Making a decision is very important. Any decision can have a tremendous impact on your life. So, it’s important that you make the right one. You have to choose wisely in order to bring inspiring moments into your life.
We live in a world where every single aspects of our lives are being uploaded on social media to be commented on by family, friends and even strangers sometimes. So, we can be tempted to leave the decision making to another person so that we don’t need to bear the blunt of any troubles that may come.
But this outside validation is not what is going to help you build a balanced and happy life. On the contrary, the race for the approval of others, is a sure way to get you lost in a spiral of unwanted stress. You can’t please everybody all the time. So, you cannot leave big decisions impacting your life to anybody else but yourself.
You need to build the confidence to trust in yourself and in your capacities to make the right decision. To learn how building confidence will change your life, check this other article here: “How Building Confidence is going to change your Life.”
Here are my three personal tips to help you reach this level of confidence with your decision-making abilities.
1. Follow your Guts
The first impression is often the right one. It’s the one that shows where your heart wants to go. But wait here. It doesn’t mean you have to systematically follow your first idea without ever questioning it.
Whether it is deciding to go on not to a party a schoolmate organised or how far you really want to go with your love interest, your guts are going to tell you right away how you feel about it. Whether you do want to or not.
Look inside you and you will find your answer. You will always know how you feel about any given situation. The difficult part is only are you ready to make this decision? Can you be honest with yourself and admit that’s what you really want to do?
Your intuition is there to offer you guidance and reveals your character. It shows how you really want to live your life and what you really want out of it. It is also a powerful reminder that you are in charge here. You are the one and only person who has any right to make decisions regarding your life. You’re on the driver’s seat. You take your life in the direction you wish for it to go.
There is no such thing as the right path and the wrong path. There is only your path.
When it comes to making a big decision, we can be tempted by the good old pros and cons list. Weighing on a piece of papers what can be the benefit of any choices we have. But deep inside we already know what decision is the right one for us.
Sometimes, there is such a thing as too much information, too much choice. You feel overloaded and even more confused by the amount of data we have to take into consideration. So, you’d be better off listening to your inner voice and going with it.
But a word of caution here, I’m talking about gut instinct. It’s a very different thing from emotional response. Making a decision should never be done under the influence of a strong emotional response to any given situation such as anger, joy, fear or sadness. These would actually alter your judgement and most likely you would later regret the decision you’ve made.
2. Take your Time
This is a very common hard sale technique, putting you under pressure to make a decision rapidly. You feel a sense of emergency and it prevents you from listening to your make an educated decision. Instead the fear of missing out is taking over and you make a decision based on emotion instead of instinct. This leads to you regretting having made the decision and beating yourself up for having done it.
If you’ve been put on the spot and asked to make a quick decision. There’s an element of surprise too there. Surprise them back by asking a lot of follow up questions. This will buy you the time you need to make the right decision instead of an impulse one.
As mentioned earlier, strong emotions are bad when it comes to decision making. If you are about to make a decision and you are angry, overly happy, scared or sad, go for a walk. When we walk, we have the best ideas and make the best decisions. We have left with nothing but ourself and we calm the brain enough for it to return to a neutral state of calm. This is the best state to make decision.
Thinking positively can also help us make the right decision. If you go negatively about a situation and believe that it will all go wrong. You will make sure you’re right by sabotaging yourself and then concluding that it was a bad decision after all. If you go positively about it. You will ensure things go smoothly and won’t regret your decision. To help you develop more your positive thinking muscles, I advice you to read this other article: “The Power of Gratitude.” It will teach you the incredible benefirst of practicing positive thinking.
3. Ask around Smartly
When it comes to your haircut, who do you trust the most, your hairdresser or your GP? Your hairdresser of course. Your GP is a very qualified person, but in its own subject. Everybody has their own speciality. The thing they’re really good at. So, when asking someone for advice, chose wisely. Who’s the best suited to assist you with each decision?
When you get to many opinions, you can easily feel overwhelmed. You’re also afraid to disappoint the ones whose advice you didn’t follow. You may think they will feel left out. At the end of the day, you’re the one who will have to live with the consequences of your decision. So, you need to pick the right person to guide you.
Most likely, the first persons you would go to when it comes to making at important decision are your parents and friends. This is the same at every age. Our parents have wisdom we don’t have because they have more life experience. It makes sense to ask them. Our friends love us and want the best for us. They also have a different view of the situation. Their point of view is valid to us of course.
That should be where it ends, but you have no idea how many more position you actually take into account before making any single decisions. Peer-pressure and the fear of not belonging is a very important factor in your decision-making process. You are influenced by the group and your prediction of how they would react when your decision is made.
Peer pressure can unfortunately lead to bad choices as they are not based on what you want but what you think people want you to want. Stay true to yourself. Never assume a group knows better than you what is good for you. What is wrong is wrong even if everybody is doing it and what is right is right even if nobody is doing it.
There is a lot of pressure around making decision. You need to live with the consequences of whichever one you make. You can feel put on the spot. But making choices is a great way to gain power over your life. And if it does go bad, I trust you’ll be able to learn from it and do better next time.