What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do: Overcoming Indecision and Taking Action

Discover Effective Strategies for Overcoming Indecision and Taking Action

At some point in life, everyone faces a situation where they don’t know what to do. Whether it’s a career choice, a relationship decision, or a financial dilemma, indecision can be paralyzing. However, there are effective strategies to overcome this state of uncertainty and take decisive action. This article will explore these strategies and provide practical advice on what to do when you don’t know what to do.

Understanding Indecision

Before we delve into the strategies, it’s crucial to understand what indecision is and why it happens. Indecision is a state of being unable to make a choice due to uncertainty, fear of making the wrong decision, or the overwhelming number of options. According to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, indecision can lead to stress, anxiety, and reduced life satisfaction.

Strategies for Overcoming Indecision

Now that we understand the nature of indecision, let’s explore some effective strategies to overcome it and take action.

1. Identify the Root Cause

The first step in overcoming indecision is identifying its root cause. Are you afraid of making the wrong choice? Are there too many options? Or is there a lack of information? Once you identify the cause, you can address it directly.

2. Gather Information

If a lack of information is causing your indecision, take time to gather as much information as possible about the situation. This could involve researching, asking for advice, or seeking professional help.

3. Limit Your Options

Having too many options can be overwhelming and lead to indecision. In such cases, it can be helpful to limit your options. According to a study by Columbia University, limiting options can reduce anxiety and make decision-making easier.

4. Use Decision-Making Tools

There are several decision-making tools and techniques that can help you make decisions. These include decision matrices, pros and cons lists, and the Eisenhower Box, which helps prioritize tasks based on their urgency and importance.

5. Trust Your Gut

Sometimes, your gut instinct can be a powerful decision-making tool. If you’ve gathered all the information and still can’t make a decision, it might be time to trust your intuition.

Case Study: Overcoming Indecision in Business

Let’s look at a real-life example of overcoming indecision. John, a business owner, was struggling to decide whether to expand his business. He was overwhelmed by the potential risks and rewards. Here’s how he used the strategies mentioned above:

  • John identified that his indecision was due to fear of failure.

  • He gathered information about the market, competition, and potential growth opportunities.

  • John limited his options by focusing on the most promising growth opportunities.

  • He used a decision matrix to evaluate the potential outcomes of each option.

  • Finally, John trusted his gut and made a decision to expand his business into a new market.

As a result, John was able to overcome his indecision and take decisive action to grow his business.


Indecision can be a significant obstacle, but it’s not insurmountable. By understanding the root cause of your indecision, gathering information, limiting options, using decision-making tools, and trusting your gut, you can overcome indecision and take decisive action. Remember, it’s okay to not always know what to do. What’s important is to not let indecision paralyze you and to take steps towards making a decision, no matter how small.

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