Life is full of decisions. Every single day we make choices, both big and small. What am I going to have for breakfast today? Should I fill my car with gas on the way to work or wait until I’m going home? Am I satisfied with that project at work, or should I work on it for another hour or two?
Sometimes, it can be hard to make these decisions, especially the bigger ones. It’s easy to pick something for breakfast, but it’s much more difficult to decide if you should look for a new job, or if you should move in with your partner. If you find yourself paralyzed by overwhelmingly big choices, then don’t worry, because we’re here to help! Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to get past that fear and learn to make decisions quickly and with finality.
One trap that’s easy to fall into when you’re making decisions is the tangle of the short-term. Everything going on in your life right now is always going to feel more important or relevant than the stuff in the far-off future. But, sometimes, you need to stop living in the present and think about your life moving forward.
The next time you have to make a big life choice, try the 1/3/5/10 method. Start by thinking about how this choice is going to affect your life one year from now. Then think about three years from now, then five, then 10. This trick can help you free yourself from the worries of your current situation and really plan ahead. By looking into the future, you might find that all of your concerns about a potential choice are really not that important in the long run. Sometimes, the best way to change your life is to just let go of the present and think about the future.
Be Honest With Yourself
There are so many motivations that can go into any decision, it can sometimes be difficult to realize why you’re doing things. It’s important to always keep in mind what it is you’re really trying to accomplish, and why. Look inside yourself and ask, “What am I trying to do?” The answer might even surprise you, and it can be super helpful for figuring out what’s really important.
It’s a lot easier to make a tough decision if you know you’re doing it for the right reasons. On the flip side, you might realize that you’re making certain decisions out of spite or other negative motivations. This can help you clear out toxic choices that are making your life more difficult than it has to be, which is always a good thing.
If you’ve made a difficult or risky decision, there’s always an impulse to try and walk it back or minimize the potential fallout. Resist this urge! For you to succeed on the path you’ve chosen, you need to be willing to commit to it. Making a choice and then failing to act on it is really just the same as not making a choice at all. The only way to make real changes in your life is to trust in your decisions and take action.
Remember, there’s a reason why you made that big choice in the first place! You need to resist the impulse to second-guess yourself and make your decision into a reality. Otherwise, you’ll only end up stuck in the same place you’ve always been, and that’s worse than anything.
Okay, so this one might sound a little counter-intuitive after reading the last one, but stick with me! Just because you’ve made a decision doesn’t mean you should just follow it blindly. It’s important to keep track of everything else that’s going on in your life and factor that into your plans. That also doesn’t mean you should be willing to just give up on your choices! It just means you should be flexible in how you see them through. For example, if you made the decision to quit smoking cold turkey and it’s not working out, don’t just keep trying. Consider quitting through other methods, like support groups or nicotine patches. There are always multiple paths that lead to the same destination, so don’t get stuck on one that doesn’t work for you.
Trust Your Gut
Here’s the thing: in the end, the only person who can make a decision for you is you. You can ask your friends for advice, you can use tricks like the 1/3/5/10 method, and you can analyze all the data you want, but ultimately you’re going to have to just make a choice. That’s when you need to learn to trust your gut! You know a lot more than you might understand on a conscious level. Oftentimes, when you really think about it, you already know what it is you want to do. Have faith in yourself and in your gut, and you’ll soon see the results.
Look From Other Perspectives
Sometimes you can get caught up in a certain perspective on things, and that can make you blind to other ways of achieving your goals. Try looking at your situation from different points of view, and you might find that the answer you’ve been looking for has been right there all along. If you’re having trouble with this, you can always get someone else’s perspective too! Ask a friend or trusted advisor to help you and they might see something that you’re not. You can also follow some motivational speaker for advice. Even if what they’re saying might not be specifically relevant to what you’re going through, you can still learn how to make choices by listening to speakers or conferences.
Between these tips and other advice you can find online or from friends, you should be well on the way towards kicking the indecisiveness that’s been plaguing your life. Remember, life is full of choices, and it’s often better to just make a decision, even if it’s the wrong one. Nobody wants to live a stagnant life, so it’s up to you to make choices and change your life for the better!Opinions expressed here are the opinions of the author. Influencive does not endorse or review brands mentioned; does not and can not investigate relationships with brands, products, and people mentioned and is up to the author to disclose. VIP Contributors and Contributors, amongst other accounts and articles, are professional fee-based.
John Reiley is an NYC-based senior business analyst. He has been helping small business owners plan their strategies for success since 2005. He is a big gadget freak who loves to share his views on latest technologies and applications.