Don’t try to make a major life decision if you struggle with the minor ones.  Start with the minor ones like making a decision what you will eat for each meal that day.  Write down your plans and stick to it.  Honor your decision and move forward with it.

Secondly, don’t continue to believe you are incapable or stupid.  Get those words out of your vocabulary or your thoughts.  You are a child of God.  He makes NO stupid beings.

Each week up the degree of decisions you make and have them be a little harder each week.

Get the wisdom of God.  He made you and He has all the answers you need.  The Father doesn’t guide people down a dangerous path.

Keep a journal of those decisions you made and whether you kept them or not.  If you didn’t keep your decision, don’t move into condemnation.  Give yourself grace and little mercy and know you will do better the next time.

Get to the root of any trauma that is residing in your body and receive healing.

Reward yourself with your successes.  Learn to encourage and be good to yourself.  The more you practice, the better you will get and the easier it will get.

What was a turning point for me was believing that no matter what decision I made whether it be right or wrong at least I decided and I stopped letting my past paralyze me. I hope this message sheds some light and gives you some tools to move out of decision fatigue.   If you know someone struggling with “decision fatigue,” please forward this message to them.  They just might thank you.

Blessings and love,

Your Spiritual Life & Health Coach … believing in you!

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Do You Have Decision Fatigue?