Life is full of decisions. The only way to avoid a decision is to decide not to decide which is, in effect, a decision. Unfortunately, this type of decision avoidance does not allow us to move forward.
Making decisions rather than perpetually swimming in a sea of overwhelm, doubt and uncertainty saves a lot of time. Confusion can waste time and paralyze you.
Decisions help us take action toward the things that are important to us. Once we make a decision, we become active participants in the world. This will increase our growth as we will experience more of life rather than sitting in the “I don’t know what to do” limbo. In fact, making decisions allows usto build confidence and learn from the experience of doing.
The fear of regret or making a wrong turn is probably the biggest obstacle to efficient decision making that I see in coaching clients.
What makes a decision wrong? Is it the outcome?
What if the only thing that makes a decision bad is your opinion that it was a wrong decision?
And… what if you promised (ahead of time) not to beat yourself up for making decisions that have a different outcome than you expected?
It would be much easier to make decisions if you know you have your own back and will not engage in regret when things do not work out the way you want. Here’s the thing…if the result is not what you hoped for, you get to re-decide or work around the situation. Either way, you learn what path not to take next time. No big deal.
You can also consider that everything happens exactly the way it was meant to happen and all of the decisions that we make form the path of our life. How can one say that a decision was wrong when it is a cobblestone in the path of your life that is not yet complete?
Was my marriage a wrong decision? Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I am choosing to think that it was a very important decision that changed my life in both good and bad ways. It was a necessary part of my journey, so why regret it?
Another obstacle in making decisions is worrying about how your decision might affect other people. The hard truth is that people get to think whatever they want about the choices that you make. Trying to keep them from feeling disappointed, angry, upset about your decision is a form of people pleasing. They (not you!) get to be responsible for their own feelings.
While I am a firm believer in the power principle – see last week’s blog, I also don’t want you to waste time perseverating about your choices. Once you have the necessary data, decide and move on. Choose to love your decision and don’t look back. You will have many opportunities to re-decide in the future, so let it roll and watch things unfold.
When facing a binary decision, that is a decision between 2 options, you might ask yourself: What would I choose if both choices will turn out successful and allow me to reap an amazing life?
I will close with a few helpful thoughts you can embrace to help you make decisions:
Everything happens exactly as it should.
I am choosing to never regret anything.
There are no wrong decisions.