From the big decisions like where to live or what career you want, right down to the small decisions like which chocolate bar you fancy or what film you want to watch, our day to day lives are full of decisions.
I see a lot of people who struggle to make decisions, from the big ones right down to the little ones, so here are a few tips to help you.
Tip 1: Reduce overwhelm
We’ve all been there, staring at the rows upon rows of confectionary or wine or scrolling through rows upon rows of films on Netflix, feeling unable to choose between them.
They all look so good!
When there is so much choice, it can feel very difficult to choose between all of the options and it would be pretty difficult to weigh up the pros and cons of each individual item.
If you have a decision to make which is the equivalent to this and you just don’t know where to start, approach it as you would the faced with all that chocolate, wine or entertainment.
Narrow it down a bit.
- Do you want dark chocolate, milk chocolate or white chocolate?
- Do you want white, red or rose?
- Do you want action, romance or comedy?
Narrow it down a bit more.
- Do you want something nutty, with caramel or biscuit?
- Do you want malbec, chianti or merlot?
You get the idea.
Tip 2: Get realistic
One area people get stuck when making decisions is seeking a perfect option or solution.
Usually, there is not one perfect choice but usually there are a few options that are good enough.
Think of the property programs where the home-buyers have looked at hundreds of properties and rejected each one of them because they were not perfect.
Think of the advice they are often given: you may need to be willing to compromise on some areas to get the other things you want.
Ultimately, there is often more than one ‘right’ choice.
Tip 3: Listen to your head
Writing down the pros and cons of each option may help to gain some clarity.
We often assume that we should be able to do this all in our heads but seeing it written down on paper can make it more concrete.
It can also reduce the tendency to churn it over and over it in your head, which usually leads to feelings of anxiety or confusion.
Tip 4: Listen to your heart
This works well when you have 2 options to chose from and to explain this one I will use an example.
Lets say you have been offered a new job and you don’t know whether to take it or stay in your current position.
Hold out both hands in front of you with your palms facing up.
Imagine your current position in one of your hands.
Visualise what it looks like, notice the environment, the sounds, the physical sensations, how you feel doing this job.
Notice how you feel in your body when you think of this option. Feel the weight of it in your hand.
Then, in the other hand, visualise the new job. How it would look, and sound, what physical sensations do you notice?
How would you feel doing this job? Feel the weight of it in your hand.
Move your attention between the options and notice any changes.
Does one of your hands go up or down?
Are you looking at one hand for longer than the other?
Do you feel one hand closing up or feel physical changes in your body when you attend to one option in particular?
It is up to you to interpret these changes but your body will often give you some strong hints. Often we know the answer already.
Tip 5: Do it with commitment
It is very easy to second-guess yourself but honestly, there is usually more than one right choice.
Once you have made a decision, trust that you made a good choice.
You won’t choose a bad option on purpose, even if the outcome is not what you expect.
If you are prone to looking back on your decisions and beating yourself up for them, watch out for my blog on Hindsight Bias (coming soon) but until then, trust in yourself and your ability to make a good decision.
Lemon Squeezy Wellbeing is launching wellbeing workshops and guided relaxation sessions for the workplace in Jan 2019!
Image Credit: Pixabay