Why you can’t make decisions

How to make decisions

How to make decisionsAll of us find it difficult to make a decision some times. It seems we live in a world where we are faced with countless choices, so often we fear making the wrong decision.

I have learned something that helped me put my own fear back in perspective. Failure to make a decision is, in itself, a decision. It is a decision to do nothing. In other words for you to take a deliberate action there must first be a decision to do so. It is only when you start making decisions you can get back in control of your own life.

I want you to imagine for a moment you are faced with an emergency situation; such as a car accident. Several passengers are seriously injured but you must take action if you are to save any lives. How do you decide who to help first? Would you move a passenger who could not walk if you could do permanent damage? What if they were in serious danger from smoke, a fire or other passing traffic? Would that alter your decision.

You will be pleased to know that our emergency services have extensive training and they know what to do. What you may not understand, unless you have been faced with a real emergency, is that sometimes people will be forced to make decisions in seconds. They will make a decision that could save or end someone’s life -but they know taking some decisive action is, in most cases, better than taking no action at all.

If you have been delaying an important decision you should stop and ponder this. What is the worst thing that could happen if you make the wrong decision? If you have time to ponder this I am guessing no one’s life depends on your decision. Try and put your worst possible outcome in perspective and you will usually find it’s not that bad.

Information overload is another reason some people delay decisions. The Internet has given us access to thousands of pages on any topic, so it is only natural you want to engage in extensive search. You probably want to analyse every bit of information out there, so you are certain of any outcome before you decide. If you take this approach you may never have enough information and you could miss an important opportunity.

I understand not every decision can, or indeed should, be made on the spot but it is important information overload does not cause you to delay your decision unnecessarily. In some cases information overload will prevent you from making a decision all together; causing you to miss an opportunity.

Engage in an information search by all means but only to the extent warranted by the significance of any possible outcome. If you can’t make a decision on the spot but you agree that a decision is necessary then set yourself a deadline by which to decide. This will allow you sufficient time to consider relevant information without making excuses to avoid deciding.

Practice make perfect, so if you want to get better at making decisions you just need to make more decisions. Start with small decisions and work your way up. Each time you decide something it will get easier.

Remember; every deliberate action must start with a decision.


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