SO MANY DECISIONS TO MAKE, BUT WHICH ONE IS BEST?
Over the past few months, I’ve had to make so many decisions. Especially with regards to my company and where I needed to change to adapt to the shutdown. In fact, I’m still making pretty big decisions because the one area of my business that made the most revenue (corporate workshops) may be on hold for quite some time.
I’ve been ensuring that I’m not just making the decisions from my mind, but also my heart. When I let my mind be the front show runner, I often feel stuck because it creates a mental movie of all the things that could go wrong. This can paralyze me from making any decision at all, or not going with my gut instinct because I’m afraid.
We make hundreds of decisions every week. From minor, what should I eat tonight? To major, should I change careers? The decision-making starts from the moment we wake up, so it’s only natural that there are times when we struggle and become indecisive. Small decisions can sometimes cause more anxiety than big ones because there are so many of them, often hundreds to thousand in a week.
Why do we struggle? Besides the obvious of just having so many decisions to make! There are many reasons. A few being:
We are afraid of the outcome. The unknown can be scary.
Fear of failure.
We don’t want to make a mistake.
We doubt ourselves.
Regret from past decisions.
Upsetting someone else and feeling guilty about it.
If you find yourself paralyzed by making a decision, I thought it would be great to share some tips on how to make decision making easier. I believe that these worries above will always be with us – it is part of our human conditioning, but it doesn’t need to paralyze us, so here are 7 steps you can try the next time you have to make a decision that causing you anxiety or stress. I am working on it this as well, so if you want to make big, medium or small decisions together, message me and we can become each others accountability partners.
Step 1: Pause and Breathe
The more stressed you are about making the decision, the more difficult it will be. Take a moment, close your eyes and relax your body and mind. Making a decision from a restful place will ensure that you don’t make a knee-jerk reaction that you might regret later. Take the time to ensure you feel right about the choice you are making. The bigger the decision, the more time you should take.
What does your gut tell you?
What was the first decision you wanted to make before your mind got involved and played out the movie in your head that scared you?
If you need to, meditate for 5 minutes every single day with the intention that you desire clarity. Trust me, it will come.
Step 2: Set a Date
There is a difference between taking time to make a decision and procrastinating because you are afraid. Procrastination is the best way to not move forward. I am famous for this! Set a date in your calendar, and on that date, make a decision. “I will make a decision by…” When that date comes, you are going to be prepared and take action. No excuses, just action!
And, you are going to trust your gut. Your inner guide knows best…ALWAYS.
If you are setting a date, meditate on it every single day until that date. Just 5 minutes with the intention I mentioned above, which is clarity.
Step 3: Picture It
Visualizing yourself in the decision helps you see the choices you might have to face. Visualize the outcome, how you feel, what you want, who is there with you. See yourself actually living in it. Visualizing is a great tool to help you become unstuck. Seeing yourself in a positive situation will help inspire you, and often removes the fear by motivating you to move forward and take action.
It also helps do something really important. Yup, you guessed it, trust your gut.
Step 4: Create a Pros and Cons List
Research your options, and speak to other people who have made a similar decision. This helps you get unstuck when you are caught between two choices. The more options you have, the more information you have to make it easier to make the decision. Which one has more pros? Which one really inspires you and makes you say, “Yes, this is exactly what I want to do.”
The YESES! are the decision you probably want to make. Trust your gut!
Step 5: Make a Choice and Be Prepare To Live With The Outcome – Positive or Negative.
It isn’t the end of the world if you made a decision and the outcome wasn’t what you expected. Just refocus, reset and move forward. Think of it as just a detour. You can’t rewind, so there is no point holding on to the negativity and disappointment. Take the lessons learned and move forward.
What is the lesson?
What will you do differently next time?
Failure only exists if you don’t try. When you try, there is winning and there are lesson. We learn from our successes, but also our failures.
Step 6: Keep a Success Journal
Every time a decision goes well, note how you made it happen. Writing about your successes is an amazing tool for motivation and inspiration. Often, we forget about all the great things that we have done because we are stressed or focused on something negative. If you are someone who gets paralyzed by change, and making the “wrong” decision, I recommend keeping track of all your successes. Think of it as your own personal troubleshooting manual, guidebook, or I’m so freaking awesome list. It is something to help you in the future when you feel stuck.
And look at that, another great tool to remind yourself that you can trust your gut 🙂
“Don’t judge your past decisions. Regret gets you nowhere. Try to remember past decisions with empathy and compassion.”
-Alicia D. Domar-
Step 7: Assess Your Decision
Ask yourself if the outcome is what you expected. If yes, put it in your success journal. If no, ask yourself what you would do differently next time. Create a list of all the things you will do when faced with a similar decision in the future. That way, when it comes up, you are already prepared and ready to take action. Prepare for future obstacles by already having the solution. This isn’t future tripping, it is training your mind to be solution based.
Decision Making Time
What is one decision you are wavering on? Can these steps help you through the process? If they resonate with you, try them on for size.
There is often a reason you are resisting making a decision, or are afraid. It is often a limiting belief, or something coming up from the past. Let’s unpack it in your journal.
Write down a decision you have to make but have been feeling paralyzed to make it.
Don’t overthink this, just write the first thing that comes to mind. What is coming up for you mentally and emotionally as to why you have been putting the decision off? If is fear, what are you actually afraid of? If is a limiting belief, perhaps you feel not good enough, why don’t you feel good enough?
This will help you begin to see what the obstacle actually is, not what your mind has perceived it to be with the mental movie it has been playing you.