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Making decisions is an inevitable part of our lives. Whether big or small, decisions shape our actions, determine our destinies, and influence the outcomes we experience. Yet, despite its significance, decision-making can often be daunting and overwhelming. The sheer number of options, the fear of making the wrong choice, and the pressure of potential consequences can leave us feeling paralyzed and uncertain. However, with the right strategies and approaches, we can navigate the decision-making process effectively, making choices that align with our values, goals, and aspirations. In this guide, we will explore a range of techniques and principles that will empower you to make confident and informed decisions, empowering you to take control of your life and shape your desired future. Whether you’re deciding what career to pursue, which house to buy, or even what to have for dinner, this guide will equip you with the tools and mindset needed to make decisions that enhance your life and lead to fulfillment.
This article was co-written by Erin Conlon, PCC, JD. Erin Conlon is an executive life coach, founder of Erin Conlon Coaching, and host of the podcast “This Is Not Advice”. She specializes in helping leaders and executives grow in their careers and personal lives. In addition to her work as a personal trainer, she teaches and trains other coaches, developing and revising training materials to make them more diverse, streamlined, and inclusive. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and history and a doctorate in jurisprudence from the University of Michigan. Erin is a professional coach with the International Federation of Coaches.
There are 20 references cited in this article that you can see at the bottom of the page.
This article has been viewed 27,286 times.
We make decisions every day; Everything we say and do is the result of a decision, whether we do it intentionally or not. With every choice, big or small, there is no easy formula for making the right decision. The best you can do is to approach from as many angles as possible and choose an action plan that seems appropriate and balanced at the time. You may be worried if the decision you need to make is very important. However, there are some simple things you can do to make decision making less intimidating, like identifying the worst-case scenario, creating a spreadsheet, and following your intuition. Read on to learn how to make a decision.
Understand the source of your fear
- For example, you could start taking notes by asking yourself, “What decision do I need to make and what am I afraid might happen if I make the wrong choice?”
- For example, if you need to decide between a full-time job versus a part-time job to spend more time with your kids, think about the worst-case scenario of each possible decision.
- If you choose a full-time job, the worst-case scenario is that you’ll miss important moments in your kids’ development and they’ll blame you for it when they grow up.
- If you choose a part-time job, the worst-case scenario could be that you can’t afford to pay your monthly bills.
- Decide which worst-case scenario will actually happen. It’s easy to “exaggerate the problem,” or attach things to the worst that could happen without taking the time to think. Let’s examine the worst-case scenario you just came up with, and see what would lead to it. Is this likely to happen?  XResearch Sources
- For example, suppose you decide to take up a part-time job to spend time with your children. If you’re having trouble paying your bills as a result, you can reverse the decision by finding a full-time job.
- You might also consider talking to someone who isn’t in that situation and who has a neutral opinion. Usually a therapist is a very helpful person in this situation.
- You might even consider searching online for people who have experience in similar situations. If you’re trying to decide between a full-time job versus a part-time job to spend more time with your kids, you can post your issue on an online parent forum. You’ll see the views of people who have had to make similar decisions as well as some who tell you what they would do in your case.
- Try taking a few deep breaths to calm your mind. If you have more time, go to a quiet room and practice for about 10 minutes of deep breathing.
- To do the deep breathing exercise, start by placing one hand on your abdomen just below your ribs and the other on your chest. As you inhale, you will notice your abdomen and chest rise.  XResearch Sources
- Inhale slowly through the nose. Count to 4 as you inhale. Focus on feeling your breath as your lungs expand.
- Hold your breath for 1-2 seconds.
- Gently exhale through your nose or mouth. Count to 4 as you exhale.
- Repeat this process 6-10 times per minute for 10 minutes.
- For example, if you’re trying to decide between keeping a full-time job or switching to a part-time job to spend more time with your kids, you need to know how much income you’ll lose each month when you switch jobs. You also need to take into account how much time you will spend with your child. Record this information, as well as any relevant information that helps you make a decision.  XResearch Source
- You need to consider other options as well and gather information about them. For example, you might ask your boss if you can work remotely at least a few days a week.
- “Why should I consider a part-time job?” Because I never get to see the kids. “Why can’t I see the kids?” Because I work late most evenings. “Why do I come home late most evenings?” Because the company has a new customer and this takes up a lot of its time. “Why does that take up so much of my time?” Because I try to do good work and hope to be compensated by promotion. “Why do I want to advance?” To earn more money to support the family.
