The Indecision Conundrum



Hello again, Dear Reader.  This article will again be a departure from previous articles. Moving away from psychology, I will discuss the indecision conundrum. Let’s take a closer look.


The Indecision Conundrum:

When we hear the word indecision, we often have a negative connotation surrounding this concept. However, a guru once wrote, “If in doubt, wait.” These words have guided me through much of my life. So, what if we reframed indecision as positive rather than some kind of failing? This is the indecision conundrum that I refer to: the choice between inaction and an impulsive decision.

Merrian-Webster defines indecision as:

A wavering between two or more possible courses of action: irresolution; faltering; hesitance; vacillation.

As you can see, this definition is far from positive with the exception of the word, “hesitance”. The word hesitance does not necessarily imply failure. In fact, hesitance can indeed be very adaptive in one’s life.

Hesitance is defined as, “to delay momentarily; to pause”. This pause can be beneficial, as long as the moratorium ends and a decision is made. Some do get caught in the trap of indecision. Thus, the indecision conundrum.

Abundant parables of life exist…parables meant to guide the way. However, often these parables paint indecision as a failing. Yet, how many of us have run headlong into a situation without sufficient reflection upon the possible outcomes of our actions? The consequences of our actions without proper thought can definitely be disastrous.

Thus, we can clearly see the indecision conundrum represents dialectically-opposing views. Those views being, patiently waiting to choose as more information presents itself, “weighing out our options” vs. taking action, “seizing the day” and ignoring our intuition.

The trick appears to be pausing long enough to gather sufficient data while not procrastinating. The illustrations just presented can hopefully provide some understanding regarding the indecision conundrum. Much of what you have read are cliches that we’ve probably heard all our lives. We typically adopt the cliches that we feel best suit us. Therefore, we can justify taking action, or not taking action, based upon these indoctrinated beliefs.

What if we were to throw away these old adages and colloquialisms? What if indecision were reframed as a positive life-tool? This is well within our power; to adopt new beliefs and/or discard beliefs that no longer serve us. Thereby, we transmute the negative connotations we may have about waiting, and use the wait to our advantage.

These words, “use the wait” could prove to be quite valuable. That is, if we don’t abuse the wait. Another quote can offer some edification here, “By not choosing, you have chosen”…again, the indecision conundrum. However, by using the wait effectively, we can more often than not benefit from reflection.


With reflection, we can more likely come up with alternates we may not have considered before. Reflection on our values and goals helps to prepare us for life’s uncertainties. As uncertainty appears to be a mainstay in life, one’s awareness of uncertainty and the limits of knowledge offer us a different perspective. We find that most problems invariably have multiple solutions. By reflecting upon solutions, we empower ourselves. We offer ourselves the best possible answers to our afflictions and we can escape the indecision conundrum.


Indecision has had a negative connotation, often painted as weakness. I propose that we reframe indecision as something more…something more akin to wisdom. By waiting to decide while perusing options, we can make better, more effective choices. Furthermore, by embracing the wait, asking questions and writing down our ideas we see that waiting is not necessarily faltering, but instead it is a strength with which we can capitalize. Finally, by being mindful of the length of our wait, we can make efficient choices while not falling into the indecision conundrum.

As always, Dear Reader, please feel free to leave comments and/or questions below in “Join the discussion”. I check back throughout the week to look for your thoughts. Until next time, stay safe and healthy. Cheers!






Dr. Shanni Dover
I am Dr. Shanni Dover and I am honored to be here. I am a retired Ph.D. psychologist, and I worked in public and private schools for 26 years, both in Illinois and Arizona. I currently spend my days as a novice painter and poet, near a mountain range with my dogs as my alarm clock.

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