Custom Search 1

Learn to make decisions without regretting them

STRESS LESS: Looking at what could be or might have been will do more harm than good

DECISION-MAKING is a part of everyone’s life. Each decision carries with it a result and a chain of events that may dictate the course of our lives.

We have to face choices in our personal, professional, and spiritual lives.

Decisions you have to make can be about anything from what to eat, what route to take to work, what to have for lunch or whom to invite to a family get together.

Some decisions don't require a lot of thought or effort. However, even these can create a certain amount of anxiety. But it’s generally minimal compared to the stress that comes with some of the tougher decisions you might find yourself having to make.

For example, you may have the difficult choice of staying or leaving your job or relationship. Maybe you have to make life-changing decisions about someone else because they are not in a position to do so themselves.

Or maybe you are very clear about a tough decision you have to make but fearful about how others will be affected by the choices you make.

Maybe the scenario you face is whether or not to start over and sell your home. Or if you own a business you may have to cut back and let go of some employees.

If you’re faced with these tough scenarios being decisive can seem impossible! To help you discover the finer points of decision-making, here are some tips on how you can make decisions that you can live with.

1. Map out your decision Start by evaluating the decision to be made. What are the details? By mapping out exactly what your decision will entail as far as consequences and results, you'll be on your way to making an informed decision that you can live with.

2. Weigh up pros and cons This process is tried and true.

Make a list and evaluate the pros in one column against the cons in another. Include short- and longterm consequences as well as positives and negatives.

Seeing the pros and cons before you on paper will make the matter at hand seem all the more evident as far as how you should make your decision. In your evaluation, give more weight to the pros and cons that are really important in your life.

The quantity of pros or cons does not equal the quality For example, if one of your main priorities in life is to make more money, listing ‘make more money' on your pros column should count for more than one of the cons in the other column that is causing you to doubt.

3. Become better-informed Find out all of the related information you need to make your decision. Being better-informed through research or talking to others will help you make a decision you can live with.

4. Consider your motives While evaluating your list of pros and cons, consider what motives may be contributing to the points you added in both columns. Revise or weigh accordingly. For example, can the con on your list be attributed to your life-long fear, or is it merely situational? In the case of fears, perhaps facing your fears should be part of the decision. Facing the fear may be a pro as opposed to the fear being a con.

5. Give yourself a deadline When faced with an important decision, we tend to delay making the ultimate choice. By giving yourself a deadline, you will have no other choice than to decide one way or another.

6. Look at the decision as part of the bigger picture Is this a small or large decision in the course of your life? Decide which and evaluate accordingly. If it's small, perhaps you're spending too much time and consideration on it. If it's larger, how will it fit in with the rest of your life goals? By examining the decision for what it is in the short- and long-term, you will better understand how the decision affects the bigger picture.

7. Recognise the relativity Many tough decisions can carry with them irrevocable consequences, but more often than not, there is always more time and more opportunity to make the decision again.

Worrying needlessly about one decision is futile. Most decisions only determine your short-term circumstances in the relative present.

In most cases, your decision can be altered in the future when circumstances are different or you're in a different stage of your life.

Following these tips can transform decision-making from a stressful process into a process that gives you more confidence and control in your life. Embrace decisions as the good thing that it is, and the result will be a happier, more confident you.

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.

Facebook Comments