- In this case, the five whys indicate that you are considering reducing your hours even though you hope to get a promotion. Here there is a conflict that needs further research to make the right decision.
- The five whys also suggest that the problem may be temporary, you work a lot because you have a new client. Consider: is there a lot of work time left when you get used to the new client?
- For example, if ambition is your core value, a deep part of your personality, then switching to a part-time job may not be appropriate, as you will no longer pursue ambition. was promoted and became the head of the company.
- Sometimes your core values can conflict with other values. For example, you have both ambition and family orientations that are both core values. You need to prioritize one value over the other to make decisions. By understanding which values will be affected by the decision, you will be able to make the right decision.
- You should also consider the impact of your problem or decision on others. Could the consequences have a negative effect on the people you care about? Consider other values in the decision-making process, especially if you are married or have children.
- For example, the decision to switch to a part-time job might positively affect your children because it means they’ll have more time with you, but it could hurt you because you have to give up. ambition to be promoted. It also has a negative impact on your family by reducing your income.
- Of course, you don’t have to put the list down on paper. Maybe that list just needs to be in your head!
- You can always remove items from the list later, but crazy ideas can lead to creative solutions you haven’t considered anywhere else.
- For example, you can find another full-time job at the company that doesn’t require much overtime. You can hire people to do housework, to have free time for your family. You can even create a “family work” evening where everyone works together in the same room to help you feel more connected.
- Studies also show that too many choices can lead to clutter and make decisions harder.  XResearch Sources Once you have your list, cross out options that are completely unrealistic. Try to keep about five choices on the list.
- To create a spreadsheet, create columns for each of the options under consideration. Create two sub-columns in each column to compare the benefits and losses of each possible outcome. Use + and – signs to define what is positive and what is negative.
- You can also give a value score for each issue on the list. For example, you might rate +5 for “will eat dinner with the kids every night” in the “Switch to Part-Time Job” list. On the other hand, you can score -20 for the content “will reduce income by 10 million VND per month” in the same list.
- After completing the spreadsheet, you can add up the value points and determine which decision has the highest score. Remember that you may not be able to make a decision just by doing this.
- It’s important to ask questions and gather information or knowledge before making a decision, but if you want to make really smart and creative decisions, you need to stop thinking or at least think slowly. again. Breathing meditation is one of the unstructured methods to create silence between thoughts to allow the creativity and wisdom of the universe to seep into you. This unstructured method does not require you to spend a lot of time as you can be aware of your breath while doing everyday tasks like cooking, brushing teeth, going for a walk, etc. For more details and For other methods, read articles in the same category.
- Consider the following example: A musician has the knowledge and information (tools) to write music such as playing an instrument, singing, writing songs, etc., but the creative intelligence is conveyed through the main new instrument. is what drives those tools. Yes, knowledge of musical instruments, singing, etc. is important, but it is the creative intelligence that makes up the essence of the song.
- A smart decision may appear impulsive, but notice if you still feel the same way after a while. And that’s why you need a pause after gathering information, asking questions to make informed decisions.
- Experiment: Notice the quality of the action after you take a deep breath compared to the action that occurs at first impulsively.
- Try role-playing when using this method. Sit next to an empty chair and pretend you’re talking to someone.
- If you don’t want to sit and talk alone, you can try writing a letter to yourself asking for advice. Begin the letter by writing: “Dear X, I have looked at your situation. In my opinion, the best thing you should do is ____”. Continue writing your letter by stating your point of view (from an outsider’s perspective).
- To play counter-argument, try to argue against any good reason to make the preferred choice. If giving feedback is easy, you need to make another choice.
- For example, if you’re inclined to work part-time to spend more time with your kids, counter that by pointing out that you’ve spent a lot of time with your kids on weekends and vacations. You could also argue that the money and advancement opportunities you lose are worth skipping a few family dinners because they’re better for the kids than spending a few extra hours with the kids in the morning. dark. That also benefits your promotion, worth your consideration.
- Doing things out of guilt can also be dangerous because it causes us to make decisions that don’t align with our values.  XResearch Sources XResearch Sources
- One way to identify the motivations of guilt is to look for statements in the form of “need” or “must”.  XResearch Source For example, you might feel like “Good parents need to spend all their time with their children” or “Mr A who works for X now is definitely a bad dad”. Such statements are based on external judgment, not on your worth.
