How to Make a Decision With Confidence

How to Make a Decision With Confidence

Decisions Decoded: Developing the Skill of Making Life’s Significant

Decisions Do you find it di cult to make decisions?

If you’re like the majority of people, you most likely have at some point.

Previously, we used to struggle greatly with decision-making. Whether it was selecting what to eat for supper, what to watch on Netflix, or making more significant life decisions like quitting a bad relationship, a job we detested, or enrolling in a course.

We would sit and consider our choice for hours, days, weeks, or even years, depending on what we were deciding on.

Those are frequently the moments when one feels the most perplexed, uncertain, and anxious.

It is mentally and emotionally draining to sit in uncertainty.

Our entire self is impacted when we persist in harboring doubts about a choice we know we must make. our emotional, mental, and sometimes even bodily wellbeing, as well as our sanity.

If you’ve ever had to make a significant decision, you are familiar with this emotion.

The arguments, benefits and drawbacks, and “what ifs”

Fear taking over your mind as soon as you start to consider making a change.

The proverb “better the devil you know, than the devil you don’t” crosses my mind.

I’m genuinely unsure if choosing to remain in your current circumstance is the better course of action or if taking a chance on something new, which would force you to step outside of your comfort zone.

If you’ve experienced this, it’s okay.

Humans are creatures of habit. We like to know what is coming. We like our routines and we like to feel safe. Even if we know in our hearts we need to make a change, often our desire to be comfortable overrides this and we just stay stuck.

One of the best pieces of advice I was given by my Mom was that the decision you make is neither right or wrong. It was the decision that was best for you in that moment.

If you are ready to start taking control of your life, owning that beautiful power within, then this is the article for you.

Because becoming comfortable in making decisions for YOU is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

Why Can’t I Make a Decision?

Often being indecisive is due to a variety of reasons:

  • Lack in trust in your intuition: deep down your heart usually knows the path you need to take, however you may not trust your intuition due to past experiences or not being connected to those gentle nudges our hearts give us.
  • Lack of confidence in yourself: You may not believe you are capable of making the “right” decision for yourself. This comes from your own self-limiting beliefs and experiences. Toxic relationships, bullying, difficult childhoods, self esteem issues all contribute to the lens we view ourselves through.
  • Fear of making the “wrong” decision: Often the fear of making the wrong decision is so strong in us that we never make the decision period. However there is no “wrong” decision. Whatever you decide was the BEST decision for YOU in that moment.
  • You may not want to take responsibility: I know this sounds harsh. But I know this one because I did it for years. By making a decision for your life you are stepping into your power and owning whatever comes from it and it is scary AF. It is often easier to blame someone else for a decision when they made it versus taking ownership. However in reality, you not making a decision and letting someone else make a decision – is your decision. We are all adults and responsible for either making the decision or going along with a decision.

Why You Need to Start Making Decisions

Take the risk, give yourself the confidence you need, and act if your heart has been telling you for some time that you need to make a decision about anything in your life and you are feeling stuck or at a crossroads in your life. Making decisions in life can be frightening.

There’s just no avoiding it. It helps to know that you are not alone and that if others have done it, then you can too, if you embrace this and realize that everyone experiences this.

It is unhealthy to linger in that state of “should I or should I not” uncertainty.

By making a decision you are empowering yourself. Owning your power within and beginning to create the life you desire. Taking you one more step closer to your dream life.

You know you best and what you need in life. Do not let other people run your life. On your deathbed, do you want to look back and regret not making a decision- staying stuck, unhappy and unfulfilled?

You do not want to be a prisoner of indecisiveness. Living in the uncertainty and stress of not making a decision is NOT living. Make a decision. Own your decision and I promise you will come out stronger, happier and in a place of peace than living in the tumultuous waters of indecisiveness.

