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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

10 May 2016

I love supporting and helping people to achieve the clarity to make empowered and confident decisions. Having spent the past few months making some very big decisions of my own, I reflected on just how uncomfortable the decision-making process can be at times! Thanks to some simple tools and strategies, that doesn’t need to be the case.
 
Decision-making is the process of choosing between two or more alternatives. This could be which house to buy, which job to choose, or which ice-cream flavour to select. You would think the more important the decision, the greater the level of discomfort. But that isn’t always the case. I can get myself into an excruciating indecision cycle when presented with a selection of gourmet ice-creams.
 
These days we are blessed with so many choices in every area of our lives. Yet, the abundance of choice doesn’t always feel like a blessing. The reality is decision-making can be difficult and uncomfortable. You can go on an endless search for information, or seek others advice and opinion only to become even more confused than you were previously. Oh, and then there’s that sense of ‘buyers remorse’!
 
So, what gets in our way?  

  • The ‘best quest’ – the notion of not wanting to commit to one thing in case there is something better.
  • Fear of making the wrong decision – this fear (like it’s close friend ‘fear of failure’) can kill momentum and result in us making no choice at all … which in itself is actually a choice.
  • Analysis paralysis – like a Beagle following a scent, you end up so fixated on collecting supporting data that the analysis process slows (or even prevents) the decision. Preston Smiles articulates this beautifully in his 4 min video on Paralysis of Analysis (click here). 

What can we do about it?

Decisions form in three areas of our body – our head, our heart and our gut. Build self-awareness to know which is your dominant style.

  • If you tend to be quite analytical, make a list of the data you will require, collect it, identify your options … then decide! 
  • If you are very intuitive, listen to your instinct and trust it. You already know in your gut that it guides you in the right direction 99% of the time!
  • Your heart helps you identify when your decision feels right. If it doesn’t feel right, there is a good chance fear is getting in the way. Ask yourself:
    • “What am I actually afraid of?”
    • “Is that fear justified or may it be stemming from beliefs which no longer serve me?”

Name the fear and identify ways to overcome it. For more tips on overcoming your fears, check out my blog Fear of Failure.
 
If you’re still stuck, flip a coin. Seriously! It’s a very fast way of achieving clarity. See, it’s not actually about whether the coin says heads or tails. What matters is how you feel when you see the heads or tails. Excited? Relieved? Disappointed? Be aware and be honest with yourself.
 
Rest assured, even a so-called ‘wrong’ decision takes you a leap closer to making the right decision … therefore, it was never ‘wrong’.

You decided … you learned … and you always get to decide again if required!
 
Have a wonderfully decisive day!

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