How fear of making decisions is damaging your business

April 01, 2019

Fear of making decisions

Life is not a computer game. You can’t go to your previously saved game when you make mistakes and continue from that point. Yet, life and business are about making decisions and taking the right opportunity. Even though it is in our nature to fail after all, and we spoke about how failure can be turned into an advantage,today we are going to talk about one of the toughest challenges for entrepreneurs – fear of making decisions. 

Fear is a powerful emotion. Some people spend their lives not taking any chances, nor making hard decisions because they are afraid. It’s good to feel comfortable in your safe zone and target the same customers that keep buying the same products. But, working every day without expecting anything more than yesterday it’s the wrong path for your business. Hence, that should never be your choice if you don’t want to limit your real potential.

How fear of making decisions affects your business

If you do nothing, nothing will happen. Fear will prevent you from fulfilling your dreams, and blind your vision when creating long-term plans. That voice in your head is not always right. It is called the superego, and it is made of rules and fears created by our parents, teachers, friends, and overall our personal life experience.

You are not different if you are afraid to make decisions, in reality, we all are. However, some have learned their lesson, whilst others have not. If you are one of those who didn’t, read the following testimonials from experienced entrepreneurs. Find out how being afraid to make decisions has affected their business and follow their tried and tested advice on how to overcome your fear of making decisions.

Fear of making decisions eliminates chances of succeeding

In the past, I was afraid to make decisions. It’s costly to make a mistake and I don’t want to lose clients. The fear of making the wrong decision eliminated our business’s chances of growing and succeeding. I’ve learned that taking action is better than remaining stuck. Success is not about making no mistakes, success is doing your best and striving for growth.

To overcome the fear of making decisions, I took it one step at a time. I avoided thinking negative thoughts. Whatever the outcome, I know that I can learn something from it that will help me make better decisions next time. Making mistakes in business is common and it can help us improve our knowledge and develop our personality which can help us achieve the success we are all aiming for.

Lauri Kinkar, CEO at Messente

Fear causes turmoil in your business

A fear of decision-making can cause turmoil in your business. With you unable to make a choice, your employees will be unable to perform their jobs appropriately and may get frustrated with the situation. If you feel unable to make a decision try listening to your gut. Your first, gut instinct is usually right, so go with it.

John Levisay, CEO of The Pro’s Closet

How to overcome the fear of making decisions

The first thing in overcoming the fear of making decisions is to accept it. Sometimes you make investments that may not pay off, but taking action is still better than standing still. If you don’t do anything, you are eliminating all chances of succeeding by default.

Although the market can be unforgiving, predicting the future of your business industry is hard if you don’t possess the right knowledge. Even in order to gain new information, you will need to make an investment decision, and find a good way to upgrade your business knowledge.

Rationalize with facts

Rationalize the fear of making the wrong decision with facts. Nobody knows how your decision will turn out, until the moment you make it. It all falls to rationalizing and making decisions based on facts.

If the data shows you can invest in something different, you should try it, in order to stay on the growth path. If you calculate based on facts, no wrong decision can cause huge damage to your business. The main benefit from a wrong decision that will be useful, is the experience you will gather. Therefore, one of the most valued characteristics of an experienced entrepreneur is being a fearless decision-maker.

Think about the long-term effect

When making business decisions that will affect a business long or short term is always difficult. The best way to handle your fear of making decisions is to have a process in place for checks and balances. Think about what the long-term effect of the decision will be as well as the short-term effect. 

Evaluate what you are currently doing to fill that space now and if the new decision supplements or improves that. A good business comes down when you stop being afraid to make decisions so focus your efforts to find a way to overcome your fear.

Artie Baxter, CEO and Co-founder at Paperclips

Use your worst-case scenario

My fear of making decisions was born from the fear of making the wrong decision or causing someone an inconvenience. I worked through that by using my worst-case scenario blueprint. When I have a big decision to make, I weigh all the alternatives and then think through what is the worst thing that can happen in the process? Then, I make a plan for dealing with that scenario.

