Making tough decisions isn’t an enjoyable experience.
Life circumstances often put us at a crossroad and most of us weigh the pros and cons of each road while others listen to their instinct. Everyone has their own way of deciding things. To cut it short, life is filled with decisions and choices; it’s an important aspect of our careers, our relationships, and in our overall happiness.
Today, we’re taking a look at making tough decisions because it’s the one thing every entrepreneur faces.
Let’s get started …
Why is decision-making so hard?
We make hundreds if not thousands of decisions every single day. These decisions are often small and insignificant like choosing what to eat, deciding what to wear, where to go, when should I exercise, and so on and so on. We make these decisions in a fraction of a second because it’s easy and there isn’t much at stake. It doesn’t change our lives in any meaningful way.
Decision making becomes hard when there is something at stake. You’ll have to decide an appropriate attire for that interview and it’s going to put some pressure on you because your future job is on the line. You need to chill and stop agonizing on whether you did was right or wrong. You just need to stop worrying.
We don’t recommend that you make important decisions in a fraction of a second, but we also don’t recommend that you stand idle either. Not doing anything is still a choice.
Remember that overthinking things is not always a good thing, sometimes you need to trust your gut feelings and your intuitions. You need to make decisions quickly by setting a time limit on them. You should accept that you can’t have it all and that you need to compromise a little. And if you made the wrong call, then learn from your mistakes.
How Can I Improve My Decision Making Skills?
If you’re reading this article then you’re already on the first step of improving your decision-making skills. The first step is to identify that you have a problem and that you’re willing to make progress to solve that problem. You’re already doing that by reading this article.
Some of the other steps in making better decisions are by:
- Following the 10/10/10 Rule
The 10/10/10 was invented by Suzy Welch. Suzy Welch is a business writer who has published a lot of respected publications over the years.
The 10/10/10 rule states that we think about our decisions in 3 different time frames. The first one is, “How will I feel about this decision in 10 minutes?” The second one is, “How about 10 months from now?” And the last one would be, “How about 10 years from now?”
The rule basically offers us a new perspective and it ensures that we don’t regret the decision that we’re about to make. If you can see yourself happy in 10 years from now, then it just might be the right call.
- Face Your Fears and Move On
Most of us freeze when it’s time to make big important decisions. We freeze because we are afraid, we are afraid of the outcome and try to stall for time by overthinking things.
The solution to this problem is by naming your fears and then facing them head-on. One simple way of doing this is by writing all of your fears down, and by writing about all the bad things that can possibly happen. Will this decision lead to an argument with my spouse? Will it lead to divorce?
The next step is to see if you can cope with the worst case scenario. Can you cope with being single? How will your children handle it? Will I still be happy? Think about it and replay the scenario in your mind over and over again. Then you should find ways to cope with the worst case scenario. You will eventually get used to it and you will feel less fearful of the outcome.
- Find the Pros and Cons, Then Write Them Down
A simple way to improve your decision-making skills is by writing the pros and cons down, so says TED Talk Speaker Ruth Chang.
By listing down all the pros and cons of each decision you will eventually see that one decision is more favorable than the other. It’s a simple technique that a lot of people tend to dismiss.
- Do Not Mistake What You Like With What You Actually Want
We often confuse what we like with what we want. People make wrong decisions all the time because of this misconception. As human beings and as people, we are often influenced by our feeling and by our emotions.
However, our feelings don’t really make good decisions and we often misunderstand where they are coming from. And because of this we often make the wrong calls.
Sometimes we need to take a long look at ourselves and understand where these feelings are coming from. We may want to travel to an exotic beach but on the way, we pass by a beautiful set of hills. We become distracted and we eventually go to the hills.
A solution for this is to stick to your original plan or by putting it in you’re to do list. Go to the beach first then decide later if you want to go the hills next.
- Don’t Get Caught in the Paradox of Choice
It was easy to make a decision back in the days. If you wanted to buy a shirt, then you would simply have to choose from a few brands, the color, and the design. Now we have hundreds of companies selling different types of shirts. There are even weird new colors and designs that most of us couldn’t even identify. If you’re going to buy a shirt today, then you’re going to have to choose the type, the fit, the fabric, the pattern, the size, the micro-size, the stitch, and so on.
Barry Schwartz of TED Talks eloquently states that we end up thinking that A, B, C, D or X, Y, Z is a better choice than E, F, G. This overabundance in choices have led us in a choosing dilemma.
The best solution for this problem would be to keep it simple. You can narrow down the choices to the bare essentials and then choose from them. So instead of choosing from 10 different alternatives, you can choose from maybe 2 or 4 alternatives instead. Keep it simple, and don’t overthink things.