For many people, while growing up, making decisions could be as simple as flipping a coin or saying “eenie meenie minie moe.” However, once a person becomes an adult, making decisions can be somewhat tougher. Adults share the same choices of thinking what to wear, eat, and do as children, but adults’ decisions also include how to pay the bills, where to live, what type of car to purchase, and whether or not to take a job. The outcomes to these questions are a little harder than choosing to wear a sweater on a chilly day. Often, a person can second guess the conclusion they’ve reached and waste unnecessary time and energy. But there are ways to lessen the stress and fully embrace your choices for those difficult life decisions.
- In her article, “7 Steps to Making Better Decisions,” Catherine Price states that “Decision making is intrinsically linked to our emotions.” The way we feel about certain questions and answers can tell us a lot about what we should do, good and bad. When emotions come into play, “trust your gut,” which is the feeling you get when you know something is correct, your intuition. Your intuition is your guide and usually gives you the answer you need. Don’t rush into a decision, just because you are ready for an immediate way out of a stressful situation. Weigh all your options and do your research. There is no harm in taking your time and thinking things through.
- Next, think about your goals. For example, you are given two job offers at once, and you are trying to make a decision on which one to take. Picture where you want to be in life in one year, five years, and ten years. Which job fits that image? Be self-reflective and know what you want in life and your next job. This tip can go for anything you are trying to choose. Analyze your options, where you want to be, and go from there.
- Don’t decide upon a certain answer just because you feel as if you are supposed to. Instead, take a step back and ask yourself “why” you should and shouldn’t choose that particular outcome. In almost every decision, you’ll have critics and people giving their opinions on what you should do. Remember – it is your life. However, if you are pressured into making a judgment you weren’t in favor of, make the best of it. Reflect on how this result can be a plus and how it can help you in the long run. Any type of experience from a job, living in a city, etc. is something you can learn from and use. If you can’t turn a negative into a positive, then rethink your decision and don’t be afraid to speak up.
- Practice making choices. Start by increasing your time deciding on the simple things, such as what to eat, where to go, etc. According to writer Nell Wulfhart, in his article “4 Steps to Make a Hard Decision Faster,” give yourself only 30 seconds for easy choices and continue this pattern until you are able to use the piece of advice on bigger tasks. This can be tough to do, at first, but the key behind this skill is not to rush into a decision, but also not to waste unnecessary time and energy. Instead, you are able to get to the point of what you are trying to decide. Then, you are able to do the research needed and go forward.
- Finally, embrace your decisions. Almost everyone questions themselves after making a difficult decision. Did I take the right job? Am I going to like living in this new city? When you decide on an answer, believe this answer is meant for you and embrace it. Think to yourself that, “This is where I need to be in this stage of my life and this experience will help me learn new things.” Remember you don’t have to stay in one place forever. Also, it is beneficial to ask yourself, “What is the worst-case scenario of the situation?” Accepting the decisions you make is one of the biggest lessons you can learn. By doing so, you are letting peace and relaxation into your life.
Making life-altering choices can be scary, but it can also be exciting. Just keep in mind, think through your options, and your goals, and be open to how a decision can influence your life.