. DECISIONS . SELF DOUBT . BACK & FORTH . STRESS . EXCITEMENT .
The process of making a decision can be quite a stressful one, some decisions can be made without a second thought, others require much more deliberation and consideration, especially those that have a big impact on your life – where you live, you’re career and job, buying a house, buying a car, moving country etc. More often than not when these opportunities come about you’re full of excitement and optimism around what is to come, but sometimes the excitement can be clouded by the reality of having to make a decision, a choice, a sacrifice perhaps, More often than not when opportunities arise, decisions need to be made. Having a choice is fantastic, but for those over thinkers out there, it can also be quite stressful!
So today I wanted to share with you 5 tips to help you make the right decision … they’re by no means the only ways to come to a decision, but they’re certainly some tricks and tactics that have helped me and my friends when we’ve been in a situation where a big decision needs to be made.
#1 DEFINE YOUR OWN ‘SUCCESS’
Often we feel we ought to do something, or make a decision based on what we feel is the ‘right’ thing to do. Mostly this is based on what society has made us believe is the right course of action, and more often than not we’ve never challenged this believe because we’ve had no reason to. But when a moment in life comes when you’re faced with making a difficult decision, don’t immediately take the obvious course of action, because whilst it might be the expected route, it may not be the right route.
In careers we often make decisions based on progressing in a linear fashion (working up the ranks), but actually maybe there’s an opportunity to carve your own path and career journey – that perhaps doesn’t fit with how society has made us believe we’d progress, but maybe it’s what is right for you!
Defining what you’re own success measures are will really help you analyse your situation and make a decision that is best for you, and the best decision based on what you want to achieve in life, in the situation or in that specific moment. Don’t just think about the question in hand, think about your life more generally, and what you want to have in it!
#2 ASK QUESTIONS
Gosh, i’m a sucker for questions. Now there definitely can come a time when you’ve over analysed a situation and asked so many questions you’ve only confused yourself, but actually having all the information required to make the right decision (an informed decision) is really important. The only way you can truly believe in a decision you’ve made, is if you’ve followed your heart and your head, and truly reviewed the options in the fullest amount of detail possible, and to do that you need to ask questions. Questions to yourself & of course questions to others.
#3 PRO’S & CON’S
Once you have all the information you need, and you’ve clearly defined what it is you want to get out of the situation, you should sit and really list out all the pro’s & con’s (be careful not to leave ‘The One List’ lying around like Ross from friends). Detail out anything and everything you are considering a positive or a negative, and once you’ve done this you can quite clearly see which option delivers more positives, and also review any negatives and see how they can be overcome.
#4 SEEK ADVICE
A great way to do this, is with friends or family, as they can help you create the lists and filter through the details, working out which elements are more important and should have a higher weighting.
It’s really important to lean on those people around you, even if they don’t have experience on the specific topic you’re debating, they can more often than not offer a great piece of advice, or an unbiased point of view to help you make a decision. Whenever i’m going through a period of tough decision making I always consult my friends, family, boyfriend and colleagues to see what they think about my options, my considerations and my thoughts on how to proceed.
Even just using people as a sound board, and finding your way to your own decision is a great help!
I am a firm believer in following your gut and your own instincts, more often than not they are the RIGHT instincts, and are an important reaction to consider when you’re trying to make a difficult decision. My gut instinct has never let me down yet, and more often than not, no matter how much toing and froing you do when making a decision, you always end up going with your initial gut instinct.
Do you have any tips or recommendations to help make difficult decisions? I’d love to hear of any situations where you have had a difficult decision to make, and how you managed to make your decision in the end?