On Making Big Decisions
posted on April 15, 2013 | by Amanda Holstein
One of my biggest faults is that I’m extremely indecisive. Whether it’s choosing between two different conditioners at Walgreens or deciding which college to attend, making a decision and sticking to it has never been one of my strong suits. It’s something I’m constantly working on. In fact, what I’ve realized makes decision-making so difficult for me is the inability to clear all other thoughts and truly listen to my instincts. I find that thoughts about what others will think, what this choice says about me, how this choice makes others feel, how this choice makes me feel – all of these things can get in the way of seeing what I really want.
So next time you’re struggling to make a big decision, try to keep some of these thoughts in mind:
1. Take your time.
For some reason, I always seem to want to get to the solution of a problem as quickly as possible. Maybe it’s still stuck from taking tests back in high-school, but it’s a habit that needs to be broken in order to take off any added pressure and give yourself the clarity to decide what you want. When possible, take your time.
2. Try on each scenario.
I find that truly taking the time to imagine each scenario playing out, and asking myself how it’s making me feel, can really help. Sometimes even closing your eyes while you do this can really allow you to focus on where the stress is coming from as well as the relief. Once you feel that sense of relief deep down, you’ll know that’s the choice you truly want.
3. Doing what’s best for you does not necessarily make you selfish.
The idea and the fear of being selfish can often prevent you from making decisions that truly make you happy. I’ve always thought being selfish meant putting yourself before others, but there’s another definition I find more satisfying. Being selfish means putting yourself before others without thinking about how they feel and how it will affect them at all. Understanding this difference can allow you to focus on your wants and needs, without that added guilt.
4. Separate your wants from your fears.
Just because you’re scared of what a choice might lead to, doesn’t make it the wrong choice. It’s natural to be fearful of the future, but what’s important is the present. Understand what you want right now, knowing that you can’t control the future and you can deal with what the decision brings when the time comes. Being able to separate the fears from what you really want and need can help bring clarity to a tough decision.
5. Take advice from others with a grain of salt.
I always talk through tough decisions with those closest to me. Not only because I want others’ perspectives, but because it makes me feel closer to them to open up. While taking advice from others is great and can really make you feel better, just know that, in the end, you are the only one who knows what’s best for you.
What helps you make big decisions?
// image via
I think 4 and 5 are biggies with me. I have a difficult time making decisions, even today I went back and forth deciding if I wanted to purchase a dress to wear on my vacation in July.
I know I need some new things to wear, and I’ve purged my closet of things I don’t wear anymore and donated them, so keeping a timeline perspective helps me make decisions sometimes (“I’ve been waiting months to buy a new dress, I just found one I like, it’s OK to buy it”)
I also use the ‘how long have you been putting off making this decision’ technique for larger decisions, like moving. I’ve wanted to move out of my apartment to find a better deal (and a better roommate) for months and months. Finally, I found a place I liked and thought “how many times have you found a place you liked but just didn’t bother to make the decision to move. This new place is great, time to make that decision you’ve been wanting to make for months!”
I am SO indecisive as well. When it comes to any item I’m buying (a camera, makeup, clothes, etc.) I always read online reviews and try to find photos. Although I do take them with a grain of salt, if EVERYONE raves or complains about something, it’s probably justified!
nancy @ adore to adorn Says
such good advice. Sometimes it’s easy to forget what it means to make a “good” decision and this helps.
Camille Iman Says
Great post! I too become indecisive when everyone’s opinions start to cloud my head. I’ve started doing yoga to clear my head and develop a better understanding of what I really want.
The perfect post for my life right now!! Thanks for the great advice, especially about separating wants from fears, that’s a much better way of putting it than saying “go with your heart”. It’ll definetly help me with my big decisions and tackling my indecisiveness:)
Thank you for this post! I think i just find decision-making in general difficult–even for everyday things. It can get SOOO frustrating—for me, and the person(s) waiting on my decision. I find it so frustrating that I sometimes pretend the impending decision isn’t there and more often than not, it comes and bites me back.
For me, getting information on my choices, then organizing that information and as you say, “try on each scenario” in my head helps me.
Also, I don’t talk to just loved one’s or people close to me about important decisions. Sometimes, these can be the worse people to talk to. A friend of a friend, an acquaintance, a coworker, clients, an “expert,” or even a stranger that has gone through or IS going through a similar situation can be helpful as well.
Oh, I can totally relate to you. I am just as indecisive; and i hate- HATE! having a decision that I can’t resolve quickly. You are either a fight or flight person in decision making. I am definitely a fight person- I like to evaluate the pros & cons- then choose a decision- then I can relax. Sound familiar? :) Great post, though- I needed that.
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