Do you suffer from “decision paralysis?” People who do, often find themselves procrastinating. When they dig a little deeper, they discover that their indecision is fear-based.
- What if I make a mistake?
- What if I fail?
- It doesn’t feel right.
- What if it doesn’t work?
- I have no idea what to do!
Those are common fears I hear from my clients.
Here are some tips to consider when making a decision:
- Decide What You Want – In any decision – you are in control by deciding what your desired outcome is. How does your decision fit with the outcome that you want?
For example: You want to lose 10 pounds by July 1st so you can look good at your upcoming company event. Saying no to activities that will tempt you to eat and drink may not be the right decision for the next few months. You don’t want to let your friends down by not attending their parties, but this weight goal is pretty important to you. Stick with your desired outcome.
- Alignment – Your decision has to align with who you are and what you believe in. If it doesn’t feel right, if it causes stress and anxiety – you might want to rethink it. Our emotions are a powerful source of identification of a potential problem. There is of course facts and logic about making decisions, however what may work well for one person may not work well for another. We all have our own capacity and we need to recognize that. It’s also ok to push yourself outside your comfort zone. Only you know what you can or can not handle.
- Impact – Consider how your decision will impact what is important (i.e. other people, your financial situation, your reputation, your health, your goals, your family, your home or work – your customers, your department, your budget, etc.). This is similar to looking at the pros and cons of a decision.
- Educate Yourself – Gather all the relevant facts so that you make an informed decision. You can research on your own and you can also ask for feedback from others whom you trust. Hearing different perspectives helps to broaden your frame of reference and certainly, the more information you have, the better your decision will be.
- Uncover Your Fears – Write out what you are afraid of and then continue to think about the worst that could happen for each fear. Evaluate how ‘bad’ each worst-case scenario really is. You may find they aren’t as bad as you originally thought.
- Find Your “Out” – If this does not work out – what are your options – your plan B? If you decide to go ahead and it doesn’t work out – what steps will you need to take? Who will you need to talk to? Remember – there is always an alternative. You are never stuck.
There are ideas here that have worked for others, and may work for you. I encourage you to make your own checklist of considerations when making a decision. Keep it close by, so you can refer to it. Give yourself a time frame and work through your checklist – every time you feel it difficult to make a decision. After a while, you will automatically go through your considerations and you will find it a much easier process.