Life is all about decisions: what to wear today, what to have for breakfast, who to go out with tonight. Most of us make those kinds of decisions based on how we feel at the time, but what about when you have really big decisions to make, like what and where to study, whether to get a part-time job or if it’s time to break up with your boy/girlfriend? If you don’t have a method, having to choose can be paralysing.
The next time you’re faced with a big decision, try these strategies:
Make one choice at a time
For example, if you’re trying to work out what to study, which college to go to and where you’ll live, indentify the first decision you need to make and make that, then move onto the next one. So you first need to know what you want to study, then you’ll be able to narrow down your college choice to the ones that offer that subject. After that, you’ll obviously want to live somewhere close by, which narrows your choices further – so it gets easier as you go along.
Apply your mind
On a blank piece of paper make two columns, one for Pros and one for Cons. Under Pros, brainstorm all the practical reasons you can think of why a particular action would work for you. Then under Cons, write down all the practical reasons why it wouldn’t. Sometimes it even helps to detach from the process by pretending you’re doing it for a friend.
Feel it out
Now that you’ve got the logical head stuff out of the way, move across to a different decision-making centre: your heart. How does it feel about your options? Which one feels good to you? Which one excites you?
Now imagine it’s 10 years in the future and you’ve chosen one option. How did it work out for you? Now try it with your other option/s.
The truth is that we can analyse all we want but true fulfilment and success comes when we’re fully engaged and passionate about what we’re doing. If you have to talk yourself into doing something, it’s probably not a good decision for you. Listen to your inner knowing of what’s right for you and find a way to follow that.