5 Steps for Conquering the Tough Decisions
Every single day we are faced with thousands of choices; take the bridge or tunnel to work; eat the rice or noodles for lunch; wear the blue shirt or the red one; accept the job offer or decline…
Most of us act instinctively for the majority of decisions in our life. Without realizing it we make a split second assessment that evaluates the importance and risk – rarely will the blue shirt have catastrophic consequences so we make the decision easily and without worry.
But then there are the serious dilemmas… like rice or noodles (kidding!)
When it comes to life’s most important decisions, what process do you follow?
We know and understand that it’s not always easy, so here is our advice for making sound, rational and comfortable decisions:
Give yourself time
Sure, we know that decisions in traffic have to be made quickly but when considering which university course to study, don’t rush the decision. Allow yourself time to let it marinate in your mind and contemplate all options.
Take the helicopter view
Try to remove yourself from the situation (and any emotion that may accompany it). Imagine you’re looking down from above and seeing all angles. It’s important to consider other people, situations and potential outcomes.
Avoid confirmation bias
If you’ve heard a friend’s opinion on something, or read a negative review, you’re automatically programmed to look for things that reinforce this. You may in fact miss the positive (or negative) angles, because you have subconsciously narrowed your focus. Try to consciously be objective.
Seek advice but make sure it’s balanced
Make sure the advice you receive isn’t going to sway your opinion (see above). What you really want is information to help you make a more informed decision.
Trust your gut
After all of the above has been considered and you are still not sure, listen to your instincts and go with what ‘feels’ right. After all, we are incredible creatures and our conscious thoughts are only part of the process – our subconscious is busy working too and can often be relied on to steer you in the right direction.
Yes, some decisions in life may literally have life changing consequences, but for the most part, no matter which path we take, nothing is irreparable. We learn from our poor decisions, because yes, we ALL make them from time to time.
If decision making is not your strong point, practice using these steps on some less than important decisions you face, to get into the habit and before you know it, the tough decisions will suddenly seem a whole lot easier.