Creating the Best Decisions For YourselfChoices can overwhelm and it is better to keep the smaller decisions ones not to ponder too much over, but those big choices that have bigger consequences deserve your attention. Let these steps take you there:
1. Stay calm and confident. I probably don't need to tell you that making decisions in a calm state of mind will probably lead to a better outcome, but it is also better for your mental health, too. It will provide you with a sense of control over the circumstances of your life and most certainly a better sense of control over your thoughts and emotions. You are able to focus on the right details to make a better decision and allow you to better communicate your needs to other people creating a more effective, intelligent choice.
One way to stay calm if you are stressed about a decision to make is to have a little conversation with yourself. What you say to yourself can be just as important as what you tell others. The mindset you create during pressure situations is critical and the thoughts your formulate in your head during stressful or emotional moments can either help you calm yourself or heighten your anxiety. Besides, the more you stew on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Many of our negative thoughts are just that—thoughts. It has not even happened and most likely won't.
Try saying positive things to yourself to feel more centered and in control. Something like these statements:
- I can and will do my best.
- I can handle this.
- I am calm.
- I am focused.
2. Don't overlook the details. Make sure you understand the decision at hand completely. It is paramount that you pay attention to the details and gather the facts as sometimes within those details the decision becomes suddenly clear. Or, if you get the facts wrong, the worst decision could be made!
Here are some questions to get the ball rolling:
- What is the time limit to make the choice?
- Who is involved with the decision and how does it affect others?
- Has anyone or anything been overlooked?
- What is my ultimate desired outcome for me and for everyone else involved?
- What could I and others gain and lose from each path I could take?
- What’s preventing me from having the outcome I desire? How can I fix that?
- Where can I compromise or ask others to compromise?
3. Choose advisers carefully. Whenever I can't make an easy decision, I ask for advice. Others, after all, may see the best solution more clearly than I. But, I’ve found that getting too much advice can start to muddle the process. Limit yourself to one or two advisers who happen to have experience with the situation.
4. Create an imaginary friend. This one always works for me. I pretend a friend is asking my advice for the very dilemma or decision I need to make. The emotional response is lessened when I am playing the role as "the friend" giving advice. Most times, the right choice becomes much clearer.
5. Disconnect. Force yourself offline and even turn off your phone to give yourself some quiet uninterrupted time to let your mind clear. Go for a walk alone. Just moving your body in a steady rhythm can help create energy and maybe a possible solution or two.
6. Sleep on it. If you have the time with the decision to make, ensure to do your best to get sleep. Allow yourself to get a break from thinking and allow your brain to recharge so that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Your self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough sleep making the best decision less likely. The choice to make may be a lot more clear to you after a break from it and resting your mind.
Try these tips to get a good nights rest.
Great Reads For Decision-Making Tools
- Are you a satisficer or maximizer when it comes to life's choices? Find out which is better!
- Great questions to ask yourself to define your values and therefore clarifying your decisions.
Need a bit more?
- Here is a medical choice you may need to make sometime soon.
- An option that may be a good one for you and your family is right here, too.
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