You just received a job offer from another company. While you have been working at your current job for several years and you enjoy what you do, this new position would offer you better pay and a chance to try something different. Suddenly, you feel that familiar twist in your stomach and your mind starts whirling.
The Problem of Indecision
All of us experience difficulty with making decisions at some point or another. We doubt our abilities and question whether we are making the right choice. An endless procession of what-if questions fill our minds, and sometimes staying stuck in indecision seems safer than making a decision at all. Yet, there are simple ways to become a more confident and efficient decision maker.
You Will Never Be 100% Sure
When we are making a big decision that will greatly affect our future, we tend to want to be 100% sure that our choice is the “right one.” We bite our fingernails and analyze the situation forward, backward, and upside down, hoping that a perfect picture will emerge. The reality is that choosing the best option doesn’t require 100% certainty. In fact, nothing in life will ever be 100% certain, since every choice carries the potential for both risk and reward. Decision-making is less about complete certainty, and more about choosing the best option as it arises.
You Can Always Make Adjustments
A great way to break through indecision is to remind yourself that you can always make changes and adjustments. You are not trapped by any decision you made yesterday, last week, or last month. You always have the right to change your mind or to make new decisions as you learn and grow. The biggest mistake is to make no decision at all. When you remain indecisive, you are really letting other people or circumstance choose for you. Even if you make a poor choice, you can always learn from your mistake. Letting others choose for you, however, stops you from learning the important lessons that will allow you to make better decisions in the future.
Make a List of Pros and Cons
Few things can help you tackle a tough decision better than a list of pros and cons. While a list of positives and negatives for each outcome may seem simplistic, you will be amazed how much clearer your choices become when you write them down. We all have trouble sorting through information in our minds. For instance, have you ever made something a really big deal in your mind, but when you told someone else you realized it was really no big deal at all? The same thing happens with decision-making. We stress ourselves out when we keep all the what-ifs and possibilities swirling in our minds. Writing them down makes our options concrete and easier to grasp. Then, you are easily able to see which option includes more positives or more negatives.
Take Your Time
Often, we rush ourselves to make a big decision when we could have taken more time. We dislike the stress of sorting through our options and going through the pros and cons, so we try to just choose as quickly as possible and hope things will work out. Although it might provide some relief to make a quick decision, giving yourself time to process will ultimately bring you more peace. You don’t even need to spend the whole time consciously thinking about your choices. Just take a few days and “sleep on it,” letting your unconscious or intuitive mind take the lead. You may be surprised what insights pop up when you least expect them.
The most important thing to keep in mind when making decisions is that you don’t need to be perfect. Also, remind yourself that no one else makes perfect decisions either! Instead, think of the decision making process as an opportunity to grow and learn more about yourself and the world around you. When your goal is learning and doing the best you can, you free yourself from the pressure to be perfect. Without all that pressure, you may just find yourself feeling excited rather than stressed when the next big decision comes your way!