Entangled in my personal statement are a wide range of hard decisions that had to be made, such as should I move there, should I keep that friend, should I work there or should I marry him. The most challenging choices have been anything that involves deciding to let go of relationships and familiar routines.

Transitioning away from being a city dwelling, corporate woman living downtown in a high rise apartment in my hometown involved a lot of trials and tribulations.

By simplifying my approach, I have been able to confront hard decisions with clarity and remain loyal to the kind of person I decided to be.

“It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions.” — Jim Rohn

Here are the 5 ways I have simplified making hard decisions:

  1. Consider The Source Of Your Counsel

Considering feedback from others, especially from people close to you, is a normal practice when hard decisions arise. However, by thinking about the source of the feedback and how it relates to your situation can help simplify by magnifying the validity of what they are saying to you.

Two things to consider are:

  • Credibility: What is the track record of your source? Is the source reliable and credible? Are they delivering data, information or knowledge? Will the source tell you what you want to hear, what they want you to hear, or will they provide the unedited version of the cold hard truth?
  • Bias: Are there any hidden and/or competing agendas that are coloring the input being received? Is the input being provided for the benefit of the source or the benefit of the enterprise?

2) Follow Your Intuition

Hone in on your gut feeling, stop for a moment and don’t think about anything else. Simply sit in a quiet place for a few minutes and reflect on the decision.

Some decisions that have to be made can only be justified by what your inner voice said was best for you. By choosing to not ignore your intuitive mind, the decision process is simplified.

3) Have Standards

Make a list of your minimum requirements for life. According to a study, we are confronting a challenge common to the modern-day decision maker: too many choices.

Simplifying by identifying your “deal breakers” and narrowing down the available choices helps when paralyzed with too many options.

4) Set Boundaries

According to a study, “People who aren’t self-reflective are going to end up making bad decisions because they don’t really know what they want in the first place.” Creating boundaries for yourself helps prevent making bad choices by being aware of your personal limits.

For example, if you don’t miss your children’s big events — the decision to attend a work event on your child’s birthday is not a hard one to make. You simply cannot attend because you set that boundary for yourself.

5) Create Space Between The Event And Decision

Giving yourself more time to think things through and let emotions settle down will help simplify your decision by removing all the complex feelings.

Give decisions you’re considering enough time to lose the influence of your first impressions. This has helped me greatly when it comes to responding to emails or requests that can be interpreted differently depending on the situation.

Hard decisions have a high impact on the person you are or will be. Choosing the best direction can be made easier if you simply consider the source of feedback, follow your intuition, have standards, set boundaries, and create space between the event and decision. What has been the hardest decision you had to make this year so far?

Originally published at www.citybornsouthernliving.com on June 20, 2017.

Originally published at journal.thriveglobal.com