When it comes to making decisions, particularly ones that are tough to make, you know the ones I’m talking about… decisions that could change your life, send you in a different direction or make or break your career… those types of decisions can leave you crippled in indecision for fear of making the wrong choice or taking a risk that doesn’t pay off.
If you’re at a point where you need to make a decision, run your options through these five questions so that you can ease some of the stress you’re feeling. I use them when I just can’t seem to make a yay or nay either way.
5 Questions to Help Make Tough Decisions Easier
Let’s remember something before we jump in — important, life-changing decisions are rarely easy to make and are always associated with an outcome that you have a vested interest in, so don’t take this lightly. You should take your time in making this decision, what you don’t want to do is allow indecision to stop you in your tracks…
#1: Will you be proud to be associated with the outcome?
If you make a decision either way, will you be proud of what you’re doing when you look back? Will you hold your head high, secure in the knowledge that you’re doing something you want to be doing and doing something that is honest and making a difference?
If you can frame your decision in this way, it often makes the decision easier to make, because the answer is obvious when viewed through this filter.
Still undecided? Read on…
#2: Are your values going to be compromised?
When deciding on a decision, think about your values and whether they will be compromised if you make a decision one way or the other. You should always follow your values through the fog, no matter how thick that fog is. If you compromise your values, what else will you compromise in the process?
Again, if you consider your values when making a tough decision, the obvious answer should present itself.
#3: Are you prepared to accept that you might fail?
Sometimes, even if you feel that you’re making the right decision, that decision could lead to failure… which isn’t a bad thing, in my opinion. As long as you learn from your failures and move forward, it really isn’t a failure, just a learning.
If you’re prepared to accept that this decision could lead to failure, then the prior two questions should lead you in the right direction. The only way to learn is to fail.
Failure is an event, not a person. Yesterday ended last night.” ~ Zig Ziglar
#4: Are you being authentic and transparent about your decision, particularly if it affects others?
Think about the people or leaders you’ve worked with in the past, would you have followed them wherever they lead you, no matter what?
If you said no, why? You want to avoid being that leader, you want to be the leader that others will follow without question. Be authentic and transparent with yourself and those around you, this will ensure you get the right feedback that you need to make a more informed decision.
#5: Do you trust your gut?
Try flipping a coin to make your decision… as it’s flipping through the air, do you lean more towards one outcome or the other? If all else fails, this is my go-to when making a decision. To trust my instincts, my gut. It has NEVER let me down.
This only works if you’re completely honest with yourself though, so flip a coin and trust what your gut is telling you.
In the end, it’s all about choice, and it’s YOUR choice, no matter what. My personal feeling is that a lot of what is wrong in the world today is because people have forgotten that they ALWAYS have a choice, and when you allow others to take that away from you, well, chaos ensues…
How do you go about making a tough decision? Care to share your thoughts in the comments below?