Making decisions has got a whole lot harder in recent years, mainly due to living in a constant state of overwhelm that hits us from every direction. Now I am not talking about making a decision about what to have on our pizza, but more significant decisions like the direction we want our lives to take, decisions in our relationships, our business, big financial decisions and other important and real areas of our lives.
How many of us waste years in a dead-end job or relationship because we don't make a decision to do something about it? Part of the whole over-analysis paralysis issue is that feeling overwhelmed stops us from making decisions.
I meet so many business owners who should simply get out of their business. It doesn't make them any money, their lives stink, there is nothing on the horizon that is going to change and worst of all they know it. But they hang on for far longer than they should, and spend years struggling when they should have made a very hard decision to move on long ago.
When it comes to making decisions, especially the big ones, I adopt the following approach:
- I make sure I have the facts (not the emotions).
- I listen to my intuition, what is it saying?
- I think about the worst that can happen.
- I think about the best that can happen.
- I make a decision, accept responsibility for making that decision and move on.
I know too many people who have spent a lifetime trying to make a decision. By the time they do, it is too late. Sometimes right or wrong doesn't matter as much as making a decision does.
There is also a sense of relief when you finally make a decision. It is very powerful when you stand up and say, 'I have made a decision - I am going to do this.........". The more you say it the better it feels and the easier it becomes to make the tough decisions.
The final part of this decision-making process is to learn that once you make your decision, move on. Just as it is a waste of life to be stuck in a state of procrastination, it is also a waste to spend a life stuck in regret over bad decisions. One thing I am very clear about is that I have learned so much from each and every mistake I have made in my life that I am now eternally grateful for making them.
So if you struggle to make decisions, about big or small things, today is the day to change. Start small if you need to and work up to the big stuff. Be realistic about the pros and cons and once you make up your mind, proclaim it out loud and move on with your life, happy with the decision you've made.