Tips to Help You Make a Big Life Decision Making

1. Start practicing making smaller decisions
Do you scroll through netflix for like 20 minutes before picking a movie? Or talk to your spouse for 30 minutes when trying to decide what to eat for dinner? Make a mental note that you will give yourself a certain amount of time 5-10 minutes for these smaller decisions and practice making them. Listening to what your gut/intuition says and just making the decision. Not overthinking, analyzing or stressing over it. This helps to build your confidence and start trusting your intuition to make bigger decisions.
2. Don’t overthink EVERY scenario
It is impossible to predict outcomes and often our minds are able to make up far more scary realities than what will happen.  So often we immediately go to worst case scenarios and “what if’s” in our head. Instead of fretting over the “what if’s” change your language to “I can handle if….” This was a powerful method I used to shift my thoughts around the “what if’s” which I still use today. Remember you are so much stronger than you know.

3. Name your fears
Often we get so paralyzed in making a decision because of our fears and “what if’s”. By asking yourself “what is the worst that can happen?” then asking yourself “if that happens then what?” And then asking yourself, “if that happens then what?” you are whittling your fears down and taking away their power over your. As mentioned above so often we let our mind wander down the rabbit hole of fear, that we make it seem way worse than it will be. Start ‘calling out your fears’ and taking their power away.

4. Forget the ‘shoulds’
Are you letting other people’s thoughts, judgments or opinions cloud your decision?  Quit thinking about what everyone else will think. What do you want? This is your life. Not theirs. Quit living life on someone else’s terms and start living life on your own. The people who love you and support you are the ones you need in your life. The ones who don’t – well you may need to do a little life inventory and see if they are bringing positive or negative energy into your life. Because at the end of the day when you are on your deathbed, you are not justifying your life to them, but to yourself.

5. Ask yourself what will happen if you do NOT make a decision
If you do not make a decision what will your life look like? Are you okay with that? Really dig deep and allow yourself to explore what your life would look like if you do not make this decision. Suzy Welch a business writer for  O Magazine, talks about the 10/10/10 question when making a decision. Ask yourself:  How will you feel about it 10 minutes from now? How about 10 months from now? How about 10 years from now? Do this for if you do or do not make the decision…. It helps to re-frame your thinking.

6. Think of a time when you made a difficult decision in the past and it turned out to be a great decision
There are so many times in life where we made a decision that we were nervous about and it turned out great. I left a high paying government job, moved to the island of my dreams and my family thought I was crazy. It was one of the scariest decisions I ever made and I remember sitting in indecisiveness for months over it. After I moved, I vividly remember bawling as I unpacked my new apartment wondering what the F I just did. But looking back, even though there was uncertainty and fear,  it was the BEST decision I have ever made for myself and my family.  Yes there were some struggles, some times of uncertainty and fear, but that is the beauty in growth, in living your life aligned with what you want and living your truth.

7. Ask yourself the miracle question
I know it sounds corny, but this is a therapeutic tool we use in social work all the time. If you waved a magic wand and tomorrow you woke up and were living your dream life – what would it look like? A loving, respectful relationship? A career that makes your heart soar? A life of travel and adventure? Then – looking at your decision you are wanting to make at this moment, ask yourself : Is making this decision getting me closer to that life?

8. Create Your Life Vision
What is a life vision…. Oh my friend.. It is my most favourite  personal development tool that EVERYONE needs to have. In a nutshell, a life vision is a detailed ‘end destination’ of how you want to live your life, what you want to achieve and what your definition of ‘happiness is’. It is a FUNDAMENTAL piece to creating a life you love. I don’t go into life visioning in this post – however if you want to learn more about creating a visioning statemen along with examples of personal vision statement; check out my Life Visioning Guide Here

9. Start setting intentions for your life
If you are still feeling super stuck and not quite ready to make that decision just yet – or have no clue what you want in life (no shame, I have been there!) then perhaps you need some more intentionality in your life to help you figure it out!. By setting intentions for your life you are clarifying how you want to show up everyday, how you want to live your life and what you want your life to look like. By understanding the values you possess and the life you truly want to live, will provide you with clarity in making decisions that are aligned with where you want to go. If you are new to setting intentions and need a place to start – check out this free 5 step process to set intentions for your life.

