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In the previous article, we took a look at “why it is so hard to make important decisions in life” and we acknowledged that there are multiple factors that make life decisions complicated. After you have identified which factors might affect you, you can go further and find out what could help you to get better at decision-making.
Here are some tips on how to make important decisions and choose what’s best for you.
1.Know yourself and what you really want. Although it sounds simple, many people do not know what they really want. So clarifying this is a process you need to undergo. Usually, it takes time and a good reflection. Marcia Reynolds was saying sometimes you need to ask yourself the same question to get to the right answer: “what do you want? what do you really want? what do you really really want?” Like I like to say, have a coffee with yourself and look at what is inside your heart. Find out “what does your heart desire?” If the answer makes you feel alive and makes your heart sing, then that’s the right answer.
2. Know your values. Many times when faced with taking major decisions we need to revisit our values. Clarifying what is important for us is a filter we can use when we consider options. For example one of mine is “to help people” so when I accept a new project I ask myself “is this helpful for someone?” And then I decide.
3.Learn to navigate uncertainty. This implies letting go of control and accepting that things might go differently than expected. There is a beautiful metaphor for that from Shirzad Chamine. “What if instead of trying to control the world around you, you shift into being a surfer? You cannot control the direction of the wind or of the waves but you can become an awesome surfer”.
4. Analyze pros and cons. This is a cognitive technique, which feeds the rational side of the brain, but if you combine it with an emotional exercise like the next one in this list you might get what you need.
5. Use your imagination. Imagine yourself living different options and pay attention to what you feel in each scenario. Listen to your gut feeling and what your intuition says. Even if this might sound a bit fuzzy, psychology today admits that intuition exists in each of us and results from an unconscious process of past learnings and experiences. Pure wisdom!
6.Develop more self-confidence by looking at your past successes and finding strength and courage to take the next step forward.
7. Trust that “you are the only person who knows what is right for you”. If you have a clear idea about what you want, there is no way someone can tell you better what is right for you. Here, we need to do some inner work and let go of the need of being approved and validated by others. It is your life, not theirs and finally, you might discover that actually others do not care so much about what you do with your life.
Lastly, not making a decision is also a decision. So, instead of moving forward in one direction, you choose to agonize in the space between two possible options, and the driving energy gets lost without purpose.
Remember that “whatever you decide, it is the right thing in the given moment and context”. If you decide so, it must be right for you!