Decisiveness – what is it, examples, differences from courage

Determination is one of the most valuable character traits. She helps to quickly make bold and difficult decisions in ambiguous circumstances. Thanks to this, a person with this quality easily overcomes obstacles and copes with difficulties. Today we will talk about the nature of decisiveness, look at examples of its manifestation, and also find out how to develop it.

What is determination?

Determination is the ability to quickly make decisions in the face of difficult choices and immediately act without wasting time thinking. It has nothing to do with impulsiveness – the actions of a decisive person are always rational and deliberate. But in a difficult situation, he does not fall into a stupor, but acts as quickly as circumstances require , taking responsibility for the consequences of his choice and his decisions.

Determination helps to effectively overcome difficulties and achieve success in all areas of life. We often have to face difficult choices in circumstances where there is absolutely no time to think. Often, even after making a decision, we often continue to doubt whether it was correct. Decisiveness allows not only to quickly make a choice, but also not to regret it later, even if it turns out that it is not optimal.

Examples of manifestation of decisiveness

Often we don’t even think about how important decisiveness is in everyday life. Many people need it every day to make important decisions in their work. And very often they take on a lot of responsibility. For example, a doctor has to make quick decisions about which treatment will help a patient. He usually has little time to study all the circumstances. At the same time, it is far from always immediately obvious which approach in a given situation will be correct, and sometimes it is not even possible to wait for the test results.

Determination is also very important for drivers. For example, if an emergency occurs, often its successful outcome depends on whether the driver is able to quickly make the right decision and perform a maneuver that will avoid a collision. There are also less serious situations in which decisiveness is helpful. For example, an indecisive driver may “hesitate” to overtake, even when the situation is favorable for this maneuver.

Determination is very helpful in combating the phenomenon of procrastination. If a person constantly doubts and makes decisions for a long time, he increasingly puts off important matters until the last moment, becoming nervous and aggravating the situation. If he acts decisively, he simply does not have such a problem.

Determination is needed to:

  • knock on the door if it can affect your fate;
  • jump from a great height into the pool;
  • say “No!” at the right time;
  • talk to a stranger;
  • invite the girl or guy you like on a date;
  • make an offer and accept the offer (or refuse);
  • make a fateful decision (for example, change jobs).

There are many situations in which a determined person will feel much more confident, make decisions quickly, and are more likely to succeed. Therefore, decisiveness is one of the most important traits of a strong, strong-willed and successful person.

The difference between decisiveness and courage

These two character traits should not be equated or confused as they manifest themselves in different ways, and the results are often different. Courage also helps to quickly make serious decisions, but courageous actions are sometimes impulsive and can only aggravate the situation. In addition, decisiveness implies the ability to make quick decisions and action, while courage is the ability to remain calm and self-controlled in difficult circumstances.

To be successful, it is important that decisions are not only quick, but correct. Therefore, it is not enough just to be bold. It is necessary to develop determination, which implies not hasty decision-making, but timely.

A courageous person is always willing to take risks, as he tends to overestimate his chances of success and underestimate the consequences of failure. Decisiveness implies only justified risks. That is, such a person takes into account all factors and takes risks only when he considers the risk appropriate and rational.

Pros and cons of decisiveness

As we have already found out, decisiveness is a very valuable character trait. Decisive individuals have a number of advantages , such as:

  • high chances of success in any business;
  • lack of procrastination tendencies;
  • strong character and high self-esteem;
  • more life experience and wisdom;
  • respect from friends and colleagues.

A decisive person does not waste time when faced with a difficult choice. This does not mean that he is acting at random. It’s just that he has already got into the habit of quickly analyzing the available options and immediately understanding which one is better, and not hesitating between them.

At the same time, decisiveness also has some disadvantages , which cause inconvenience to the owners of this character trait:

  • condescending attitude towards other people who, for a decisive person, often look weak and weak-willed;
  • decisiveness can scare away and even cause antipathy, since many do not like “upstarts” and just active people;
  • a quick decision is not always optimal.

One of the main problems of decisive people is misunderstanding with others. It can be difficult for them to find a common language with those who are not so decisive. This often leads to very painful quarrels between loved ones.

Reasons for indecision

For many of us, indecision causes serious inconvenience, making us envious, for example, those who can easily talk to a passer-by to ask for directions or even get to know each other. Psychologists identify several main reasons for indecision:

  • fear of failure;
  • fear of rejection;
  • fear of negative reactions (criticism, ridicule);
  • lack of confidence in oneself, one’s abilities, attractiveness;
  • the tendency to complicate things;
  • low self-esteem.

Thus, indecision is explained primarily by character traits and negative life experiences. And it is laid, of course, in early childhood. In the process of socialization, the child develops an awareness of his own significance, forms an assessment of his abilities and qualities. If he often makes mistakes and punishments follow these mistakes, he is more likely to grow up to be indecisive. Fortunately, you can get rid of indecision even as an adult, and now we’ll figure out how to do it.

How to develop determination?

Of course, one cannot become more re awesome. But long-term and methodical work on oneself will significantly develop this character trait. This will help 5 simple tips from psychologists:

  1. Become more confident. Yes, this advice looks obvious, but many people ignore it. It is very important to develop self-confidence so that doubts will not interfere with decisive action. Many famous people have confessed that they have dealt with indecision in this way.
  2. Keep the option to replay everything. Often indecision is caused by the worries that the wrong choice cannot be reversed. But in most situations, this possibility remains. If we know that in the event of a mistake, we can effortlessly return to a more correct option, it becomes much easier to make a decision. But for some reason, many people overlook this.
  3. Rethink views and attitudes. Growing up, children stop believing in Santa Claus, but retain a lot of other beliefs and stereotypes imposed by adults. The peculiarity of beliefs learned in childhood is that they are very stable. Therefore, it is important to forcibly get rid of these false rules in order to gain a sense of control over your life, becoming better, stronger and more determined.
  4. Make sure you have a goal. Very often the reason for indecision is the lack of clear goals. If a person does not know which direction he is going, he develops a fear of success. By setting goals and moving towards them, you can develop a sense of purpose and determination, and at the same time significantly improve your life.
  5. Appreciate your success and praise yourself. We all know how to reproach ourselves for mistakes and failures, but not everyone can praise ourselves. And it’s in vain, because the awareness of your success is a powerful motivator that improves not only your mood, but also your self-esteem. And as we have already found out, determination is highly dependent on self-esteem and self-confidence.


The meaning of the word “decisiveness” is easy to understand from its spelling – it is the ability to make decisions instead of hesitating for a long time, hesitating between different options. In most cases, it is viewed as a positive character trait, since a decisive person more quickly and easily achieves its goals. And even in case of failure, such a person has the advantage, because he immediately begins to work on correcting the situation, without wasting time on regret and suffering. At the same time, an important difference between decisiveness and courage is that it implies a well-considered and reasoned choice.