For some people, making a decision can cause a lot of anxiety. They might get caught up in a “what if” spiral of all the things that could go wrong for each option and find themselves paralyzed with indecision. If this sounds like you, then don’t worry. There’s plenty of things you can do to get better at making decisions.
The first thing an instructor will teach you in decision making classes is not stress. When you stress, you can hike up your anxiety, and it becomes very difficult to focus. Even if it’s a big decision, try to take a few deep breaths before you start thinking about your options and what you should do. If you can keep your stress under control, then you’ll be able to think clearly and make a rational choice.
Pros and Cons
You’ve probably had someone recommend to you that you should make a pros and cons list. It might sound elementary, but this tactic really works. When you write down all of the good and bad characteristics of potential decisions, it helps you to visualize your thoughts and clear your mind of any extra clutter. For some people, seeing their options in black and white helps them think more rationally and feel more confident about their decision.
Goals and Values
Think about what your goals are and what you value. You want to make sure your decisions align with these two things because if they don’t, you’re almost guaranteed to regret your choice. Sometimes one decision will clearly align with your focus, which can make choosing easy. Other times, however, you might have to think hard about how each option on your plate could contribute to your future success and get you where you want to go.
Talk it Out
Sometimes all you need is a good friend to act as your sounding board as you work through a tough decision. Other people often have different perspectives and might point out things you hadn’t considered or even realized were a factor in your choice. It can also help to know someone is in your corner supporting you when you’re a little shaky about a decision you’ve made. Having a support network to help you through major life choices can be an invaluable tool.
Making decisions is tough, but if you remember not to stress, to make a pros and cons list, remember your goals and values and talk it out with a friend, you’ll be making decisions in no time!