- So, to determine if your decisions are driven by guilt, take a step back and examine the real situation, as well as your personal values (core beliefs that shape your life). your life) tells you what is true. Are the kids really affected because you work full time? Or do you think so because that’s how others tell you to “need” to feel that way?
- For example, do you think in 10 years you will regret your decision to switch to a part-time job? If so then why? What will you get in 10 years of full-time work that you don’t get when working part-time?
- Ask yourself what to do. If you have good intuition and know which decision will give you the greatest satisfaction, lean toward that decision. It’s change and being uncomfortable with what we don’t know that makes making decisions difficult.
- Taking a moment to reflect can help you feel your intuition.
- The more decisions you make, the better you hone and sharpen your intuition.  XResearch Sources
- Having a contingency plan also allows you to deal with unprecedented challenges or obstacles with flexibility. The ability to adapt to unforeseen situations can directly affect the success of the decision.
- No scenario is perfect. When you make a decision, do it with all your heart as best you can so you don’t regret it and don’t worry because other decisions aren’t chosen.
- Treat all options equally well if you’ve been thinking about the decision for a long time. In that case, every option has major pros and cons. You will make a decision if one of the options proves to be superior to the previous options.
- Remember that you may not have enough information to make the right decision. Do some more research if it’s hard for you to narrow down the options. You also need to understand that the information you need may not be available. After reviewing the information you have, you may have to go ahead and make a decision.
- After the decision is made, important new information emerges indicating the need to revise or radically change your original decision. Be ready to go through the decision-making process again if that happens. Flexibility is a great skill.
- Limit time if a decision has to be made early or if the decision is not very important. The risk of “analysis deadlock” is real. If you’re trying to decide which movie to rent for the weekend, don’t spend an hour jotting down the titles.
- If you try too hard, you may overlook the obvious. Avoid thinking too much.
- Avoid giving too many options. Researchers have found that our unwillingness to limit our choices leads to unsuccessful decisions.  XResearch Sources
- List advantages and disadvantages! You can also list the options, and reduce them down to only two possibilities. Talk to everyone about them to make a final decision.
- Remember that at some point, no decision becomes a decision to do nothing, which can be the worst decision ever.
- Treat every experience as a lesson. By making important decisions, you will always learn to face the consequences and even use obstacles as lessons to grow and adapt.
- Avoid stressing yourself too much. That only makes things worse.
- Stay away from people who act like they want the best for you but assume they know it and you don’t. Their suggestions may be right, but if they don’t consider your feelings and concerns, they may well be very, very wrong. You should also avoid people who distrust you.
This article was co-written by Erin Conlon, PCC, JD. Erin Conlon is an executive life coach, founder of Erin Conlon Coaching, and host of the “This Is Not Advice” podcast. She specializes in helping leaders and executives grow in their careers and personal lives. In addition to her work as a personal trainer, she teaches and trains other coaches, developing and revising training materials to make them more diverse, streamlined, and inclusive. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and history and a doctorate in jurisprudence from the University of Michigan. Erin is a professional coach with the International Federation of Coaches.
There are 20 references cited in this article that you can see at the bottom of the page.
This article has been viewed 27,286 times.
We make decisions every day; Everything we say and do is the result of a decision, whether we do it intentionally or not. With every choice, big or small, there is no easy formula for making the right decision. The best you can do is to approach from as many angles as possible and choose an action plan that seems appropriate and balanced at the time. You may be worried if the decision you need to make is very important. However, there are some simple things you can do to make decision-making less intimidating, like identifying the worst-case scenario, creating a spreadsheet, and following your intuition. Read on to learn how to make a decision.
In conclusion, making a decision can be a challenging process, but by following these steps, it becomes more manageable. Firstly, identifying and understanding the problem or situation is crucial in order to make an informed decision. Secondly, gathering and evaluating all relevant information is necessary to ensure that all available options are considered. Thirdly, considering one’s own values, priorities, and goals can help in aligning the decision with personal aspirations. Additionally, involving others in the decision-making process can provide valuable insights and perspectives. Finally, once a decision has been made, it is important to trust oneself and take action. It is important to remember that decision-making is a skill that can be developed and improved over time with practice. Ultimately, by following these steps and being confident in one’s ability to make decisions, individuals can feel more empowered and in control of their lives.
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