Our entire lives are focused around decision making. Luckily for us, most of the decisions that we make on a daily basis are simply and do not cause us any stress. Common examples of this are what to eat for breakfast, and what outfit you will wear to work or school.
There are also those decisions that will have a major impact on our lives, such as choosing what degree to go for or which job offer you should take. Once in a while we find ourselves in a predicament in which no matter what choice we make, it will end up negatively affecting either ourselves, or someone we deeply care about.
Choices which will have a large impact on our lives are often a major source of stress. When we become stressed and emotional, we lose our rationality in when we do finally decide on a path to go, which is never a good thing. So it is always a good idea to find ways to decrease this stress on your body.
Luckily you have come to the right place! Here we will discuss X tips that you can make use of to make tough decisions more easier to make by giving you the strategies to deal with them. So lets get right into it!
1. Avoid Over Analyzing
When we are confronted with these difficult choices, we tend to become paralyzed. Being stressed we will spend most of our time continuously analyzing possible solutions or alternatives to the problem at hand.
One common thing we do is play the what if game. There are 2 forms of this game. One of them is during the decision process, where you pull out as many “world ending” scenarios out of your pocket as you can. The other one happens after the fact, where you regret the decision you made and ask what if you had made another choice questions.
Over analyzing your situation and potential advantages and disadvantages will do more harm then good. It is always a good idea to have make sure you understand the pro’s and con’s of each choice available. But once you have made that list, going over it again and again will only make you more doubtful of what choice is right.
One of the hardest part once we have make a decision, is that we tend to get sucked into all the tiny details of our choices. At some point, when you have weighed up the advantages and disadvantages of each choice you just have to commit!
2. Look At Long Term Effects
Often times when we make choices, we instantly think of the short term effects. This is a very normal and natural process, because it is difficult for our brains to think in terms of years instead of just days.
Take the example of deciding whether or not you should switch jobs. Most people would think of benefits like:
- I get payed 10% more then I do now
- It is a shorter commute
- The work they expect me to do is less and easier
- I have a friend who works there
Often times these short term benefits might turn against you later in your career path. For example, yes changing jobs right now will allow you to earn more money now, but the growth potential at your current employer is much higher than in your new job. So in 5 years time, you will still earn the same at that new company, but if you decided to stay you will very likely have been promoted and now might make 25% more money!
The friend that works there who you will have an amazing time with, might switch jobs or departments 6 months later, leaving you stuck there once again.
Focusing too much on the short term benefits blinds us to our future. Whenever you make a tough decision, analyze where that choice will bring you in 1 years time and in 5 years time. I am sure you will discover a whole new side to your situation and decision making if you do this properly!
3. Consider The Opposite
Another thing that a lot of individuals struggle with in the decision making process is actually committing to making a decision. They are simply scared that they are making the wrong choice. But more often than not refusing to make a decision can be a lot more disastrous in the long term than making a wrong decision!
One trick that is very useful is to sit down with yourself and consider what would happen if you choose to not make a decision at all. Think about the short term effects (less than 1 month), and definitely consider the long term effects (up to 5 years).
One of the things this exercise will do is to put the current situation into perspective for yourself. You will see the importance and the weight that this choice carries for your future. More importantly, it will show how important it is to make that choice that you have spend so much time simply thinking about. It will make you commit!
4. Ask For Help
Often times it can be very difficult to stay rational, especially when the difficult moments in our lives cause us a lot of emotional stress. We tend to tunnel vision, and lose perspective of the things that actually matter in our lives.
Asking a trusted friend or relative can bring us out of our clogged mind, and help us see the bigger picture. They will likely also be able to give viable input on the choice at hand. Not only because they know you really well, but also because they might have gone through these problems themselves, or seen close friends and family go through it.
There is so much wisdom to be found in the people around you. So when the moments get tough, make sure you make the most use of those around you. I am 100% sure they will say things or come up with alternatives that you would never have come up with yourself!
5. Avoid Procrastinating
As I mentioned a little bit before, avoid procrastination, as it could lead to several negative scenarios.
One of the main issue with procrastinating on different choices is that the longer you wait, the more doubtful you get about each option. The longer you have this tough decision on your mind, the more time you spend thinking about, which means that at some point you get into so much detail, that you simply start to confuse yourself. We have already talked about why it is important to avoid over analyzing your options. Avoiding to procrastinate is one way to avoid over analyzing!
Another issue that procrastination brings, is that it can worsen your current situation even further. A common example to take is when you think of breaking up with your partner. You know you have no future together, yet you are scared of breaking up. If you procrastinate this decision, it will only get harder to do as time progresses. It is much easier to break up after 6 months, than after 1 or 2 years. Don’t let the situation become more difficult than it already is!
We will all go through hardship in our lives, and tough decisions will have to be made sooner rather than later. Make sure you weight all the options equally, and that you get the necessary input from the trusted people around you. If you follow all the tips on this list, then I am sure you will be fine.
I hope you enjoyed the read and wish you the best of luck in life!