Tough decisions exist everywhere in life. From choosing a university major, to career decisions, or whether to stay or leave a job. Tough decision making can feel very overwhelming for us all.
If you do not have a decision-making system for making these tough decisions you may procrastinate and avoid generating them or you may make rash decisions that lead to a multitude of ongoing consequences.
Our decisions shape our future.
Knowing this, is it any wonder that many of us feel overwhelmed, or become so paralysed by the pressure of doing things ‘right’ that we just don’t make any decision at all?
There are many people who know how to make tough decisions and are able to manoeuvre through life tweaking and adjusting their decisions each day to cultivate ongoing success.
How can we emulate this?
Research has shown that the best decision makers are those, who have an abundant mindset and believe that ‘life happens for them rather than to them’. These decision makers are the ones who have a system or process to follow, when they are facing a tough decision.
So, how does one make tough decisions with ease and objectivity?
State (verbally or written) the decision that needs to be made, and then ask yourself these four questions:
1. What is the best that can happen?
This empowers you to literally look up and out. To view the situation with optimism which creates an abundant forward-thinking approach. It is also a quick ‘hack’ to flood your body with happy chemicals and endorphins that further instigate a feeling of wellbeing.
2. What is the worst that can happen?
This highlights for you the specifics of the possible consequences that can happen. There is no point in running or denying what may happen. You need to face this with objectivity and clarity. The additional benefit is that you may actually realise the worst is not as bad as you first thought.
3. What is most likely to happen?
This is where you gain full clarity. Instead of rushing off and catastrophising that things will always be bad, or enlisting Pollyanna expectations without substance, you get to move into the reality of the situation. As humans we are wired to focus on the negative so it is easy to race off to the worst possible situation regardless of what is most likely to happen.
4. Can I live with the worst?
The final and essential question. If the answer is Yes, then go for it and follow through with the decision. If the answer is No, then do not proceed.
It’s that’s simple – don’t ruminate, don’t stay in the uncertainty and confusion. Apply this process and move on.
When we apply this system to the tough decisions we are facing, the process eradicates the emotional pressures, the overwhelm, and the mystification that we place on ourselves.
Remember, it is better to make a decision and follow through with action, than it is to do nothing at all.
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