Black or pink, movie or picnic, divorce or sustain, to die and save for children or to get treated and take a chance, and the saga of decision making circumstances that we encounter everyday never fail to put us into dilemma.
Decision making is not only hard for most of us but also nerve recking at times. Since decision making is consequential, it instils a sense of fear and panic mode instantly activates within us.
Although, our rational mind keeps warning us about the situation and the importance of making right decision at the right time, the fear of consequences keep us pulling back.
As a result, we procrastinate decision making till the situation worsens. Subsequently, we are then forced to make decisions in even more harder circumstances.
Besides, a few of us belong to that one particular group who continuously seek external help for decision making. We look up to our friends and family for inputs or worst even, we just ask them to take a decision on our behalf.
Likewise, a few of us who can’t make our minds with little information at hands keep digging for more matter endlessly until it becomes imperative to take the decision for ones own survival.
Additionally, few others who are having issues with self-esteem don’t rely on their own decisions and go for silly means of decision making like tossing a coin and such.
Why decision making is complicated?
Following are some of the reasons which can add up to complexity of decision making-
- Too much or too little information- You have dearth for information and hence have no basis for taking an informed decision. On the other hand you might have so much information that the ideas are either conflicting or you just can’t pick one option due to overload. Hence you keep pushing the outcome and indulge in over thinking. This is also called as analysis paralysis.
- Fickle minded- You are unclear of your goals or your desires. Furthermore, vested interests add up to your confusions leading you no where. You have ambiguity of thoughts and conflict with your inner self.
- Too many inputs and advices- Seeking advices from friends and family does help in making decisions but at the same time, it can also add up to your puzzle. Worst yet, some of them can actually pressurize you take decisions as per their advices leading to conflict of interests.
- Bias towards specifics- When it comes to choosing between things, ideas or persons where you are emotionally attached, decision making becomes tough. Obviously, it will have direct impact either on your status quo or on your relation with the person involved.
- Over thinking or under thinking- Sometimes it so happens that fearing the consequences you tend to become over cautious. You think endlessly. Additionally, situations where an adequate decision would suffice you over think and try to make an optimal decision. On the other hand, you might as well take snap decisions and later regret for not making an adequate decision instilling a sense of self doubt which can later hinder your decision making ability in future.
- Fear of outcomes- Decisions when implemented leads to consequences. Hence, outcome can be disasters if wrong decisions are made in haste. For the most part, decision making leads to profit-loss, good-bad, moral-immoral, healthy-unhealthy, selfish-selfless, prudent-imprudent, big-small, and on and on. But our expectations are always based on profits and hence the fear of loss.
What is decision making?
According to the source,
In psychology, decision-making is regarded as the cognitive process resulting in the selection of a belief or a course of action among several alternative possibilities.
Why taking decisions based on your core interests matters?
Every small and big decisions that you make either have a purpose you aspire to accomplish or solve a problem. Therefore, decisions that you take should lead you towards your goals which will ultimately meet your life vision.
If the choice you make is inline with your life vision then you will have lesser regrets later in life. Consequently, it will ensure that you stay focused and be clear of what you want from life.
Say, you want to lose weight (short term goal) and stay fit all your life then you need to choose between a pastry every day or whole wheat bread even if people push you to eat something that’s not helping you achieve your goal.
Any decisions made in obligation will only take you away from your life vision and short term goals. Certainly, this will lead to self-doubt, blurred thoughts and unsatisfied experiences in life- unhappiness.
Obviously, sticking to your interests and taking decisions based on your focus areas means facing conflict in ideas with friends, family, society, subordinates at work, and more.
Nevertheless, you should make your choices that are most compatible to your inner desires and core aspirations even if people disagree. Subsequently, you will learn that it was actually worth seeing things in a different view point- happiness.
How to make decisions?
Making decision is tough, accept it. It would be much simpler to take decisions in a blink of an eye only if it was free of biases, reasoning, consequences, goals, purposes, memories, baggages, emotions, etc.
But the thing is, it is not. And we can only accept it and learn to deal with it. So here are few ways to make decisions in everyday life that favors your inner voice.
- Pay heed to your instinct- Trust me when I say instinct, it is not what you think it is- definitely not magical. Although we see it as supernatural or something of sorts, it is only based on your core values, experiences, knowledge, wisdom, and more. So it is worth considering your gut instinct as an important factor while decision making.
- Gather just enough information- Too much is too bad- and that’s the truth. Don’t keep digging deeper for facts and figures while it is possible to make decisions with what you have already gathered. This will only lead to confusions. Make adequate decisions and close it whenever possible and save optimal decision making process for life-and-death situations.
- Look above your fear- Understand the source of fear associated with particular decision making scenario and root it out by weighing it’s worthiness and it’s impact on your core desires. If it’s not for your goals then it’s not for you to feed that fear. Face it courageously. Visualize the positive impact your decision can make on your life without this fear. If you love it then that’s it. Just show your middle finger to that filthy fear.
- Turn your impulsive decisions into intelligent ones- Stay away from such decisions that can lead to regrets and remorse. Even if you make one in your mind, list down the pros and cons before you actually implement snap decisions. There by turning them into ultimate, quick and intelligent decisions easily.
- Having a back up plan- Having plan A to plan Z helps! Have as many plan versions as required for the major decisions in your life. This will allow you to execute your plan A without fear since you always have a fall back option handy. Sometimes a start is what you basically need to succeed.
- A calm mind can think wonders- If you have even slightest feeling of stress due to this whole process of decision making then you better stop thinking about it for sometime. Calm your mind, divert your attention, meditate or simply breath fresh air while you walk. Let your thoughts settle down. Then when you feel you’re ready, take a fresh approach. Imagine yourself in all possible outcomes and listen to your own wisdom for guidance. Pick the best possible choice that will make you happy more than anything else.
- Take the leap, don’t look back- Sometimes it is indeed a good decision to just make the decision and leave the rest for time to optimize on it. If you have given your 100%, made due diligence and there is not much you can do about it anymore, then just take the leap of faith because you have already worked out on all possibilities. Additionally, there will always be uncertainties in life and this is all part of acceptance. Learn and grow, is what you can best do.
Lastly, there is more science than you think in all the aspects we have discussed so far, consider these tips given by experts for daily decision making and breath out a wow after reading it.
To grow as an individual with a capacity to make wise decisions, one should make their inner base strong and connect with ones true self. If you know what you want in life, then you will know what type of choice to make to achieve your life vision.
Have you made tough decisions in past? Did it give you desired outputs or you regretted it? Do share some tips and lessons you have learnt on the way to decision making.