I used to have a terrible time making up my mind. Such a terrible time, in fact, that whoever was waiting for my selection had to pull up a chair and get comfortable.
I'd weigh the pros and cons of every possibility. Sometimes this involved spreadsheets and sometimes—I hate to admit—the "eeny, meeny, miny, mo" method. Then I found a few techniques that made the decision-making process much easier, and I now I can make up my mind without stressing or wasting time.
If you have trouble choosing between options, whether larger life decisions or daily, smaller choices, you might want to give these a try. Or not. It's your choice. But I’m pretty confident that once you’ve read through them, you’ll make the right decision.
1. Press pause. Whenever life throws me an unexpected curveball, I go see my amazing counselor. She gave me one piece of advice that has really helped reduce my decision-making stress level: Press pause. Most of the time decisions aren’t urgent—we just feel like they are. Once you've stopped the clock, you can relax, which will help you think more clearly.
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2. Consider the consequences. In her book 10-10-10: A Fast and Powerful Way to Get Unstuck in Love, at Work, and with Your Family, author Suzy Welch encourages readers to consider the impact decisions may have on their lives in 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years. I've used this technique to make decisions including: should I sell an investment property, and should I offer to host a charity event at my home? (I held on to the investment property and the charity event is a go for May 3.) Once you can see the potential consequences, answers become a lot clearer.
3. Leave it be. I used to spend twice as much time mulling over a decision I'd already made as I did making it in the first place. The thing is, you can’t see what's around you or in front of you when you're looking in the rearview mirror. I had to learn to leave the decisions I'd already made behind me, and you can too! The trick is, you have to believe in yourself. You know that no matter what, you will always make the best choice you can, using all the information you have. When you trust in that, you will be able to make your decisions confidently and move on with your life.