How to make a decision

How to make a decision that will benefit your life? Making a tough decision can seem like an impossible choice, especially when it seems like the consequences might change the course of your life. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and want to shy away from making those hard choices altogether. 

If you’re reading this, then there is probably a good chance that you feel stuck at a crossroads. Whether the decision you need to make is related to your career, family, love life or even what you’re going to have for dinner, this article can help you make better decisions that will benefit your life now and in the future. 

How many decisions do we make a day?

Did you know that we make approximately 35,000 decisions every single day, that’s an amazing 245,000 decisions made every week, and when you actually think about it, it is quite plausible. 

From the moment you wake up in the morning, you repeatedly make decisions throughout the day on what to do next; what will you have for breakfast? should you brush your teeth now or after the shower? All of these thoughts lead to a decision-making process in the brain; you don’t have time to sit and have a coffee, so you throw it in your to-go mug and rush out the door. 

How do we make a decision?

For some decisions, we can make them on the spot, almost instantly, without giving them too much thought. For the harder decisions in life, though, they will take time to ponder, dwell over and give consideration to. 

how to make a decision

Psychologists say that most of our decision-making is driven by emotion as opposed to a logical process. We don’t always make the best decisions based on facts, even when they are led out in front of us. Emotion plays a huge role in the decisions we make and it’s a factor we need to consider when trying to make the right ones to benefit our life.

How are business decisions made?

Business decisions involve a lot more strategic thinking, – they are based on logic and data research, as opposed to emotionally charged decisions. In an increasingly competitive environment, strategic planning is necessary for businesses to survive.

There is an increasing trend for using business intelligence tools, in order to help them evaluate their input and output data for performance enhancement. In business decisions, it is a lot easier to separate emotions and make decisions that will benefit the business, its reputation and profitability. 

Why can’t I make decisions?

People that cannot make decisions in life are called indecisive. It is a common trait that many people struggle with, and it can get in the way of leading the life you want to lead. It can affect the smallest decisions in life, from what you’re going to have for dinner to the more impactful decisions that could change the trajectory of your life. 

How to make a decision

Many things can cause someone to have an indecisive nature; some reasons might be situational, whilst others could be the result of a mental health condition or due to someone’s personality type. 

Some of the reasons why you can’t make decisions in life may be caused by the following:

A mental health condition

Occasionally, indecisiveness is a sign of a mental health condition. This could be anxiety-related, caused by chronic stress, ADHD, trauma or Aboulomania. However, it is very important to not self-diagnose yourself and receive medical support if you have mental health concerns. 

Fear of failure

A fear of failure happens when you lack confidence in your ability to achieve an objective once you have made the decision to commit to it. This could be accepting a job offer, taking on a promotion at work, having children, etc. 

There are a host of different reasons why you might feel like a failure if you were to make a big life decision but try not to let that hold you back from applying yourself and reaching your full potential. 

Trying to please others instead of yourself.

This is a common problem with those struggling to make an important decision in life, but it is avoidable. You need to try not to worry about what others will think and make the decisions that you know will benefit your life as opposed to pleasing others. 

Not enough information is available to make a decision

Sometimes you simply don’t have enough information to make the right decision in life, and you don’t want to make the wrong choice because you can’t see the bigger picture. Take the time to collect information and avoid making decisions based on irrelevant or untrustworthy sources.

Hard decisions to make quotes

If you’re struggling to make a decision, you are not alone. Check out some of these quotes for comfort and remind yourself of them when you feel inner turmoil when faced with a difficult decision:

  1. You cannot make progress without making decisions.
  2. Don’t make decisions based on fear; make them out of hope and possibility.
  3. Sleep on it.
  4. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. 
  5. I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. 
  6. Don’t let your emotions make your decisions
  7. Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision. 
  8. Decisions are the hardest thing to make, especially when it’s a choice between where you should be and where you want to be. 
  9. Nothing happens until you decide to make a decision. 
  10. Take responsibility for your last bad decision, then let it go. 
  11. Every decision that comes your way, is an opportunity to improve what you’re doing. 
  12. You don’t realise how important decisions are until you make the wrong one. 
  13. Don’t ask others to make decisions for you. 
  14. Not making a decision, is actually making a decision – it’s deciding to stay the same. 
  15. Making a decision is scary, but do you know what’s even scarier? Regret. 
  16. If you chase two rabbits, both will escape.
  17. Stay committed to your decisions, but remain flexible in your approach.
  18. There is no wrong time to make the right decision.
  19. You always have a choice.
  20. Decision is the spark that ignites the action.

How to make a decision

Making tough decisions can take an emotional toll on your well-being, especially when you find yourself fixating on it or sticking your head in the sand completely – a fight or flight response if you will. 

