“I can’t decide”
“What to do”
“Which way is best”
“I don’t know which way to go now”
Is this you? I am sure it is, or it has been at one point. All of us, at some stage or other, struggle with decision-making. Some of us are better at it than others. There are so many things at play when it comes to decisions, for example, the effect on you or other people, the cost, the implications for your career/business/family, is it the ‘right’ thing to do… and so on. Do you listen to logic, or is there a place for intuition too? There are so many unknowns when it comes to decision-making, which can cause anxiety and frustration. Here is my take on easing the decision making process:
1. Too much or too little choice:
Sometimes there are just too many options in front of you. You feel overwhelmed. This is where you have to be harsh, and immediately remove as many as you can. Eliminate the ones that are least helpful. Then you are free to focus on just a few.
Alternatively, the opposite can apply. You just don’t have enough options, which makes you anxious about making a decision. In this instance, it’s time to add some more options to the arena. And, then, focus on those. It makes it easier to make a decision you won’t regret.
2. Pros & Cons
Now that you have your options, and are ready to focus, it’s time to dig a little deeper and analyze them. I’m all for the classic, tried and tested method of taking a sheet of paper (or a virtual one on your PC), and doing a pros and cons analysis. Split the page in two and give each side the headings ‘Pro’ and ‘Con’. Then get busy digging down into the detail for each of your options. One or two are likely to stand out as the leaders in the ‘Pro’ column.
3. Check in with your values
Now that you have narrowed it down to one or two that are the most beneficial, it’s time to check in with your intuition. I think for a lot of us, this can be the most challenging. Listening to your intuition means sometimes overriding what your logical, rational self is saying, and that can be a challenge for those of us that are logical, sensible, practical folks (believe me, I learned this one the hard way, intuition matters!). The easiest way to make sense of what your intuition is telling you is to check in with your values. If you haven’t identified your values yet, check out this post for more. Review your narrowed down list of good options and see how they make you feel. How do they sit with you? Take a look at your values, and check if these options are in line with them. When making the final choice, always choose the one that is in line with your values. You will feel much better for it in the longer term.
4. Don’t look back.
Whatever you do, once you have made the decision, don’t look back. Trust that the decision you have made is the best one you could have made, with the information you had at the time, from where you were at. You may have to make another decision or adjust your course further down the road, and that’s OK. But for right now, for this decision, trust that you made the right one. It truly is the best way to avoid the anxiety and indecision traps when it comes to making decisions.
Do you struggle with decisions? Are you guided by logic or intuition? Let me know in the comments below.