5 Things You Can Do When You Struggle to Make a Decision

Fri Feb 16, 2018

The quality of our lives is related to the quality of decisions we make. The better our decisions, the better results we will create in all areas of our lives.

How to make better decisions is not something we are taught at a young age. We often learn to make right decisions from our experiences and mistakes.

Why is it Difficult to Make Decisions?

There are many factors that affect our ability to make decisions, which include:

  • Doubt and uncertainty.
  • Fear of the consequences by imagining worse-case scenarios.
  • Fear of being judged by others.
  • Fear of looking foolish or stupid.
  • Fear of the costs of making mistakes.

We have to accept that there will be times when we’ll make wrong decisions, but we should always learn from those decisions.

Can't make decisions anxiety

How to make a decision when you can’t decide

I recently experienced indecision in relation to buying a new exercise machine. My initial thoughts were I needed to add variety to my daily exercises and a different machine would add more intensity to my daily workouts.

Then I had thoughts such as, “I already have two exercise machines, one which I’m not using. Buying another one will just take up more space in my home or garage. I should be able to add variety to my workouts with the machine I am already using.”

I pondered over my decision for a few weeks and eventually decided not to buy the machine because the negative consequences outweighed the positive benefits on this occasion. Had I been more intentional about how to get to a decision quickly, I wouldn’t have struggled for that period.

5 Things You Can Do to Make Decisions Quickly

  1. Use the 5/5/5 Rule. With this rule, we check into our emotions. How will we feel 5 minutes, 5 months and 5 years from now? Will we have regret or joy? Naturally, we will want to make decisions that will give us more joy.
  2. Determine the cause of any indecision. Whenever we’re indecisive, there is usually some fear that is coming up. We have to look at what the real fear is and the cause of that fear. The more awareness we have around our decision-making process, the better quality decisions we’ll make.
  3. Evaluate the pros and cons. Like most things in life, there are positive and negative consequences. We can imagine having already decided. We can also ask ourselves questions like, “If I make this decision, will it move me closer to what I want or where I want to be?”
  4. Reduce the number of options you have. The more choices we have, the more difficult it is to decide. If we have two or three options, it’s much easier to decide. We can eliminate options by just being bold and getting rid of them.
  5. Tap into your intuition. Our inner guidance system is by far the best resource we have to make quality decisions. This is often referred to as a hunch, gut feeling, an inkling or just a knowing. The better we can harness and strengthen our intuition, the more confidence we’ll have in our decision-making ability. The good thing is our intuition is never wrong.

We make decisions multiple times per day, some small and not so important, and some big and very important. As we develop our ability to make decisions, we won’t struggle to do what’s best for us, which will help us move towards what we want a lot easier and faster.

Action Step: Use one idea above to make a decision this week about something you have been unclear or unwilling to decide on.

Question: What is something else we can do whenever we’re struggling to make a decision?


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