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How often do you delay big decisions out of fear of being wrong?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How often do you delay big decisions out of fear of being wrong?

  • Never — I always make decisions promptly: 28.72%
  • Sometimes — I’m occasionally afraid to make the call: 62.05%
  • Often — big decisions are hard for me to make: 7.86%
  • Always — I get stuck between fear and making the call: 1.37%

Overcoming your fears. Fear and decision making go hand in hand. We could be wrong. We could look silly. We could get fired. That said, the mantle of leadership requires us to take those chances. You can get over these fears pretty easily. Simply adopt an approach of understanding the true risks and know where your uncertainty resides. Once you’ve done that, the big decision will seem much smaller. A final point that can help you overcome these fears is that most decisions can be undone. Sure, it requires swallowing your pride but wouldn’t you prefer to make the right call rather than continue being wrong?

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”