10 brain reasons for delaying a decision

10 brain reasons for delaying a decisionsOur brain starts off life with a number of features, but a complete decision system is not included. What we get is a rudimentary program for basic urges – I want and I don’t want. The rest of the decision template is left for us to encode ourselves. 

As we gain more and more life experiences, we take short-cuts by turning them into unconscious decisions in the form of preferences and habits. They, in turn, become encoded brain patterns.

Encoded Brain Patterns

It’s easy for your brain once you have a pattern of preferences and experiences encoded. It knows exactly what to do and delivers consistent results that turn parts of your life into predictable and stress-free decisions. It can be a mundane and unnoticed decision in the order of your morning and bedtime routines, or a slightly more definitive decision as to whether it is going to be a large or an extra large coffee today.

Most of your daily activities are easy decisions based on the encoding of your preferences and prior experiences.

Only if life remained as simple as the brain decisions we are comfortable making. Click To Tweet

However, life is complicated and with that comes more complicated life decisions. Your brain wants to be as efficient as possible and deliver up a quick decision, but many times it has to multi-track through numerous different preferences and experiences. 

Your preference may be to make a quick decision, but experience tells you it needs to be the right decision. It may be to make the best choice among many, but still a decision that produces the most desirable results. Or, the ability to make a difficult decision without regret.

Most of these major decisions boil down to a compromise that you perceive as being made on a conscious level. In reality, what’s really happening is that your brain is in the background processing everything. 

Sometimes when there is a lot of conflicting information, it gets stuck trying to figure out what’s most important to you based on what it knows about you. And, that’s when your brain goes into delay mode.

10 reasons why your brain delays making a decision 

  1. not enough information and needs time to gather more
  2. overwhelmed by too much information 
  3. becomes more complicated with multiple choices rather than just two
  4. confused by too many points to compare with plus or minus values
  5. needs more time to process and decide
  6. pressured by outside forces to finalize a decision 
  7. uncertain about whether if this is the right decision
  8. fear of the consequences of making the wrong decision
  9. needs to methodically consider all the consequences before making a decision
  10. rejects the responsibility – someone else should be making this decision

As they say, whether you made a decision or not made a decision – you made a decision.

What are your favorite brain reasons for not making a decision?