“The problem, simply put, is that we cannot choose everything simultaneously. So we live in danger of becoming paralyzed by indecision, terrified that every choice might be the wrong choice.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
“When faced with two equally tough choices, most people choose the third choice: to not choose.” ~ Jarod Kintz,
“You can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.” ~ Michelle Obama
Have you ever been paralyzed by an upcoming decision? Not able to make any choice? Or do decisions plague you causing angst and turmoil for days, leaving you exhausted by the time you choose?
You are not alone! Many of us have trouble with decisions. So today I wanted to give you a 5-step process to allow you to always make the right decision.
- Acknowledge Your Inherent Grief
“The hardest thing about the road not taken is that you never know where it might have led.” ~ Lisa Wingate
Making a choice means also choosing not to take other options. This part of decision making is hard when you don’t make it part of the process.
By bringing in the idea that you will feel grief over what you passed up you are freer to make better decisions. This is one of the reasons you agonize over decisions, so acknowledge to yourself there will be things you will be letting go of and feel your feelings about that.
This is not a sign that your decision is incorrect. This is just a normal part of the process.
The word decide has “cide” in it, much like homicide and suicide. Decide means death of choice because you are collapsing your option into one committed, definitive choice.
Please relax into this side of choosing, knowing that all options have equally good opportunity for giving you experience and wisdom.
- Acknowledge Your Overthinking
“Truly successful decision-making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking.” ~ Malcolm Gladwell
When faced with a decision do you constantly overthink it? Churning the options around in your head until you are totally confused and unsure?
The best way to handle this aspect of the process is to acknowledge your thoughts. You can do this by stopping and really listening to them. Take out a piece of paper and write them down. By paying attention to them they can stop knocking at your consciousness. Once they feel heard and so they can make space for your heart to speak.
Next take out another sheet of paper and sit quietly. Write the question you have on the top of your paper and just sit in a relaxed position. You are allowing time and space for your heart to give you its feedback but you must slow down and open up to receive this information.
Write whatever comes to you without censoring it. Just write until there is no more. If you need help with beginning start by writing a sentence like, “The information I need to hear about this decision is…” Sometimes beginning to move your hand primes the pump and the information flows.
- Acknowledge Your Values
“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” ~ Roy Disney
Decision-making is easier when put into a holistic context. First get clear on your values and then put your choices in that context.
If your #1 value is family then passing on that promotion that includes lots of travel and overtime is much easier because there is no confusion about what outcome you want to achieve with your decision. All you need to do in this situation is ask yourself some value based questions like, “How will this impact my family” and/or “What will making this choice change?”
- Acknowledge Yourself
“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale
Have great confidence in yourself as a decision maker. Often you don’t give yourself enough credit for knowing what’s right for you. Trust your inner guidance.
Here is another easy way to access your inner guidance in order to make a decision – flip a coin. If you get the answer and then have an immediate negative reaction to it then that’s a sign of what you really want.
By making it a game the mind gets out of the way a bit and allows your inner knowing to guide you in the form of an initial reaction.
- Acknowledge Your Actions
“Action expresses priorities.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Action means you are moving forward. Action is the only way to express your self in the world.
The only wrong decision is no decision because you are withdrawing from the process instead of actively participating in your life.
Any decision you choose is the right one for you at this time. Every decision will provide you with a unique set of experiences and knowledge so there cannot be a wrong choice.
By following these 5 steps and by believing that any choice you make is right for you right now is how you can always be assured of making the right choice!
Have fun with this and please let me know if you have questions or comments. I’m available by phone, email, or post a comment below. I love hearing from you!