We are faced with the challenge of decision making all the time. Some are significant – who should we marry? Where should we live? What career should I choose? Others, less so. Fortunately, we don’t have to be overwhelmed when faced with the choices that stand in front of us! With that encouragement behind us, here are a few things to consider that might help! I would encourage that all of these guides are considered, and not just one or two. That way, we are making decisions based on consistency and wisdom, and not purely on emotion or feelings.
Decision-Making Guide 1: Ponder
First is always ponder. Have you taken time out on your own to reflect? Have you switched off the phone and made yourself unobtainable? What do you feel when you contemplate? If you don’t ‘feel’ anything, that’s OK! But sometimes, getting away from it all gives us the space to connect with a deeper part of ourselves.
Decision-Making Guide 2: Principles
Secondly, consider if there are any principles that you hold that are applicable to your situation. What does experience or your gut have to say about this area? It’s amazing what a little remembering or searching can do. Perhaps there are books or podcasts you know of that could also help.
Decision-Making Guide 3: Preferences
Thirdly, do you have a personal preference? What do you want to do? When you think about the implications of your potential decision, what would it affect? Does it help you in your short or long-term goals? Emotionally, are you able to make an objective decision or are you too involved to be balanced?
Decision-Making Guide 4: People
Fourthly, we have people around us who can help. Have you spoken to anyone for their opinion? Are they wise, mature people? Did you listen to what they think? Have you asked people who would be honest, and who haven’t got a vested interest in your decision? There is a difference between asking for wisdom, and asking to hear what we want to hear!
Decision-Making Guide 5: Peace
Fifthly, do you have a sense of peace about making a certain decision? Do you feel OK about what you know could happen? Equally, do you feel OK about not knowing what could happen? You know if you’ve got peace because feeling peaceful means being settled despite not knowing all the facts.
Decision-Making Guide 6: Push Doors
Sixthly, what happens when you ‘push doors?’ Taking steps in a certain direction to test the water can sometimes help us in making our minds up. Some doors (ie opportunities) will open up, some doors will close. Bear in mind though, an open door doesn’t mean its right and a closed door doesn’t mean its wrong! This is a useful step of action when we are procrastinating or unable to take a step of action. In effect, we walk down a road until we can’t walk any further, then consider our new experience in the decision-making process.
In summary, when making decisions, consider pondering, principles, personal preference, people’s advice, peace of mind and pushing doors.