Inaction and IndecisionHow to be decisive

Right now, you can make a decision that will make you more successful. Right now, you can take a step that will move you closer to your goals. Right now, you can change something about your life that will make you healthier and happier.

However, if you find it hard to make decisions or take action, you miss these opportunities.

Indecision costs companies millions when they fail to decide or fail to act. An opportunity comes and goes while management sits on its hands. For example, IBM could have controlled the personal computer market if it had acted on Bill Gates’ offer to handle their software for them. Barnes and Noble was the world’s biggest bookseller until took over. By the time Barnes and Noble started selling books on the Internet, had taken the number one spot.

When you as an individual fail to make a decision or fail to act, you can also ruin your success or happiness. For example, you could have started a business when you were in your twenties. You could have formed a partnership with a very successful person. You could have made better decisions regarding your ex-spouse.

You have probably seen big opportunities, knew they were big opportunities, and failed to act on them.

In fact, you probably have one or more opportunities in front of you now. So what makes you hesitate?

The Answer Is Simple

“Inaction and indecision in the present is because of fear of consequences of the future.” — L. Ron Hubbard

Because you are afraid of certain consequences, you do not act or do not decide. You are afraid of what might happen. You can see this principle at work with the following exercise.

Five Tips for Conquering Your Fear of Consequences

1. Write down an opportunity that is available to you right now.

2. Write down the decision that is difficult to make or the action that is difficult to take.

3. Write down the consequences you might be afraid of.

4. Of these consequences, identify your biggest fear or fears.

5. Take action to resolve this fear or fears.

You can then make the correct decision or take the actions necessary for your success.


Richard has always wanted to be a business owner. His brother Alan calls one day and says, “How would you like to be partners with me on a Crazy Chicken franchise? It’s the best fast-food chicken in the world! It’ll be worth millions some day. Just give me that $20,000 you have in savings, quit your job and we’ll start!”

Richard likes the idea, but feels frozen. “I’ll think about it.” He then spends 80 stressful hours during the next two weeks trying to decide.

Everyone has an opinion for him and he listens to them all. His wife says, “Do what you think is right.” His mother says, “Don’t be stupid.” His father says, “Go for it!” He still can’t decide.

Finally, a friend at work gives him this TipsForSuccess article and Richard does the five steps as follows:

1. “I have the opportunity to be a partner with my brother Alan in a Crazy Chicken restaurant.”

2. “I can’t decide if buying the Crazy Chicken franchise will be successful or not.”

3. “The future consequences I might be afraid of are that I’ll lose my savings. I’ll look like a fool. I’ll regret quitting my job. I’ll be cleaning a kitchen for the rest of my life.”

4. “What’s the biggest fear? Well, I can always save more money, so I’m not too afraid of losing my savings. I don’t care if I look foolish. I doubt I’ll really regret quitting my job. But I can’t stand cleaning kitchens! I’m terrified that I’ll spend the rest of my life cleaning kitchens. I’d rather beg on the street than clean a kitchen.”

5. Richard calls his brother. “Alan, if I do this deal, will you be in charge of kitchen cleaning forever?”

Alan says, “Sure!”

Richard says, “I want it in writing. I’ll serve the food, take the money, sweep the parking lot or anything else. But if I have to clean the kitchen, even one time, you have to agree to buy me out immediately, okay?”

Alan says, “No problem. You will never, ever clean a kitchen at Crazy Chicken.”

Richard laughs, makes the deal and quits his job.

Courage = Decision and Action

What opportunities lie in front of you? Why aren’t you acting on them? After all, they are your options for your success.

“Inaction and indecision in the present is because of fear of consequences of the future.” — L. Ron Hubbard

What about the future makes you nervous? What future consequences scare you?

Identify and resolve these fears and you become decisive, active and successful.