You’ve weighed all the pros and cons. You’ve made checklists and consulted with your closest friends and talked out all the outcomes so many times that you (and everyone around you) are sick of thinking about it.
But you still have absolutely no idea what to do. Choice A and Choice B continue to taunt you, each one pulling at you but neither one pulling enough to help you finally take that deep breath and pick one already.
At times like this it may seem that you’re stuck closing your eyes and pointing, hoping that whichever option you randomly pick winds up being the right one. And you’re not entirely wrong about that. Because there is a no-fail way to make the right decision every time, even when you’re positive you have no idea what you really want.
It’s a bit of an abracadabra mind trick, so I want you to stick with me on this, even though it may seem a little silly at first. Here’s what I want you to do:
Flip a Coin.
Whenever you’re faced with two choices you seem absolutely paralyzed to decide between, give this little trick a try:
- Find a coin.
- Designate one side “Choice A” and the other “Choice B.”
- Flip the coin.
- Place your hand over the result.
- Stop right there.
I don’t want you to actually look at the result. I want you instead to recall (without pausing to give yourself a second to overthink it) which result you just secretly hoped would be revealed.
Because there was one. The instant that coin flipped and you slapped your hand over it, somewhere, deep down below all your analyzing and debating, you instinctively wished that one of those two choices would come out on top.
You just needed to stop thinking about it long enough to know your true desire.
Why This Trick Works
Weighing pros and cons objectively isn’t a bad thing. It can be necessary to make sure you make the right choice for the long run rather than letting your emotions run away with you. But when you’ve done all that weighing, and both choices still seem equally favorable, then it’s time to rely on a little old-fashioned resource known as your gut.
It’s easy to get stuck in analysis paralysis—to dissect an issue from so many angles and consider so many arguments you lose all sight of the key question in any decision-making process: What do you really want to do? What will make you happiest? If Choices A and B both seem objectively “good” for you, then that’s ultimately what it comes down to.
You just need to step outside of your own head for a second to realize which choice is the answer.
(Photo credit: Closeup of a Businessman Having No Idea via Shutterstock)