It can become all-consuming, and when you’re head isn’t thinking logically, you tend to make decisions that probably aren’t the best choice. Follow these tips for how to make a decision that will benefit your life:

Give yourself time to think about it

Making a decision on a whim often leads to inadequate choices. Make sure you take the time to properly consider what you’re going to do. The saying, ‘sleep on it’ exists for a reason because having the time to ponder on something, often leads to making better life choices. 

Don’t make any rash decisions in anger

Emotional feelings play a large part in the decision-making process, and whilst emotionally charged emotions aren’t always a bad thing, you just need to ensure that you’re not totally being driven by them. There is a place for logic and a place for emotions – it’s all about balancing them both. 

Give it some perspective, before you make a decision

Sometimes, taking a step back and giving yourself some perspective on the issue is a good idea. It can quickly feel like it’s going to be the end of the world if you don’t make the right choice, but most of the time, that isn’t the case.

Take for example, deciding on which course you’re going to study at college. It is a big life decision, but ultimately if you hate it, there is time to change to a different course. The same applies to a job offer or any other scenario that isn’t necessarily about life or death decisions. Take a step back and try to look at the bigger picture. 

How to make good decisions

We face decisions in life every day, from minor challenges to major events; everything is a choice that affects the current and future state of your life. You may not know what choices are coming your way, but there are some things that you can keep in mind that will help you make good decisions. 

Know your values 

Know your values and apply them when making decisions in life. This will ensure that you are making choices for the right reasons and minimise any sense of regret if you feel like you have made the wrong ones.

Stick by your decisions

Trust yourself when you have made a choice. If you have taken everything into consideration and arrived at a decision based on the data available to you, then trust your own instinct and logic. Often it is our lack of confidence in ourselves that holds us back. 

You deserve it 

When making decisions in life that you know will benefit you, just remember that you deserve that enhanced part of your life. In some cases, at a subconscious level, we can self-destruct if we think we are undeserving of a better life. If you feel similar, seek someone to speak with to help you deal with those feelings and remember you do deserve to make that choice. 

How to make a hard decision?

Making a decision becomes a lot harder when the consequences are more serious, you might feel caught between a rock and a hard place. Making hard decisions in life can lead to a lot of anxiety, especially when you feel at a loss to answer them. However, there are some things you can do in order to organise your thoughts and help you make decisions with a clear head.

How to make a decision

Make a pros and cons list

Making a pros and cons list can help you visualise the advantages and disadvantages of making an important decision. Sometimes you can’t see what the right decision is unless you write it out and weigh up the pros and cons. 

When there is a lot to consider, writing something down is a process that helps you organise your thoughts and think a little clearer. A pros and cons list will help you visualise the impact of making a certain choice and, hopefully, make it clear as to what the right one should be. If the cons list is a lot longer than the pro side, then that should indicate what choice you need to make. 

Ask yourself if you are making it for the right reasons

This question is often overlooked when trying to make a decision. Sometimes we are blind-sighted by external expectations, or we subconsciously make decisions that will please others. You should ask yourself – am I making this choice for the right reasons? Or is there an external force pressuring you into making that choice? If it’s the latter, you probably need to think about what you want out of life. 

In five years, will it matter? 

This is another important thing to consider when making hard decisions, and it can lend a little perspective to the magnitude of making a particular choice. There is a saying based on this philosophy, “If it won’t matter in five years, then don’t think about it for more than 5 minutes”.

This quote is worth keeping in mind as sometimes we are prone to making a mountain out of a molehill. There are very few choices in life that would cause repercussions to extend into the next five years, so don’t fall into the spiral of what if’s. 

What are the consequences if you were to make a decision?

Consider the consequences of making a hard decision – you might upset others, have to start all over again, or it may significantly impact your life in other ways. Hard decisions usually tend to affect your life in;

  • Family 
  • Career
  • Reputation 
  • Financial Status
  • Social life

It’s very important to pre-empt the situation before making a hard decision, as it will help you deal with the consequences once the choice has been made. 

Consider the impact of your decisions to evaluate whether or not the choice is worth it. But do keep in mind that sometimes choices require a sacrifice in order to improve your life; it’s just about weighing up consequences and seeing if it’s worth it. 

Bad decisions make good stories

We are not condoning that you make bad decisions, but just remember if you happen to make the wrong choice, it’s not the end of the world. If you make a decision that respects your values in life, then feel no regret if you make a bad decision. Bad decisions often make good stories, and perhaps it’s just a chapter in your life that you need to experience. 

How to make a decision you won’t regret

It’s hard to know how to make a decision that you won’t regret, but try not to dwell on it so much that it affects your daily life. Hopefully, this article has given you good advice on how to make a decision. If you have given it sincere thought and looked at the situation from multiple angles, then you won’t regret the choices you have made. Hold your values close and know that no matter what you decide, know that your heart is in the right place.

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