It’s funny, isn’t it? We cruise through our lives making all sorts of decisions day in and day out almost automatically, well not quite, there are quite deliberate conscious reasons we make those decisions, and some habitual, but they do not affect us. However, some decisions can stop us in our tracks, make us lose sleep, question ourselves, create some type of inner tension that we cannot work out and at times work with.
What type of decisions are they? Let me tell you they are different for everyone, but what we all need to know is that we all have difficulty making some decisions. I think rather than focusing on what the decision is, it might be more useful to look at why there seem to be difficulties in making the decision.
Fear is not necessarily a bad thing in terms of making a decision except when it makes us avoid making the decision. If fear is making you inactive in regards to making that decision then you need to work on a few things, but if fear is there, don’t be scared to investigate why?
If it is a big decision quite often further questions crop up in regards to how will this affect my/our future? what are the ramifications in other areas of my/our life? How will this affect my/our relationship/s, will I lose money? Will others judge me? Will I regret the decision? Fear of the unknown!!!!!!
Using fear to assist you with difficult decisions is the best way forward. If there is lots of fear don’t avoid making a decision, sit with the fear and look at all the possible reasons why you fear the various ‘possible’ outcomes of the decision. Write these down somewhere and really look at how ‘real’ these outcomes could be and what else needs to happen in order for something to actually take place. Once you start analysing the fear of the outcome, not the decision itself, you will understand that there are various outcomes that could happen and you will have thought about those and this means you can mentally prepare if required. Therefore, you have begun to work with the fear of the outcome of the decision not the decision itself and it should be easier to make the decision.
Something to remember with all decisions is you will still have choices, for every outcome of every decision made whether it be big, small, life-changing or not there will be positives and negatives and those will also need to be dealt with at the time, but you will have choices. The fear could be making you realise that it is not a good decision to make that, could be your answer. But use the fear to motivate you to look at why you are scared of the outcome or outcomes.
Our values, beliefs and culture
These are big issues when making decisions and sometimes we don’t realise how big a role these play in our decision-making. Our values are something that we are brought up with and sometimes are part of the culture or cultures that we identify with. As people get older and live more separately from their families and sometimes their cultures as well, their values will change and shift based on what they are exposed to and how that affects them.
Our beliefs in who we are, how we should act or present ourselves to society, what is expected from us from others can have a huge impact on decision-making and can quite often reveal a lot in regards to why some decisions can be difficult to make.
Culture can play a big part too and is tied very closely to values and beliefs and combined with values and beliefs will sometimes make it difficult to make a decision. So with all of that in mind are you any closer to making your decision? Maybe not, if not sit by yourself for a while first, pen and paper in hand or computer or device that you can take notes on and ask yourself a few of the questions below:
• What could the possible outcomes of the decision be?
• What outcomes am I scared of and why?
• What can I do if the outcomes I fear are an issue?
• What are my choices?
• What great outcomes are possible and what will I do then, how will this affect me?
• What do the outcomes of the decision mean to me now and how will this affect the future me?
• Who is the future me and why is this decision important?
• What about me is affecting the decision ie what others think, beliefs, values, fears, positives?
• What further questions, answers, and investigation do I need to do before I can make the decision?
Sometimes we need to acknowledge that a decision is difficult because we need to learn something and if this is the case then being prepared to learn once the decision is made is a good thing because we will grow as a person, in our work, in our relationships as a whole regardless of whether there was a positive or negative outcome.
Ask for assistance from someone else you trust or a professional, while they won’t be able to make the choice for you and nor should you let them they will be able to give perspectives and different advice from what you would give yourself.