Being decisive is a quality that all leaders and action takers have. If you want to reach your goals, you will undoubtedly have to navigate some situations that you’ve never been in before. When these situations arise, being decisive is one of the most important qualities to have, otherwise it becomes easy to become mired in uncertainty.
Something Is Better Than Nothing
The core concept behind being decisive is to make a decision. The root word of decision means “to cut off from”. When you make a decision you are choosing a path of action, and cutting yourself off from any other possibility, for better or worse. It’s important to realize that, as a human being, you are not perfect.
You will make mistakes, and you will make bad decisions.
Once you accept this, it will be much easier for you to make decisions and as a result your decision making skills will improve drastically.
In the long run, you will be much better off if you make more decisions, with some of them being incorrect and learning from them afterwards, than you would be weighing every detail until you have the “perfect” plan.
The perfect plan does not exist, because the element of uncertainty will always be present. Remember that your environment has a say in the outcome as well. Other people, animals, elements of nature, companies, countries, political factions, are all things that have their own consciousness and have the ability to make decisions as well.
I list these things as examples, because whether you are trying to train a dog or start a revolution, there will always be another player in the game who is making decisions and introducing a new element of uncertainty into your situation. If you are playing football, you expect the other team to fight back, don’t you?
Being Decisive Means Taking Responsibility
In the journey towards your goals, there will always be uncertainty, and in order to deal with uncertainty you need decisiveness. If you are going to win, there needs to be a leader, and someone who is willing to make the tough decision and move forward when everyone else has no idea what to do or is arguing about what the best choice is.
This choice may be wrong, or it may be right. But even making a mistake with the wrong decision is better than sitting paralyzed by indecision. Even with the wrong decision you bring new information to the table, which you can then use to make the right decision and head in the direction of your goals.
Only true leaders are willing to bear the burden of decision, making the tough call, and being willing to take responsibility for their actions in the midst of chaos. These people realize that it is their decisions that determine the outcome of their situation, not their conditions.
So they are willing to make mistakes and take responsibility for the outcome because they know that without someone making decisions that move us forward, there will be no progress and there will be no victory. These leaders realize that they are not perfect, there will be mistakes borne by the wrong decision, and they resolve to learn from mistakes, compose themselves and continue moving forward in the right direction.
After reading some of this article, you may think that I am encouraging you to rage forward without thinking, just making decisions for the sake of progress no matter what the cost. This is not the case.
Experience is the best teacher.
What I mean by this is that yes, the more decisions you make, the better you will become at making decisions. But you will only get better if you learn to read the situation and pull from your experiences of past decisions, both good and bad, to move yourself forward.
Over the course of your journey toward achieving the various goals in your life, you will learn the right times and places to make certain decisions. And sometimes, you will even learn that it is best to make the decision to wait, to not take action, until you get a signal to move forward.
You have to play the cards you are dealt, and you shouldn’t sabotage yourself for the sake of making decisions. Some people, including myself, make these types of mistakes, and in the long run it is yet another decision made, and another lesson to learn from.
So get out there and make some decisions. The more you make, the better you will get. Make sure to read the situation and get all of the information available to you, but don’t over analyze and become indecisive in the process. Keep moving forward, be a leader, and progress towards your goals through uncharted waters with decisiveness, leadership, and responsibility.