How To Make Difficult Decisions

How To Make Difficult Decisions

Do you want to know how to make difficult decisions?

If you do, then come along with us.

In our daily lives, we are faced with different decisions.

Some of them are easy to make and do not require much thought.

Others require more thought and deliberation.

And then, some can stress us and make us think for a long time.

Those decisions are considered to be difficult decisions.

Making them can be a struggle that can wear on us.

Whether or not we like them, we have to make them.

We know how tough this can be.

Hence, we will guide you with tips on how to make difficult decisions.

But before that, let’s take a look at what difficult decisions are.

What Are Difficult Decisions? – How to Make Difficult Decisions

There are no actual definitions of what difficult decisions are.

This is because decisions are said to be difficult based on the circumstances surrounding the various choices, and mostly based on the person making the decision.

So, two people might be presented with the same choices and circumstances surrounding them, but one person will find that decision difficult while the other person might find it easier.

Everybody is built and structured differently.

Some people are more experienced, while others aren’t.

Certain individuals might have the capacity to deal with and make a decision better than another.

Just because one person can deal with a situation does not make it less difficult for you.

The decision that is difficult for one person can be easy for another person, and the decision hard for such a person can be easy for the next person.

So, to define difficult decisions it has to be based on what you as a person consider to be difficult.

In other words, difficult decisions are those that when you are faced with test your abilities and get you at your wit-end.

Most times, the difficult decisions we are faced with are those that will have a long-termed impact.

Other times, they are decisions that will test our values and principles.

Hence, we struggle with making the right decision.

The truth is we can never outrun a decision.

If you decide to not make a choice, then you are also making a decision.

This does not help your case.

Hence, you have to face the choices you and make a decision.

Examples of Difficult Life Decisions – How to Make Difficult Decisions

To better understand difficult decisions, we will be looking at some examples of difficult life decisions.

Whether or not the decision you are facing is about your professional or personal life, it will still have an impact on your general life.

For example, if you are to decide on your business partner, the outcome will still affect your life.

As you know by now, different people are faced with different difficult life decisions.

However, the common difficult life decisions that people face include:

  • Choosing a career path
  • Applying for a main course
  • Making a career change
  • Getting an advanced degree
  • Relocating to another country
  • Starting a business
  • Choosing a romantic partner
  • Buying or renting a house
  • Deciding whether to marry or not
  • Deciding on getting kids or not
  • Quitting Your Job
  • Buying a company
  • Choosing a mentor

As mundane as some of these decisions might be, they can become challenging when there are complex circumstances surrounding them.

So, they are all considered to be difficult decisions.

Why Do People Avoid Difficult Decisions? – How to Make Difficult Decisions

Making difficult decisions are not easy.

They demand a lot of consideration before they can be made right.

Oftentimes, even with enough consideration, people still feel like they are not making the right decisions.

Hence, they get tensed, stressed, and confused.

As a result, several people rather not deal with having to make that decision.

So, the simple answer to why people avoid difficult decisions is that they are burdened, stressed, and confused with their options.

Hence, they rather not face that decision than experience stress and confusion.

And sometimes, they avoid making decisions because they are scared of the outcome.

Why You Need To Make Difficult Decisions – How to Make Difficult Decisions

Knowing and understanding why you need to make difficult decisions can help encourage you to make them.

So, here are some reasons:

The Decision Will Still Be Hanging – How to Make Difficult Decisions

One reason why you need to make difficult decisions is to tick them off your to-do list and move on.

In other words, if you avoid or postpone making a difficult decision you will leave it to hang.

That decision will stay for long and not make any impact on your life.

If that difficult decision has a time limit, you might miss out on what you ought to have attained or achieved.

You Will Not Be Free Until You Make It

Apart from the decision being kept on hold and interfering with an opportunity in your life, it will also hold you down.

In other words, you will not be free until you make that decision.

You might try to wave it off your mind, but it will keep coming back to disturb your peace.

This will be more exhausting than facing the decision head-on.

So, you need to make those difficult decisions to free your mind and enjoy life better.

Not Making a Decision is a “Decision” – How to Make Difficult Decisions

Whether you like it or not, not making a decision is a “decision”.

And we will like to add that, doing nothing is a wrong decision.

This is because you will be doing yourself a big disservice.

So, why don’t you face that difficult decision head-on?

In summary, you need to make difficult decisions to free your mind of it and move on with life.

If you want to keep holding on to that stress, confusion, or fear, you can keep avoiding those decisions.

However, if you want to be free, face that difficult decision head-on.

Factors That Can Make Difficult Decisions More Difficult – How to Make Difficult Decisions

Yes, things can get worst than it is when faced with difficult decisions.

To avoid having things get worst for you, you have to ensure that deal with:


When you let your choices get clouded by bias and prejudice, you will find it more difficult to make your decision.

Hence, you need to be aware of your bias and prejudice, filter them out, and stick with the information and facts you have.

Too Much Information – How to Make Difficult Decisions

Too much information or choices can make a decision more difficult to make.

You would get overwhelmed and confused.

Hence, you have to reduce your choices and only gather relevant information.

Check here to discover 10 steps to conquering information overload.

Cognitive Constraints

The brain is used in making decisions.

