“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”Tony Robbins
Psychology Today states that the average person makes approximately 35,000 decisions per day. Sounds intense right? With all this decision making, it’s no wonder so many people struggle with anxiety when it comes to making the right choice.
In an earlier blog, I discussed the three main types of decisions: no stakes, low stakes, and high stakes based on a Ted Talk I came across. Recognizing the weight of the decision can help you prioritize which requires the most attention, and which can be made quickly without taking up too much time.
Once you’ve identified the type of decision you have to make, the next step is to actually make the decision.
The Ted Talk later describes specific steps to actually make the decision. Here are three easy principles to consider when trying to make a decision.
- Identify a frontrunner. Look at all of your options, and choose the one that feels right based on your intuition. Chances are, there’s a reason that option stood out to you. You’re not committing to it just yet, but rather assessing the option that immediately grabbed your attention.
- Compare each of your options with the frontrunner. Now go through your other options, comparing each individually to the frontrunner. Each time, choose the best of the two and permanently discard the other option. This is extremely important, as failure to permanently discard an option can lead to a cycle of indecisiveness. As you do this, you’ll eventually find yourself with only one option left. On rare occasions, you may find yourself stuck between the final few options. This is a good time to reach out to a few trusted friends for support and advice. Be sure these are people that are well-versed in the area in which you are asking. It’s recommended that you ask about 3 people so that you’re left with a tie-breaker if needed.
- Commit. This is the hardest part, and the one where understanding the decision type is most important. Most decisions we make in life can be altered. It’s rare that we make decisions that are permanent and life-threatening. Rest in the fact that you went through an extensive process to make the decision. Even if it doesn’t turn out to be the best option, you likely will have the opportunity to make a new choice in the future.
Although stressful, decision making can be very empowering. It gives us the opportunity to step out of our comfort zone and strengthens our ability to trust ourselves.
There’s a power in choice that can easily be taken for granted. As Patrick McGinnis stated at the end of his Ted Talk, “You may not get everything you want, but the fact that you get to decide is powerful”.
Written by: Salima Hart