We all make decisions every single day. Thousands of them, even!
But these everyday decisions don’t always seem to have a huge impact on our lives, and many of them are ultimately insignificant. It’s easy to decide to hit the snooze button one more time, to get french fries instead of salad, or to pick up flowers for our spouse on the way home from work..
But what about those big, scary, life-changing decisions that have us curling up in bed, shying away from a definitive choice?
Whether you’re picking a career path, choosing a life partner, or simply trying to become more decisive in general, here are a few things you can try if you’re having a hard time facing or making those tough decisions.
Understand Why Your Tough Decisions Are Tough
If you take some time to understand why the decision you have to make is such a tough one, you might just have an easier time understanding which choice or option is the right one.
Are you simply indecisive, or does this decision have a big effect on your life or the lives of people around you?
Some of you might be facing huge decisions that will take your life in one direction or an entirely opposite one.
Alternatively, if you’re the kind of person who spends three hours trying to choose a thirty-minute television show to watch, it’s important to acknowledge that making a decision is tough, but you might not be facing the toughest decisions.
Consider if there’s an obvious right and wrong choice. If you know, deep down, that one option will have you unable to look yourself in the mirror, maybe the choice is simpler than you previously thought.
Before you make a decision, try to understand why you’re having trouble making a decision.
Ask yourself some questions, really think about your answers, and you might come out with a much clearer idea of how you really feel and what you really want.
Asking “what do I really want?” might be too simplistic, but you might try questions like “what is appealing to me about this option?” or “what scares me about this one?”.
Beyond asking yourself questions, take note of how you are feeling when you’re considering your tough decisions. If you’re excited about one thing and filled with dread about another, maybe your choice isn’t as difficult as you think. But if the choice is tough, your feelings will likely be less straightforward than excitement and dread, but you get the idea.
If you try to align your tough decisions with your life purpose or your personal values, it will be much easier to know which direction is the right one for you.
This, of course, means that you have to understand and define yourself, your values, and your direction. Gaining awareness and being true to who you are will make your tough decisions easier. Follow the path of least resistance.
Reflection and introspection are valuable tools when it comes to decision making. Try reflecting on past tough decisions you’ve had to make, how you eventually came to a conclusion, and what the outcome was.
Trust your instincts, go with your gut, listen to your heart, and all that fun stuff.
We’ve all heard by now that flipping a coin is the best way to figure out what you really want. If you flip a coin, pull an option from a hat, or pick a finger and feel disappointed with the outcome, you have your choice.
Deep down, we know what we need and, sometimes, we know what we want. If you experience a visceral reaction, negative or positive, when you’re considering your options, your body has a valid point and shouldn’t be ignored.
Get It All Out
Set aside some time to give careful thought to your decision.
Sit down, talk it out or write it out. If your decision is important and life-changing, it’s important to not act too hastily.
Talk to friends, family, people who your choice might affect. Not only will openly discussing your tough decisions help you understand them, but your friends and family might have some valuable insights. You are not alone!
Sometimes, when we’re overwhelmed, it can be difficult to make decisions, reach conclusions, or even form a coherent thought. It can be helpful and revelational to either write down or talk about what’s going on.
Take A Step Back
If you get too overwhelmed, you’ll have an even harder time reaching a conclusion.
Sometimes we just need to unwind and stop thinking about it for a while. Stress can make us make the wrong choices, so take some time off from your difficult decision until you can wake up, stress-free.
You might have people trying to sway you from every angle, you might be under time pressure, or you might be hiding under the bed avoiding making a decision at all costs. No matter what, there’s time to stop and breathe.
Remember that if you find yourself trying to convince yourself of something or having to talk yourself into something, it’s probably a sign that that’s not the thing you want or the path you want to take.
Good decisions usually feel right without too much second-guessing.
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