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Making Decisions

Decision making requires choosing between two or more options. It is amazing to have options, but circumstantially speaking, the options in front of you may be challenging. Decisions can hold different significance, and the amount of significance can sometimes determine how challenging it is to come to a conclusion.

Unfortunately, none of us are equipped with a time machine, and it is impossible to determine the outcome of any decision you make. It is human nature to be uncomfortable or challenged by change. This can make decision making feel like a debilitating process. There are almost always emotions involved and fear can creep up and stop you in your tracks making it difficult to move forward. Thankfully, there are some effective ways you can make a well thought out decision and overcome your fears.

Keep it Simple

This does not apply to all decisions, but you can always consult with your own reason and intuition.

Intuition is a combination of your past experiences and your values. Your intuition reflects what you have learned in your life, and when you have those strong feelings against, or in favor of something, your intuition is likely at play. When feelings in favor of or against something surface, it is a good idea to ask yourself why you are having these feelings. When asking yourself why you may unveil your own biases.

Reason covers the facts and figures of decision making. Reason is tethered to the present moment and is not based in emotion. Because emotions are not considered when reasoning, reason is usually better for simple decisions, or decisions that can be made more quickly.

Reason can be a great starting point because it is helpful to gather the “facts and figures,” and once the fact and figures are all sorted out it becomes more reasonable to tap into intuition, considering questions like does this feel right? How does this answer make you feel?

There are many decisions that require both intuition and reason. These sorts of decisions require structure, and careful consideration. These same big decisions require checking impulsiveness at the door.

There is of course some level of emotional commitment decision making requires. Emotional commitment helps with implementation and the effectiveness of the decision you have made. While your commitment to your decision is important so is the ability to convince others that your decision holds merit, especially if you are making an organizational decision.

Another question to consider, what is the long-term impact this decision will have on your happiness? Are the effects of the decision you are making negligible? This might point to the fact that you should not over expend energy on this particular decision.

Other Decision Making Considerations

You can imagine each decision as the only option available to you, how does this make you feel? This is a great strategy for coming to a conclusion you are satisfied with. If you discover that your options hold the same weight, that both could easily be THE option, the weight of this decision is not likely major. Consider the only option method for something like choosing where you would like to go on vacation, if the options on the table hold the same weight, make it simple by flipping a coin.

Remember, being 100% confident in your decision is mostly a rare occasion and usually an unreasonable expectation. Thankfully, with some specific attention to details, taking time to weigh the pros and cons, and determining which option holds a greater percentage of certainty will help you more easily come to a decision that makes sense.

Sometimes there are factors at play that do not support effective decision making. Perhaps you do not have enough information to effectively make the decision. This is where you reach back to reason, gathering those facts and figures to consider all parts and pieces of the choices in front of you. Making an informed decision usually requires having an appropriate amount of information.

On the flip side there is such a thing as too much information. This can lead to confusion and there may even be conflicting information. Have you ever heard of “analysis paralysis”? This is when you get caught in your own internal feedback loop. This can be as debilitating as fear. If you are dealing with organizational decision making, analysis paralysis may require getting everyone together in order to consider what is important, and why.

But, since there is always opposition at play, there is the potential to have “too many hands in the pot.” It is important to be careful of inviting too many people to sit at the decision making table. When there are too many people involved, there can be too many opinions, ideas, and views. This can over complicate decision making.

Take note, decision making can be held up because of your resistance, or others resistance to change. Again, resistance to change is human nature. Finding acceptance for change is not easy for most people, but heartfelt acceptance and leaning into your own empowerment and confidence are like unleashing a superpower. You may soon discover that decision making can help you move forward with confidence.

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