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How to Make Great Decisions

Decision-makingWe have more choices, both trivial and life-changing, in everyday life today than we have ever had in the past. A simple trip to the supermarket can result in agonising decision-making over what cereal to buy, or what brand of soap to choose. We also have a choice of careers and lifestyles our grandparents could never imagine.

Fear of making the ‘wrong’ decision

As a life coach, I see many clients who are paralysed by indecision. When faced with so many options, it’s easy to get stressed about the need to make the “best” decision. Sometimes we become so worried about making the “wrong” decision, we end up not doing anything! This in itself can lead to feelings of frustration and anxiety. So how can you make quicker and better decisions that lead you to where you want to go?

Start with the trivial decision-making you do on a daily basis. Make it a habit to make quicker decisions. Spend less time in the supermarket. Say yes or no, not maybe, to social invitations. Take two minutes to decide on what movie you want to see, rather than half an hour. Getting into the habit of faster decision-making sharpens your analytical powers and gives you the confidence to make more important decisions in the future.

Timely decisions are sometimes better then ‘right’ decisions

If you are in a leadership role at work, sometimes you may need to make quick decisions. Don’t shirk this responsibility. It’s often better to make a quick decision than a “right” decision. People look to leaders for clear direction and assertiveness, not uncertainty and hesitation. If your decision turns out to be wrong, take responsibility, and learn from it. Career coaching can help you become a better leader.

If you have been putting off making a big decision for a while, set yourself a deadline for doing it. Gather as much information as you can and write down all your options. Explore the possible implications and risks of each option. Make sure your choice is in line with your priorities and values. Choose what you think is the best option given the information available.

Don’t look back

Now here’s the thing: the decision you make will always be the best one at that time. You have made a rational and considered determination based on all the resources at your disposal. How things go after this point is up to you. Once you have made a decision, unless circumstances drastically change, stick with it and don’t look back. There is no point in worrying that you may have made the “wrong” decision. It will only distract you from your journey.

Those that succeed in life tend to make decisions with confidence and assurance, and then back their decisions with actions.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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  1. […] on short-term outcomes. What matters to us the most is how we feel right now, so we tend to make decisions that will give us pleasure in the near term, without really thinking about the long-term […]

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