As children our parents are suppose to teach us how to make good decisions for ourselves. More often than not, they make the decision for the children and tell him or her “Do this because I said so.” This of course removes the opportunity to learn the decision making process.
Many lower level jobs are designed to remove the possibility of error by employees by having the administration make all the decisions and the worker bees carry them out. Unfortunately as we age, one’s ability to make good decisions is assumed when this is not always the case.
When one has low self esteem and self love, their confidence in their own basic ability to make decisions can be shaken. They can be brilliant at what they do for a career choice, but in their personal lives, they are whipped around by more confident and manipulative people.
When they do seek out advice which is typical since they do not trust their own ability, the advice should always be in the form of a learning opportunity. The Four Noble Truths of course is the Buddhist decision making tool which works wonderfully. By walking through this tool with them and also using the Eightfold Path and Six Perfections, you will not infringe on their free will to decide for themselves. (Links to information about these teaching tools http://www.rk-world.org/introlotussutra.aspx ) But remember that just because they come to the “appropriate” decision, it does not mean they will act upon it at that moment.
When their own personal pain is unbearable, then they will act. No one can move them until they are ready to move themselves. You can however be supportive during the process.