With a plan in play, I feel more confident in making the decision knowing that if it works, great. If it doesn’t, I already have a plan to deal with it and the fallout of it. Given that it’s the unknowns that cause us anxiety, knowing that you have a plan for whatever comes is helping to overcome the fear of failure.

Camille D. Jamerson, Founder and CEO of CDJ and Associates

Learn how to seek help

I used to dread making big business decisions. After all, if I make the wrong turn, I could lose everything. But I realized that I don’t have to do this alone, so I learned how to seek help and where to find help. This can be a bit unorthodox, but I just think that more heads are better than one. But I also make sure that the people I ask for help from are really trustworthy.

David Stellini, Co-founder at AllFront.io

Learn from your mistakes

Fear of making mistakes is what demolishes many of us from making decisions. Don’t neglect that even a bad decision is better than no decision at all. We work and hopefully, we learn. Don’t underestimate the power of bad decisions. My mistakes helped me make smart decisions.

Salvador Ordorica, CEO at The Spanish Group LLC

Be confident

I presumed that I had only two options. Either I can stop making decisions from now and regret it my whole life, or I can make a major decision regarding my business from now onwards and feel proud of myself someday later. I challenged myself and then came up with some smartest business moves and I employed them with all my confidence and without any fear. 

Because when you are confident about something your business mind works excellently. I took my bad decisions as my motivation. I started believing in my capabilities and ended up with a successful businesswoman.

Emily David, Owner of Wiringo

Research before you make a decision

I was also prone to the scary word “fear” because I used the wrong decision-making strategy. Usually, people make decisions based on their perceptions the same as I did. But our perceptions are not always accurate. It led me to see failure when I thought of a software flaw as a technical issue, and it cost me a lot while there was no such issue. After the experience, I used to research the matter thoroughly before making any decision.

Hitesh Agarwal, Director at TechExactly

Accept you are not perfect but do your best

When it came time for me to make critical decisions, I was tentative and oftentimes hesitant which led to inefficient processes that interrupted enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of scaling the business. I stopped being afraid to make decisions by coming to accept that I will never be perfect and win, lose, or draw. I was ok with the results as long as I prepared and executed to the best of my abilities.

Zachary Thames, CEO at Golden Intellect

Educate yourself on the options

A great way to overcome a fear of making the wrong decision is to educate yourself on the options. Research what the options entail and the risks with each option. This way you will be able to make a fully informed decision with less fear of failure.

Alex Czarnecki, Founder and CEO of Cottage

Measure the impact

Measure the impact of the decision. Change is necessary, but how significant will the change really be? Will the planned expansion destroy your business, even if it does not do as well as expected, or will you manage to survive? Ask yourself – what is the worst thing that can happen to your business?

Sometimes predictions can be hard to make, but often people find the fear of making a decision worse than the current market trends that can do real damage to their businesses. Is the decision going to change the business too much? Measure its impact. People experience difficulty making decisions when they are afraid that their business is going to suffer major changes. They feel the fear that they cannot get a grip on it, as before. 

Clear your mind

Clear your mind. Sometimes a walk in the park can release all tension and fear. Your mind will be sharper, and the fear of making decisions will disappear. Additionally, many entrepreneurs use meditation as a way to release negative energy. As fear builds up a lot of power, the body seeks a way to release it. 

This might be a reason you cannot make a decision, you feel under pressure. Moreover, negative energy can hurt your mental health, so don’t overthink things, get that exercise and clear your mind. You will be refreshed and feel enlightened, for making decisions. 

Get support

Get support from your loved ones. In difficult times, you need support, and what better way to get support than from your loved ones. Technology made everything easier; now even at thousands of miles away with just a touch on your phone, you can speak to your loved ones, and receive their support. They will help you rationalize fear, and give a different insight into the problem, even though they might not have a business and industry background.

Conclusion

We cannot hide from fear. However, it is in our benefit to manage the fear of making decisions better, if we want to succeed. If the inability to make decisions damages the future of your business, the points we made in this article will help you understand, rationalize and combat that. Don’t be a silent voice in the business world, because “sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you make the decision right.” It’s up to you.

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