Making decisions is part of our lives. We do it every single day. Some of them are ordinary and seemingly unimportant like what to wear, what to eat or where to go. On the contrary, others are very important, huge! Like, change my career, settle down, move out of the country, have a baby. The big decisions are often the toughest decisions and they’re the ones with the most impact on our lives. They’re literally the decisions that change the course of our lives. Are you facing a tough decision in your life? Here’s what you need to do to figure out what to do.
Do Your Research
Big decisions are pretty scary and some of that fear comes from not knowing much about the decision because it’s the first time you’re making it. Ignorance isn’t bliss, so do your research. Search the Internet, or visit your local library or bookstore. Read as much as you can about the decision you need to make. Discover the pros and cons. Make a list of all the questions you have about your big decision and do all the research you need to get them answered.
Look for Alternatives
Consider why you are making this big decision. Is it to be happier, feel more successful, take your relationship to the next level or fulfill a life-long dream? Is making this big decision the only way to make what you want happen? Consider all your alternatives before you make your big decision. Once you know all that’s available to you, you may have a different decision to make that could be easier and still get you what you want.
Talk to the Experts
The experts are the people who have already made the big decision you’re considering. You can do all the Internet research and read all the books you want. That’s the first step. Your next step is to talk to people you actually know about their decision-making process. Knowing someone who went through what you’re going through makes you feel more comfortable and less alone.
Ask any question you want and don’t be afraid to get personal. Why did they make the choice they made? Do they regret it? Are they happy now? How has their decision impacted their life? What are the realities of life after the big decision?
Imagine This Scenario
Maybe you’re struggling with you big decision because you’re worried how it will make other people feel or how it will impact those you love. If you have family or loved ones to look out for, of course you need to consider them and even consult them in your decision-making process. But if you have no ties and no responsibilities, you really have no one else to consider but yourself.
Think about your big decision this way: What would you decide to do if no one knew and no one cared? What if no one’s opinion mattered but your own? That last question was a trick question! If you only have yourself to worry about, no one’s opinion matters but your own. What decision would you make if you didn’t have to worry about disappointing or upsetting anyone?
Frame Your Fears
If you’re feeling fearful, don’t dismiss that feeling, but don’t let it influence your big decision completely. Make a list of your fears. Are you afraid because this is new? Are you afraid because you’re considering taking a huge step? Whatever fears you have, see if they can’t be calmed by doing the research I mentioned before. You should take all of your fears into consideration, but meditate on why you’re fearful. Your fear could be based on insecurities. Spend some time in your head and work on your fears, but know that you won’t get rid of your fears completely and be okay with that.
Take a Break
All this thinking and meditating gets tiring, so remember to take a mental break. If you don’t have to make your big decision right away, take time away from it and do other things. Come back to your big decision once you feel refreshed and renewed. You won’t make the right decision for yourself if you’re under stress.
Take a Test Drive
You really have two choices: Either you’re going to decide to do something or you’re going to decide not to do something. Now you get to sit with each decision for a while and see how you feel. It’s like taking a test drive before you decide. How does each decision make you feel? Do you feel happy, sad or relieved? Think about how each decision will make you feel in 10 years. How about in 20? What would your future self say about each decision? And on your deathbed, will you regret doing or not doing it?
Here’s the truth: Whatever decision you make is going to have its imperfections. It’s going to have bumps in the road. There are going to be moments when you think it was a terrible decision and you’re filled with frustrations and regrets. But there are going to be other times when you think your decision is the best decision you’ve ever made and you’re going to feel joy and satisfaction. Big decisions are important, life-changing decisions. That’s why they aren’t easy to make. But following these tips can make them a bit easier. Good luck!