If you are preparing for a career transition or another big event in your life, you may feel stuck. You may feel like you can’t take the first step. Maybe you don’t feel courageous. Maybe you feel hopeless about your current situation. You could just be feeling too drained to make that first move. However, there is one thing that stops people time and time again from achieving their goals. This one thing makes us play small and stay in our comfort zones.
You probably think I’m going to say fear of change, but while that is a factor, it’s only part of it. The one thing that stops us in our tracks is the difficulty with or inability to make decisions.
Do you ever have this problem? You are thinking about something for weeks or months. You want to make a decision, but you just can’t. You haven’t picked an end date, you’re asking everyone you know what you should do, you’re going back and forth and this decision is hanging over you like a dark cloud. Moths or years will go by and you still haven’t taken action. Why not? Well, because you’re afraid of making the wrong decision. You want to please others and be well liked. You are placing too much emphasis on what others think. Then where does that leave you? It leaves you stuck and with unfulfilled dreams. In this post, I’ll give you several strategies to help you make decisions when you feel stuck.
Follow Your Intuition
The most important thing is to follow your intuition. Some of us don’t trust us and have fears of this because we don’t trust ourselves, but this is the only thing in the end that really matters.
If we can feel that a decision is good for us in our body, that is so important. That means it’s a healthy decision for us. If there is negative tension in our body around this decision, we may need to rethink it.
Set a Deadline
The second most important thing to do is set a dead line. Pick a date to make a decision by and stick to it. Market on your calendar if you have to. Meanwhile you can use the strategies listed below.
Do your research. If it’s something you’re deciding such as which product to buy, how much to spend on certain items, which school your kids should attend, which classes you want to take etc. Google is your friend. Other times research may involve calling a company, driving to different locations, interviewing people, visiting a library etc. Write down the results of your research if necessary. If something doesn’t seem right, don’t be afraid to keep investigating. Your intuition will serve you well here. For example, if you are making a career decision, Talk to people who work for the company you are interested in. Visit their website, check out the company culture and values, look for salary information, look at reviews etc.
If you do the proper research, you can make your decision not only on your intuition and feelings, but the hard facts as well. Using both of these methods, you will make a decision you feel comfortable with.
Meditation can work as well. If you were questioning something major in your life, maybe you want to meditate over it for several days or weeks. Let your intuition guide you. After each meditation, you may want to write down your thoughts and or feelings about what came up for you. Then using what you wrote down, you can use this information to guide your decision.
Pros and Cons List
A simple way is to make a pros and cons list. Which ever list is longer is the one that is your deciding factor. This may be a good strategy for simple decisions, but if it’s something more complicated where you have to weigh all the factors, this might not work for you.
Ask for Advice
Finally, you may want to ask someone for advice. However, if you have a pattern of struggling to make decisions based on what other people think or fear that they will not like you depending on the decision you make, I would use this sparingly. It should be someone you trust, someone that can keep an open mind and someone who can keep things confidential. Especially if it’s a sensitive topic. Again, someone that is trustworthy is key. I would also suggest against asking too many people for advice. The more people you involve, the muddy or the waters. Unless the decision directly affects someone, you don’t have to involve them. unless you feel good about doing so.
Some questions you should ask yourself in the decision making process:
- Am I calm and thinking clearly?
- Do I need to step away from the situation before making my final decision?
- What are the consequences of either side of my decision?
- Does my decision align with my values?
- What would I tell a friend if she came to me asking for advice?
To summarize if you are having decision fatigue or you are struggling to make decisions because of fear or people pleasing,, there are several strategies that can help. Following your intuition, setting a deadline, meditation, using a pros and cons list, doing your research and or asking others for advice. What strategies do you use to make decisions? Tell me in the comments.