Indecision leaves us in ruts

WORKING WOMAN

October 20, 1991|By Niki Scott | Niki Scott,Universal Press Syndicate

You were going to look for a better job. But then you got to thinking about how hard it would be to quit the job you have.

And then you thought about how much you'd miss the folks you work with, and how you'd lose your seniority and your benefits, and how you'd have to buy new clothes for interviews.

So you didn't check a single classified ad or contact even one headhunter or call even two of your contacts to let them know you were thinking of changing jobs.

And since you gathered no new information with which to make an informed choice about your employment options, and have succeeded only in scaring yourself half to death at the very thought of leaving, your company is going to have you for an employee for a long, long time.

You were going to buy a house. No more crummy apartments for you! But then you got to thinking about how reluctant banks are to lend money nowadays, and how hard it would be to leave your not-so-crummy (now that you think about it) apartment.

And you got to thinking about what a pain it would be to move if you ever did find a house you could afford, and about how you'd be responsible for broken-down furnaces and frozen pipes and who knows what other catastrophes.

So you didn't call the first realtor, or talk to the first banker, or study even one "house for sale" ad in this newspaper.

And since you have no real information to counter your scary, negative thoughts about being a homeowner, chances are your landlord will have you for a tenant for a long, long time.

You were going to ask that nice new guy in your office for a date. But then you got to thinking about how he might think you were too forward, and how things could get complicated if you and he actually got "involved."

And then you got to thinking about how messy things could get if you and he had an affair and then broke up, and how hurt you've been in the past, and how this guy could turn out to be just another rat.

So you never asked him out, and you sent clear messages that he'd be wasting his time -- and possibly risking his very life -- if he asked you.

And since you never gave yourself time to make an informed decision about this guy -- or any other -- chances are you're going to have lots more Saturday nights of Lean Cuisine, sitcom reruns and your cat and houseplants for company.

You were going to shop for a better car. But then you got to thinking about car payments, and how the dealer would laugh when you offered your present car as a trade-in, and how your next car might turn out to be an even worse lemon.

And then you got to thinking about how you know next to nothing about cars, and how your ex-husband always handled such matters, and how you've never been very good at haggling over prices.

So you didn't visit a single car lot or look at a single newspaper ad or stop at the library to check Consumer Reports' annual comparison of new and used cars, or even consider your brother's offer to shop with you.

And since you never gathered a shred of information with which to counter your scary, negative feelings about making such a big purchase, you're probably going to be driving your old clunker until it finally turns up its wheels and dies.

We give away our power when we make decisions by not making them. We sabotage ourselves when we get bogged down in "what ifs." Let's free ourselves by gathering good, solid information instead.

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