Decisions, decisions, decisions… we all have to make them. Whether you are deciding to move to another country or to buy a pair of shoes (that cost way too much for what they are worth) I think we can all agree that decision-making is never an easy task. Making choices is something that most of us struggle with but there are ways to combat this fear of our own free-will so that we can be confident in what we decide.
Step 1: Write Down Your Choices
Grab a sheet of paper and write down your options. It sounds silly but writing down what you have to choose between will actually help you ease your mind of confusion and be able to think clearly about your choices. Making decisions, both big or small, is confusing because no one really knows the outcome. So, minimize the confusion and narrow down your options simply by writing them down.
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Step 2: Pros and Cons List
Once you have narrowed down your options it is time to create a pros and cons list for each choice. I know that people have told you to do this already because it is a pretty common method for decision-making. Maybe you scoffed and deemed this idea to be ridiculous but, actually, it does help. Like I mentioned, writing down your ideas helps eliminate confusion because the template of what you want to achieve is right in front of you. Look at the cons on your list and think about why they are obstacles for you. Try to think about ways in which you can overcome those obstacles if you were to choose that option. A pros and cons list will help you differentiate the negative aspects from the positive aspects of your choices and you will be able to compare them and choose the option that you think is best.
Step 3: Make a Decision
The moment of truth: making the decision. When you have all of your information laid out for you in front of your eyes it is easier to choose which option suits you and your situation the best. The most important thing to remember when making a choice is that the choice is never permanent. If you feel like you did not make the right choice then that is okay; you are a human being and it is alright if you change your mind. Plus, now you physically have resources to go over so that you can confidently make a decision that is right for you. Once you do feel satisfied with your choice it is time to actually follow through.
Step 4: Create a Plan
Uh oh, it is time for action, are you stressed yet? Well, try not to be because you already know that you have made the right choice (due to your thorough list-making skills). Sometimes people struggle more with the action portion of a choice than the actual choice itself and that is why you have to make a plan. You already know I am going to tell you to write it down so get out a sheet of paper and your preferred writing utensil! Brainstorm ideas about any possible way you can achieve your goal and then look at what you wrote down, narrow down the options based on which is the most easily achievable for you. Once you think you found the best way to follow through with your decision write down a checklist of what you want to complete and then carry out those tasks.
Step 5: Relax
Believe it or not, this is the most important step. Relax and trust yourself that you made the right choice because it will do you no good anyway to stress yourself out about it. Maybe after all this thinking and planning, you will lose your luggage on your voyage to another country or maybe those shoes fell apart the moment you put them on and you lost your well-earned money. Who really knows what will happen? However, the fact is that you made a choice and you stuck with it and that is so amazing! Sometimes it is impossible to make the perfect choice but the important thing about decision-making is that you must be confident about what you are deciding because some choices can change your life.
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Or, I mean, I guess you could flip a coin instead…