How many of you have struggled with making a decision? I’m not talking about the simple ones like, what to make for dinner or where to go to eat with your loved one, although I know the “what do you feel like eating tonight?” decision can often take up the entire evening to decide. ? I’m referring to the really important decisions. Making a career change. Health-related decisions. Quitting your job. Selling your house and moving, etc.
More often than not, when we’re not clear about who we are and how that aligns to our values, it’s easy to rely on outside sources to help with making a decision. Now, I’m not saying you should never consider outside sources to help you with reaching a decision. In fact, I encourage it when you’ve reached a point when you know something needs to change and need help in considering all the factors that will help you in reaching a decision.
But when you’ve allowed too many outside sources consume your thoughts where it clouds your judgment and influences how YOU feel about the direction you should go in, then something’s off.
When we’re relying on outside sources instead of our own voice within, we can often find ourselves making decisions that are not in alignment with what’s right for us.
So, how do you learn to get more comfortable with listening to your OWN voice when making an important decision?
A couple of questions that I often reflect on which have been helpful when I need to reach a decision are the following:
- How does this decision FEEL?
Many times, the idea of making a change can foster feelings of fear (Fear of the unknown, fear of not liking it, fear of making the wrong choice, fear of disappointing someone, etc. etc.) But fear can also be confused with excitement and those good nervous like feelings. Decipher between the two and listen to the feelings that come up for you.
- What’s the impact of making this decision and who outside of myself does it affect?
If you have children and a significant other, then obviously you need to consider how this will impact them. If not and it’s just yourself, how will YOU be impacted by this decision?
- What’s the cost of NOT making this decision?
Growth is not meant to be comfortable. Change is the only thing that is constant. Discomfort arises when we’re being pushed outside of our comfort zones; sometimes directly and indirectly. What would happen if you did nothing at all?
- What’s the worst-case scenario?
Will there be a significant financial impact? Is there a sacrifice you have to make in order to follow through on this decision? What else could come up?
- Does making this decision get me closer to WHO I want to be?
We’re always striving to be better than yesterday. How does this decision help you get closer to who you want to be, or more importantly who you need to be for where you want to go in your life?
- What will I have learned from this experience if it’s NOT the right decision for me?
Sometimes even when we feel we have all the information at our hands, with the best of intentions, we realize after the fact it wasn’t the best decision. IT’S OK. It happens. You’re human and you’ll survive. What can you learn from the experience and more importantly, what did you learn about yourself?
Some of these questions may seem deep or even complex however, they can serve as a start for you to consider some of the questions to ask yourself. If there are other questions that you come up with that you would add, please feel free to do so!
The idea is you want to get comfortable with listening to your own voice, so that even with all the information you may have gathered, you feel confident in making a decision that aligns to what’s best for you.
Now here’s another question I have for you.
What are some effective methods you use when you have to make an important decision?