When you are faced with a tough decision in life, you may feel paralyzed and at a loss as to what is best to do. When you are stressed, or trying to deal with a dilemma, you may question your own rationale, and worry that your final decision may not be wise.

There are certain questions you can ask yourself when making a difficult decision to find out if your reasoning is good, and if you have found a wise solution to your problem.

Here are seven of the best questions to guide you when you have to make a tough decision.

1. If I don’t do this now, will I regret it?

It is sensible to consider the long-term implications of any decisions you make, because you don’t want to end up doing something you will regret in the future. But it is equally important to consider what might happen if you don’t do something. Don’t let important opportunities pass you by because they involve making some big decisions. Ask yourself what you may gain, or lose, in the long-term by making certain choices.

2. What am I afraid of?

People often get stuck with decisions, because they are scared of what will happen if they make a choice. Some people are afraid of failure, but others are scared of success. Ask yourself whether fear is going to make this decision, or you are, when facing a tough decision in life.

3. What does my heart say?

Your gut instincts are often the right ones, and you should never make a decision that doesn’t resonate with you deep inside. Put aside convention, unwanted advice and judgments from others, and ask yourself if this is something that you really want, something that speaks to you as only a heartfelt desire does.

4. What am I really doing this for?

The wisest decisions you can make are those that keep the end in mind. If your end goal is stability and raising a family, then making the big decision to buy a house, for example, might be a step closer to that. However, if you have goals such as seeing as much of the world as possible, purchasing a home might not fit in with your aims. Have your goals clearly in mind when making big decisions.

5. Who am I really doing this for?

Don’t let others’ agendas or advice sway you from making the right decision. It is always important to have others’ interests at heart when making a decision, but you shouldn’t always sacrifice your own needs and desires to please another person. Take a balanced look at how your choices will benefit you as well as others when facing a tough decision in life.

6. Will I like myself after this decision?

Anyone can make a difficult decision that ticks all the boxes in terms of a solution, without taking into account how that decision may make them feel about themselves. If you make a decision that is callous or uncaring, you might not end up liking yourself very much. If you make one that is unassertive, your self-esteem is likely to drop. Consider how you will feel about yourself for making this choice, whenever you have to make a tough decision in life.

7. Can I cope with the fall-out?

Choices are like a dynamo. When you make one decision, it paves the way for other situations to occur, which you will then have to deal with. Making a tough decision in life can have many ramifications. Taking certain paths can affect your finances, your relationships, your friendships and your career. Think things through, and decide whether you will be able to cope with the consequences of your decision, and how you will deal with the fall-out.

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