How to Make a Decision in 5 Steps
posted on March 13, 2017 | by Chelsea Becker
I’ve always been fairly indecisive, especially in my early twenties. Decisions as easy as what to buy for dinner would make me stressed out and unsure. Weighing the pros and cons helped, but I’d still feel anxious about choosing the right thing—or choosing something at all. And what I learned is that a lot of people in their twenties struggle with the same thing: feeling content about decisions, or making choices at all.
Over the years, it’s been a goal to not only make decisions and stick to them, but to feel secure in what I go with. Check out these five steps that may help you not only make a decision, but feel confident in that decision as well.
1. Sleep on it.
Obviously, this doesn’t work for small resolutions like what food you want for dinner, but for bigger, more serious choices, giving yourself time is crucial. Sometimes, my mind will actually change overnight or after more thought, and I’ll be glad I hadn’t made a decision on the spot. Also, if someone specific is waiting on a verdict from you, people usually understand when you say you’ll get back to them within 24 hours.
2. Talk it out.
Depending on the situation, vent to someone you trust—and it doesn’t always have to be the same person. I go to my dad for financial issues, my BFF for personal choices, and my mentor for career resolutions. Talking it out, even without them giving direct advice, usually leads me to seeing the clear decision.
3. Trust your gut.
It’s been said many times before, but it’s such a true lesson. If you feel anxious about something, it’s usually your body telling you not to do it. The important part is deciphering whether that anxious feeling is a little bit of fear or a true warning. If it’s simply a decision that will take you out of your comfort zone, think about going for it. If it’s an intense warning from your body, steer clear of whatever it is.
4. Commit or move on.
Instead of going back and forth on plans, I either commit or don’t, no wavering and stressing over if I’ll end up going. If it’s a party celebrating a dear friend, commit and go. If it’s something you aren’t even excited about in this moment, say “no” (kindly) and move on.
5. Verbalize confidence.
Once you come up with your decision, don’t worry about writing a long email or text justifying it. And most importantly, don’t apologize if it’s not necessary. Doing so will make you look and feel insecure in your decision. Plus, verbalizing your choice in a confident and concise way will lead to a natural habit of owning the result.
Still struggling to make a big decision?
Check out this post Amanda wrote a few years back!