In life, making decisions is unavoidable. However, sometimes we are having a hard time making a decision and thus, keep delaying it. We fear the decision because of the possible consequences or even because we have too many choices. Does that sound familiar? Don’t give up.
The best way out is to tackle the problem rather earlier than later. Procrastinating makes things only worse. Take your time, however. The more you put yourself under pressure, the more likely you are going to doubt your decision.
There is no “Golden Rule” on how to make the perfect decision, but there are several helpful steps that you might want to consider. Each can work on its own, depending on where you are stuck in the process.
The Seven Steps To Facilitate Decision-Making
- Be Honest with Yourself
Sometimes we don’t even know why we are struggling with a decision. Instead of trying to figure out the real reason, we blame circumstances or others for not being able to take action. It’s hard to admit that we might be afraid of the result. Allowing ourselves to be honest can be a huge relief. It’s okay to feel uncomfortable. It’s not okay to let go of the chances that are awaiting us. We just have to dare to follow through with our decision.
- Make a List
List pros and cons in different columns, and see how that makes you feel about the situation. Try to write everything down as quickly as possible, don’t judge. Usually, you have more items on one side than on the other, which can point you in a general direction. Evaluate each reason by its importance to you – and be rational. When making the list, keep in mind that fear is likely to interfere. You might find some pros or cons which are overly emotional – and irrational. It’s best to sleep over it and evaluate again the next day with a clear mind.
- Ask for Help
People you trust and who know you best should be able to relate to your problem. They could deliver a perspective you haven’t even thought about, yet. Don’t be shy to ask. Most of us are flattered when somebody values our opinion.
- Think Ahead
Think about the consequences each direction implies, negative and positive. You can take a look at your list if you have made one. Which compromises do you have to make in order to get what you want? How would that affect your daily life, your family, your social life? How are you going to handle this? Do not to take the easy way out on this one. It might give you the crucial hint on what to do if you are really willing to pull this off.
- Is It Really All or Nothing?
When we are anxious, we tend to see only black and white. We are blocked. However, each scenario usually entails several stages. Address the problem by working with intermediate goals, instead of making a decision that seems huge right now. Break it down into little steps you feel able to take, e.g. instead of quitting your job and following your business idea, try to carve out some time every day to work on your project until you have enough experience and contacts you can survive on once you quit for good.
- Start With the First Step
Whatever it is – do it. Take the first crucial step. Get information. Talk to the people involved. Put yourself out there. Take over responsibility, it’s your life after all. Don’t miss out on opportunities. Make yourself heard. If you don’t, no one will.
- Adjust Your Decision If Needed
If it doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to be, try another way. By the time you realize your decision didn’t put you exactly on the desired track, you should have gained some more experience, and thus, being able to adjust and take the next step. It’s better to know that something is not for you than not knowing what it feels like at all.
The more decisions you make deliberately, the more you will learn to trust yourself again. It is way better to try and fail, than not to have tried at all. Failing is a good way of learning and improving. There’s nothing to fear but to let others make the decisions for us. It’s good to have people around who support us, but the only person who can change your life for the better is you.
Do you struggle with decision making? What are the reasons that make it difficult for you to decide? Please post your comment below.