Making Difficult Decisions Easier

_DSC6288When we’re going through a significant adversity or challenge, often it’s the not the challenge that presents the difficulty.  It’s the decisions that we must make during the challenge that creates stress and anxiety.

Big decisions wreak havoc on your emotions and clouds your mind so you can’t make solid decisions.  Your short-term emotions get in the way of decisions and it clouds your judgment.  Making difficult decisions quickly and clearly is a skill that we all must master so that we can Rebirth the Soul of any challenge from a place of empowerment.

Here are a few strategies that you can use to make those big decisions:

  1. Limit the amount of information you take in.  There’s a big difference between making an educated decision and analysis paralysis.  We seek information from our friends, family, the Internet – anywhere and everywhere!  Information overload gives you too many facts and opinions.  Instead of talking to everyone, talk to a few people that you really trust and take it from there.
  2. Empower your inner contrarian.  We are prone to making the same choices over and over again.  We have a behavior that is familiar to us and it becomes our default behavior.  This might sound crazy but as you are weighing options, throw one in there that is exact opposite of what you always do. Step outside your comfort zone and use your imagination to test some completely new ideas.
  3. Pretend like you’re advising a friend.  This helps take the emotion out of the decision and gives you third-party perspective.  You probably give your friends great advice because you have no vested emotional interest.  Step back and do the same for yourself.
  4. Give yourself time to make the decision.  The worst thing you can do is act in haste.
  5. Reflect on past difficult decisions and how you made them.  Take what worked and throw out what didn’t.
  6. Consider whether or not you will be able to look proudly in the mirror the next day.  If you can, you’ve made the right decision.
  7. Know that it’s alright to make mistakes!  We learn from them and move on. Very few decisions are irreversible.
  8. Are you talking yourself into it?  If you have to talk yourself into something, it’s most likely the wrong decision.
  9. Go with your first instinct.  The minute you second guess yourself or doubt your choice then it all goes downhill.
  10. Let go of fear.  There is no right or wrong decision.  There’s just a decision made in this moment.  The only bad decision is indecision..

My absolute favorite way to make difficult decision is to answer three simple questions:

 

What’s the worst that can happen?

 

How likely is that to happen?

 

Can I deal with it if it does happen?

 

Everyone’s idea of what constitutes a big decision and what doesn’t is different.  It could be buying a house, getting married, getting divorced, move across the country, quitting your job or sometimes, just deciding what movie to see!  Regardless of the decision that you’re facing, using some of the strategies offered here or answering my three favorite questions will make the decision a bit easier on yourself so you won’t have regrets in the end.