Be Decisive

Bill Abbate

Do you ever get stuck trying to make a decision? Why can some people be so decisive while the rest of us are still trying to figure it out? Imagine being able to quickly make great decisions at work and home. Let's look at how you can develop the crucial skill of decisiveness in your life.


Decision-making is common to all mankind. Do you know anyone who has achieved much in life but is afraid of making decisions? If there are any, there are not many.

"It's better to be boldly decisive and risk being wrong than to agonize at length and be right too late." Marilyn Moats Kennedy (1943-present)

One of the main things becoming decisive will do for you is reduce worry and stress, bringing greater joy and success into your life. There is also the advantage of becoming more efficient and effective at work and in life in general. Who wouldn't want such benefits?!

Decisive people are willing to take risks to achieve forward movement and momentum, avoiding stagnation. Is it any wonder the most successful people in the world are decisive risk-takers?

"Decisiveness is a characteristic of high-performing men and women. Almost any decision is better than no decision at all." Brian Tracy (1944-present)

There is a direct correlation between decisiveness and accomplishment. Decisive people usually get things done, while those who have difficulty making decisions accomplish little.

"The person who does nothing, does nothing." Anonymous


Many dictionaries define Indecisiveness as a lack of firmness of character or purpose. In other words, indecisive people lack resoluteness. Because of this lack, they do not believe in themselves and their abilities or the abilities of others. They fear failure and are uncomfortable with uncertainty.

"The percentage of mistakes in quick decisions is no greater than in long-drawn-out vacillations, and the effect of decisiveness itself makes things go and creates confidence." Anne O'Hare McCormick (1880-1954)

This realization about indecisiveness leads us to the reality expressed in the old proverb, "He who hesitates is lost."

"Hesitation only enlarges, magnifies the fear. Take action promptly. Be decisive." David J. Schwartz (1927-1987)


There is an inherent balance necessary between decisiveness and risk-taking. When you are decisive, you do not allow analysis paralysis to set in. You make decisions quickly in a responsible manner.

"Deliberate with caution, but act with decision and yield with graciousness, or oppose with firmness." Charles Caleb Colton (1780-1832)

Those who cannot make decisions and are risk-averse get left behind in today's rapidly changing world.

"The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks." Mark Zuckerberg (1984–present)

There is a direct connection between decisiveness and success and indecisiveness and failure. Without the ability to take risks, how would we ever learn and grow? Yes, making decisions can be risky, but so is living!

"When we stop taking risks, we stop living life." Robin Sharma (1964-present)

Life is full of risks, and no one can hide from them all, even in the "safety" of our home. Did you know that more than 160,000 Americans die because of accidents each year? 75% of these deaths (120,000!) are from unintentional household injuries!

Every year millions of injuries occur both inside and outside the home requiring medical care. While you may think you can avoid making decisions and avoid risk, you have no choice in the matter so long as you are alive!

"Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise." Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)

Those who take risks learn from both success and failure. For the decisive, success leads to more willingness to take more risks. They do not let failure stop them but build on it instead. Those who are indecisive avoid risk and have little success while losing out on the lessons they could learn from failing.

"When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important." – Anonymous

Have you ever noticed how "luck" seems to follow those who are decisive? Why is this so? Most often because of their ability to make decisions despite the risk.

"I am not where I am because of luck. I am where I am because I took risks others weren't willing to take. The world rewards the risk-takers. It always has. It always will." Dan Pearce (1978-present)

Final thoughts

Do you have what it takes to become more decisive? Why not start with small decisions and work your way up to the big ones? The next time your spouse asks, "Where do you want to eat?" or "What do you want to do?" Give them an answer. When someone asks you to do something you don't want to do, don't dilly-dally! Give them an answer!

The way to become more decisive is to make up your mind to be so. It is a choice, and like every choice in life, you must make a decision. Why not make a decision you will never regret and start building the skill of decisiveness in your life!

May you be decisive, take some risks, and lead an extraordinary life!

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA

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