10. Once you make the decision, own it.
Own your truth by owning your decision. It is empowering. It is scary. And it is oh-so-worth-it. Whether you decide to stay, to leave, to quit the job, take the job, to move, to go back to school…. Whatever you decide own it. You made the best possible decision with the information you had and you have empowered yourself to live life on your terms.
Remember, decision making is a process…Show yourself self compassion, take the time, do the work and you will build your decision making intuition and confidence.

A Decision Making Framework for a Balanced Life

If you are needing to make a big life decision and get out of the murky waters of indecisiveness check out this decision making framework below.
It is a values-based model of decision making that  will give you confidence and certainty when making big (or small) decisions and is a decision-making tool that you will use time and time again.

Step #1. Define Your Values and Priorities:
Before embarking on any decision-making process, it is essential to identify your core values and priorities. Reflect on what truly matters to you and what aligns with your long-term goals. By clarifying your values, you can ensure that your decisions are in line with who you are and what you want to achieve in life.

Step #2. Gather Information:
Once you have a clear understanding of your values and priorities, gather as much information as possible about the options available to you. Research, seek advice from experts, talk to people who have been in similar situations, and explore different perspectives. The more informed you are, the better equipped you’ll be to make a well-rounded decision.

Step #3. Weigh the Pros and Cons:
Create a list of the pros and cons associated with each option. Evaluate the potential benefits, risks, and consequences of each choice. Consider both short-term and long-term implications. This exercise will help you gain a comprehensive view of the potential outcomes, allowing you to make a more informed decision.

Step #4. Trust Your Gut:
While rational analysis is important, it is equally crucial to listen to your intuition. Pay attention to your gut feelings and instincts. Sometimes, our subconscious mind holds valuable insights that can guide us towards the right path. Trust yourself and the signals your intuition provides.

Step #5. Seek Support:
Discuss your thoughts and concerns with trusted friends, family members, or mentors. They can provide valuable perspectives, ask thought-provoking questions, and offer emotional support. However, remember that the final decision should be yours. Others may offer guidance, but ultimately, you have to live with the consequences of your choice.

Step #6. Embrace Uncertainty and Take Calculated Risks:
Making big decisions often involves stepping into the unknown. Embrace the uncertainty and recognize that risks are part of life’s journey. Evaluate the potential rewards against the risks involved, and be willing to step outside your comfort zone when necessary. Growth and meaningful experiences often emerge from taking calculated risks.

Step #7. Take Time for Reflection:
Avoid rushing into a decision. Give yourself time to reflect, especially if you are torn between multiple options. Consider journaling, meditation, or engaging in activities that provide mental clarity. Stepping away from the noise and allowing yourself space to process your thoughts can lead to valuable insights and a sense of inner peace.

Step #8. Commit and Take Action:
Once you have weighed your options, consulted with others, and trusted your intuition, it’s time to make a decision. Commit to your choice wholeheartedly and take decisive action. Remember that no decision is irreversible. Life is full of opportunities, and even if you encounter challenges along the way, you have the power to adapt and make new choices in the future.

Making big life decisions can be a transformative and empowering process. By following these steps, you can navigate through uncertainty, gain clarity, and make choices that align with your values and aspirations. Embrace the journey of decision-making, knowing that every choice holds the potential to shape your life in remarkable ways. Trust yourself, be open to growth, and embrace the exciting possibilities that lie ahead.

The key is to look at your options and not make a decision on impulse, but rather a decision aligned with your truth. Using the skills in decision making discussed above, believe that no matter what the decision you make, it  is the right one for you at this time in your life journey.
Trust your decision making intuition.
Respect yourself enough to make decisions for your life.
Is there a major life decision you need clarity on making? Do certain fears keep coming up for you? Comment below or send me a DM to let me know.