What can sometimes seem like indecisiveness might actually be confusion in disguise. It is crucial to distinguish between the two and to really ask yourself: Am I indecisive or just confused?

The difference

Indecisiveness is about difficulty in “deciding” or choosing amongst different options. Indecisiveness may also appear as having trouble with “committing”, which is once again about choosing between doing (i.e. committing to) and not doing, something. Being indecisive already pre-supposes that you know what you are deliberating about. That you are clear about what the different paths might be, where the primary difficulty is around choosing: “Which do I go for?”

Confusion on the other hand is not the same thing at all. Confusion is about a lack of clarity. About not having a grasp of the situation. About not understanding the nature of the different options and what they mean for you — their implications and consequences. The fog of confusion can sometimes be so thick that it obscures the options that may be available to us. Options, whose awareness of might remove all indecision! 

So, stuck in a place of confusion and mistaking it for indecisiveness, we may berate ourselves for not deciding, when the real reason for not deciding is just not having fully explored the nature of the problem!

Why the confusion?

Confusion is most often caused by fear — fear related to going down a path that you just don’t want to. A path that you believe is painful and undesirable. So, faced with such a possibility, the mind can fall into a state of denial and avoidance. Of not wanting to look at the problem because it feels too scary, while at the same time creating a false narrative that you are “indecisive”. And, this narrative may be reinforced by those around you, who may themselves not have the courage to look more deeply.

Cutting through the fog

And, what might help us cut through the fog and to overcome confusion? The willingness to stand in the reality of your circumstances and the truth of what-is, is always the starting point. What IS going on for you, really? How are you feeling in your mind and body? Are you actually indecisive or just confused? Confused because you find the very act of looking more deeply, confronting. And, it is good to see that truth and to acknowledge it for what it is.

From such a place of understanding, you can then find the courage to dare to look deeper. To examine your fear in its entirety and to ask if it really is warranted. To explore the situation in all its pain and glory, such that this deeper understanding brings you out of confusion and towards clarity. Clarity that empowers you with choice.

Remember that it takes courage to really take a look. Start by considering if you really are indecisive or just confused?


Harsha is an executive and life coach based in London. He empowers people to find more clarity, confidence and focus in their lives. Subscribe to receive more insights like this.