Imagine being so scared of making a decision that you avoid it whenever possible. For example, you’ll choose to see the same movie repeatedly rather than choose another one, or eat at the same restaurant for months rather than choosing another one. It doesn’t matter if you know the other choices are better.
The problem is that they are still choices, and that is enough to make you feel nervous. No matter how many opportunities and adventures life offers us, if we can’t choose (or even consider the possibility), we will never follow through on anything!
So if you are scared of making decisions, you’re not alone. Decidophobia is a common psychological fear characterized by an abnormal, persistent, and unwarranted fear of making decisions. Don’t let it get the best of you.
This article gives great tips on overcoming your fear of making decisions and its symptoms and causes.
What Is Decidophobia?
Decidophobia is the fear of making decisions. The term comes from the Latin word ‘decidere,’ meaning “to cut off” or “to decide,” and the Greek word ‘phobos,’ meaning “fear.”
It is frequently accompanied by procrastination, indecision, and a tendency to avoid making choices (even those that are trivial). People who suffer from this affliction may go to great lengths to avoid having to make a decision.
Decidophobia can be broken down into three categories:
1) Intense anxiety over making decisions or even thinking about making decisions;
2) A feeling of dread, helplessness, and vulnerability associated with making decisions; and/or
3) Avoidance of situations that require making decisions.
Symptoms of Decidophobia
The symptoms of decidophobia can be very different for each person. Some people may experience a fear of making decisions, and others may fear the consequences of their decisions. Some common signs include:
- Being very indecisive
- Fear of making a wrong decision
- Avoiding making decisions at all costs
- Procrastination and putting off making decisions until the last minute
- Tension, anxiety, panic attacks, or other symptoms when faced with a decision
Causes of Decidophobia
The causes of decidophobia are often not known. Some people may develop this phobia after making a decision that went wrong in the past. Others may have had bad experiences with their parents or other authority figures who made important decisions for them when they were young.
Other factors that could contribute include:
- A fear of making decisions can be caused by many things, including:
- Having a traumatic experience (e.g., losing your job or having your identity stolen)
- Obsessing over past mistakes or failures
- Overthinking decisions so much that you lose sleep over them
- Being afraid of making the wrong choice
Most people have some level of decidophobia, which is natural because making decisions can be stressful. However, if you constantly worry about making a decision, it may be time to seek treatment to get back to living your life without fear of making the wrong choice.
How Decidophobia Affects Daily Life
Decision-making is a fundamental human activity; we make hundreds of decisions daily, from what to eat for breakfast to where to go on vacation. Yet, many people struggle with decision-making, leading to anxiety and indecision.
The fear of making difficult choices can hurt your life in many ways:
- You may avoid making important decisions altogether. This can hurt your career, relationships, and other aspects of your life, such as financial security and health.
- You may be afraid to try new things because you’re worried about failing or making mistakes. This could mean missing out on opportunities for personal growth and happiness from trying new things!
- You may worry about making wrong choices when faced with difficult situations or decisions. Not only does this stress affect your mental health, but it also takes up time and energy that could be used elsewhere in more productive ways!
Decidophobia can cause problems in various areas of life, including:
Relationships: You may avoid commitment because it means being tied down with someone else’s wishes and desires.
Career: You may feel paralyzed when faced with job promotions or changing careers because it means starting from scratch in an unfamiliar field.
Money matters: If you’re afraid of making financial decisions, you could spend lots of money on unnecessary things to avoid making hard choices about what’s best for your budget.
Decidophobia can be debilitating and lead you to make poor choices or avoid important decisions altogether. But don’t let it hold you back. There are ways to overcome your fears and positively change your life.
1. Make a list of the pros and cons of each option. This will help you see all sides of the issue without letting your emotions get in the way. You will also see how different factors might affect each choice differently.
2. Think about what other people would do in this situation, including people who are successful at making good choices. This will remind you that most people don’t have problems making decisions; they have different priorities than yours.
3. Avoid negative thoughts about making decisions by replacing them with positive ones that help lower your stress levels when making decisions. For example, if you think, “What if I make a mistake?” replace that thought with, “I am capable of making good choices.”
4. Let go of guilt and anger about past mistakes or failures by forgiving yourself and letting go of any feelings of resentment or blame towards others (including yourself). Forgiving yourself will help you accept who you are today, making it easier to move forward without dwelling on past mistakes or failures but instead focusing on creating new opportunities for success in the future.
5. Ask for help. If you struggle with indecision, ask others for their input or advice on what they would do in your situation. This could be friends, family members, or even professionals such as doctors who may have more experience with similar situations and may have some insight into how best to handle the decision.
Take action! Once you decide what action is best for you, take action immediately. Don’t wait until tomorrow – act now so you don’t regret your decision later on!
Fear of Decisions, One Helpful Step at a Time
It’s easy to note the great qualities of a fear of making choices and want to say, ‘It’s no big deal.’ The hardest and most important aspect of any decision is simply deciding that something needs to change or something needs to be done. Because truism is that everyone will make the same choice for themselves.
So, first, you must decide that something needs to change with your health. Decide on your goal. Set a time frame in which you’ll reach this goal with some steps to help you along the way specifically tailored to you and your goals. What’s your first small baby step forward? Well, once you’ve decided something needs to change, it’s time for a wardrobe cleanse!
What Is Decidophobia?
Decidophobia is a fear of making decisions. It’s one of the most common phobias, affecting people from all walks of life.
What Causes Decidophobia?
Several factors, including genetics, past experiences, personality traits, and stressors, can cause Decidophobia.
How to Cope with Decidophobia Caused by Traumatic Brain Injury?
Coping with decidophobia caused by traumatic brain injury can be challenging, but some strategies can help. These include seeking professional help, breaking decisions down into smaller parts, using external aids such as checklists, and practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation.
How to Overcome Decidophobia?
Overcoming decidophobia can take time and effort, but it is possible. Strategies for overcoming decidophobia include identifying the root cause of the fear, seeking professional help, practicing decision-making skills, and using relaxation techniques such as mindfulness and meditation.
Kuspit, D. B., & Kaufmann, W. (1973, December). Without Guilt and Justice, From Decidophobia To Autonomy. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 34(2), 294. https://doi.org/10.2307/2106709
Specific Phobia. (n.d.). National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/specific-phobia
- Hajloo, N. (2014). Relationships between self-efficacy, self-esteem and procrastination in undergraduate psychology students. PubMed, 8(3), 42–49. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25780374