Decision Making Dilemas


For many of us, the fear of making the wrong decision when going through our clutter can send us straight into the panic zone.

We’ve made decisions in the past that we’ve come to regret, and the fear of that happening again means we end up putting even more in the ‘keep’ pile next time. There is even a technical term for it when it triggers anxiety: Decidophobia.

Of course, what may appear to be a ‘wrong’ decision may actually turn out to be the ‘right’ decision for YOU. Factors that play into the fear of making the wrong decision are:

  • What other people will think of our decision
  • Fear of upsetting other people
  • Fear of looking stupid
  • Fear of someone pointing out something ‘obvious’ once we’ve made the decision
  • Fear of not being able to change the decision
  • Waiting for a 100% guarantee or evidence that it’s the right decision

There’s only one right decision – what’s right for you. You can only live your best life when you’re making decisions that are right for you. Of course, we might need to consider how our decisions impact other people, but in reality that helps us decide how to manage, prepare and anticipate their response to our decision. We shouldn’t let it influence what’s right for us now and OUR best life. After all, surely if we’re making decisions so we can live our best life, that has a positive benefit to those in our lives?

6 Signs of Decidophobia

  1. Panic and anxiety – when you need to make a decision. You may even experience panic attacks, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, nausea.
  2. Procrastination – an avoidance of making any decision, you choose to live with the uncertainty and the clutter rather than make a decision you might later regret.
  3. Perfectionism – focusing on gathering more information than you realistically need to make a decision rather than focusing on your needs and trusting your insticts.
  4. Overwhelm – due to the amount of thoughts, feelings, emotions and memories from all the information you’ve gathered from other people’s opinions and your own sources.
  5. Delegating your most important decisions to other people – you may even attract people who like to have control because they know you’ll delegate decisions to them.
  6. Catastrophise – you often think of the worst case scenario which adds to the fear and pressure you put on yourself to make the ‘right’ decision.


1. Make a decision – and take action

You will never know if you’ve made the ‘wrong’ decision unless you have the learning and feedback from having made a decision and taken action on that decision. Use the decision-making matrix to help you prioritise.


2. Limit the number of Daily Decisions

We know our brain is most comfortable with having to think about or make decisions about 7 things at any one time. More than 7 and our brain goes into overwhelm. So limit the number of decisions you need to make on a daily basis to 7. If you make 7 and feel able to make some more that’s a bonus.

Doing your weekly planner and weekly meal plan will mean those are at least 2 decisions you don’t need to make each day, freeing up 2 spots on your daily list for something else. Wearing a uniform actually helps with this because it’s one less daily decision. You’ll notice Clare wears a ‘uniform’ depending on what she’s doing – Journey videos, Group Sessions, Private Sessions – precisely so it’s one less decision to have to make each day (and so you can focus!)

3. Change your Perspective

Who do you know who you think is good at making decisions? Imagine what they would do if they had to make the same or similar decision you need to make. You don’t have to know exactly what their decision would be – just imagine them making it so you get another perspective.

4. Focus on your WHY

Consider whether a given decision will help you achieve your goal. If not, put it in your ‘not sure’ category of decisions that need making while you make a decision on something that WILL help you achieve your goal.

5. Balance the Decision

We tend to focus on the possible negative outcomes of our decisions, and the fear of that negative outcome shadows all other thoughts. When you have a negative thought about a particular decision, start asking yourself ‘What will happen if I DON’T make a decision and take the action?’ The negative consequences of NOT doing something may be worse than the worst-case scenario.

6. Learn from your Mistakes

People rarely hit the bullseye first time – it’s a very small area in a very big target. The truth is, whether you’re trying to hit a bullseye or make a decision, you’ve actually got a 50:50 chance of making the right decision. You either do – or don’t. What matters is that IF it turns out to be a wrong decision, you learn from that and tweak your next attempt. We only learn and grow from making mistakes.

7. Pause – and BREATHE

Getting oxygen to your brain will reduce the anxiety, help you focus, and give your brain the fuel it needs to make a decision. So, breath in for 5 and out for 5 three times before making that final decision. You got this. If you’re scared of making the ‘wrong’ decisions about the things in your clutter, find out how Clare can help you in her free help centre:

Posted in
 Image Name

Clutter Clearing

Leave a Comment