Everyone faces small and large decisions throughout the course of their life. Not everyone approaches life decisions in the same way. Some find it easy to reach the right choice, while others have a very hard time figuring out what to do. If you fall into the latter group, you probably wish you could just go ahead and make a choice already.
If you’re someone who has trouble deciding what to do when you’re faced with a hard choice, use the easy tips on this list to help you reach a decision, no matter what you’re up against. Once you have these tools under your belt, you should be able to face hard decisions in your life without batting an eye.
Quit Making Routine Decisions
If you’re faced with a salad or soup at lunch and you always choose the salad, take a few minutes to weigh your options next time you’re out to eat. By training your brain to think it over for a few minutes, you are better able to look at both sides of a bigger choice and figure out which one works best for you.
This practice also helps remove spur of the moment decisions or the safe choice or the choice that’s always worked before. When you’re facing a huge choice, such as moving to a new city or taking a new job, you don’t want to be blasé about it and make a rash decision. So use small everyday choices to teach your brain how to react when faced with something bigger.
Ask “What If” Questions
Many people err on the side of caution when faced with a big choice. Maybe you’ve been offered a new job in another country or your significant other just asked you to move in with them. Your first instinct might be to say “no” because it’s safer and more comfortable to keep going the way you have been all along.
If your gut kicks in right away, take a few minutes to ask yourself what could happen if you made the other choice. Maybe you’ll find out that the new job is just what you’ve been looking for all along. Or perhaps you’ll find out that your current partner is your soulmate and you will be so glad you moved in together. This method helps you weigh both sides of the issue in an objective way.
Set A Time Limit
If you have a big decision and you simply can’t fathom how you’re going to choose, setting a time limit can help you reach a decision. When you have a deadline it forces you to spend the time necessary to go over the pros and cons so that you can reach a choice without taking more time than you have.
So, if you’re deciding whether to move or take a new job, give yourself a few days to think about it. That should be sufficient time to come to some sort of conclusion about which side of the issue makes more sense for you. Try to keep your emotions out of it and only weigh your options objectively.
Forget Your Fear
This will be very hard to do, but when you remove fear from the equation, you are better able to face the choices in front of you without letting your feelings get in the way. For most people, big changes cause discomfort and fear, so even when the scary choice is the best, you may shy away from it because you’re more comfortable where you are.
By removing that fear from the situation, you can assess both your choices and reach the decision that you need to make for yourself and your family. Try considering the decision as if you’re helping a friend make a choice. This can help you see it from a perspective that isn’t being ruled by fear and uncertainty.
Don’t Gather More Information
When you’re facing a big decision, it can seem natural to seek out more information so that you can make an educated choice. However, some experts say that too much info gathering can actually get in the way of making a choice. When you are on overload, it gets hard to separate everything out, and your brain and emotions will simply shut down and forget about it for a while.
Resist the urge to get more info and simply use what you have right now to make the choice. You’ll find that without all the extra data clogging up your mind and heart, you can probably reach the right decision without having to do any more research.
Imagine Living With The Decision
As you’re weighing your options, imagine what your life will be like with both decisions. Consider how you’ll feel if you give up your dream job because you don’t want to move, or think about how you’ll feel if you lose a partner because you’re afraid of taking the next step.
Now think about what life will be like in the new town or the new apartment and consider how those changes will enhance your life or how they will make things harder and less desirable. Chances are that simply envisioning what your life will look like will help you make the decision.
Make A List
If you’re still having a hard time deciding, make a pros and cons list in which you write down all the good and bad from either choice. Having it all in front of you in writing is a powerful way to see the obvious choice. You can have someone look at the list with you so you don’t forget anything, or you could seek input from impartial people in your life that can offer valuable advice that you may not have considered before.
Combine this task with a few of the others for an even chance of successfully making a decision. Use only the information you already have, and set a time limit for weighing the pros and cons. That way, your list comes in handy right now instead of just getting shoved into a drawer and forgotten about.
Making hard life decisions is something everyone faces at one time or another. Having the tools and skills necessary to make the right one is something you’ll be so glad you had. Making choices will become easier and more of a second-nature type of thing when you practice and use these tips for making the choice quickly and keeping it from totally interfering with the rest of your life.
If you find out you’ve made the wrong choice, go ahead and do what it takes to reverse the decision and go back to the way things were before. There’s something to be learned from making the wrong choice; it can help teach you what to do differently next time you’re faced with a similar decision.