If your brain is not functioning properly, you have more issues making difficult decisions.

So, you have to ensure that you take care of your mind.

Sleep adequately, eat good food, exercise, and meditate.

Tips on How to Make Difficult Decisions

Facing and making difficult decisions are not easy.

However, running away or ignoring them does not help.

So, you need to be brave and willing, and also put the following tips to good use.

1. Understand Why It is Difficult

There is no actual definition or criteria that make up a difficult decision.

It all boils down to the person making the decision.

So, for you to make a difficult decision you need to understand why they are difficult.

For example, a decision can be difficult because it has a high stake; it can either make or mar you.

Or a decision can be difficult for you because of what you have experienced in the past.

Another reason could be because you are faced with different amazing choices that you do not know which to pick.

Whatever your reason is, you need to recognize and understand it to move forward.

When you know your “why” you will know how to tackle that decision better.

2. Keep Your Emotions in Check – How to Make Difficult Decisions

Most times when you let your emotions get the best of you when faced with a difficult decision, you can end up making the wrong one.

So, when you want to make a difficult decision, keep your emotions in check.

Do not make impromptu or spontaneous decisions.

When you feel like your emotions are getting the best of you need to:

Stop – How to Make Difficult Decisions

Pay attention to signs that tell if you are experiencing any strong emotions.

Some of these signs are fast heart beating or heavy shoulders.

If you notice those signs, then you should stop.

Ensure that you do not make your decision until your feelings are in control.


If you are doing anything when you feel a strong emotion that can interfere with your decision, then stop doing that thing.

Drop whatever it is you are doing and just take a break.

Engage in any activity that can calm you such as strolling or practicing deep breathing.

Process – How to Make Difficult Decisions

When you have your emotion in check, then you need to understand what it is.

The best way to do this is to identify the emotion’s name (i.e fear, anger, worry, disappointment, etc).

Think and understand your reason for feeling that way.

This will help you make a better decision.

For instance, if you are scared about making a decision, then you may be making that choice because of something that has happened to you.

Or you are scared of happening of something happening.

3. Sleep

We guess that you were not expecting this, but sleep can do you a lot of good in making a difficult decision.

This is because your unconscious thought has a way of getting rid of biases and preconceptions.

As a result, it leaves behind only facts that can help you in making decisions.

Furthermore, sleep deficiencies or deprivation can affect the brain from functioning well.

Hence, getting good sleep when faced with a difficult decision can benefit you.

4. Let go of Fear of Failure/ Mistake – How to Make Difficult Decisions

Fear can destabilize you and make a difficult decision more difficult for you.

Most often, the fear associated with making difficult decisions is the fear of making mistakes or failing.

This fear does not help you view your choices objectively.

Hence, you need to let go of that fear of failure or mistake.

Some steps you can take to overcome fear are:

  • Consider what your thought on or about the decision you are about to make are
  • Assess whether those thoughts are realistic
  • Question yourself about the worst thing that could happen if you take that decision
  • Question yourself if you can handle that reality

If you can handle the reality of your decisions, then nothing should hold you back.

However, if you cannot, then you should train yourself to deal with it.

5. Reduce Your Options

Analysis paralysis is the inability to make decisions due to over-thinking too much information or data.

When making difficult decisions, having too many choices can cause analysis paralysis.

Too many choices will make you feel that you need to scrutinize all of those choices.

You might think or feel that if all your choices are carefully scrutinized that you will reduce the chances of facing uncertainties or making mistakes.

However, the truth is, that considering those choices will delay you from making a decision.

Hence, you have to avoid this.

The best way to do this is to trim down your options.

Fewer options help to speed up the decision-making process.

6. Gather Information – How to Make Difficult Decisions

When you have your options narrowed down, you then need to get new information on each of your options.

This will help you to evaluate them better.

Ensure that you gather the right information.

For instance, if you are thinking of the best business to start, and you have different ideas, then you have to gather information on those ideas.

A great way to do this will be to speak to those doing those businesses you are considering.

Your information should not only be correct but useful.

This way, you will have a guide in making your decision.

7. Check the Pros and Cons

No matter how you try to see it, every decision has a pro and con side.

This means, that there are advantages and disadvantages to every option that you have to make a decision.

So, you have to ensure that you get the good side of the deal.

In other words, you need to check the pros and cons of all your choices and weigh them.

When you do this, it will narrow your option even more, and make your decision much easier.

So, get a pen and paper, write out all your alternatives and start listing out all their pros and cons.

When you do this ensure that you consider all their benefits and downsides.

Also, ensure that you look at how the pros and cons of each option will fit and work with your future or current plans.

8. Talk to Someone You Trust – How to Make Difficult Decisions

If there is someone you trust, then you can confide in that person.

This person should be someone who will not withhold honest and good advice.

Discussing your options with the person will help to make them more than ideas in your head.

It will give you a clear picture of what you are dealing with and another perspective from a trusted person.

So, if you do not have someone you trust, you should get yourself one.

9. Reflect on Your Past Decisions

You have to ensure that you reflect on your previous decisions before taking any action on your new decisions.

Making use of critical thinking abilities to objectively view your old decisions and how they worked for you can help you to make a better decision.

So, take time to view how those previous decisions have impacted your life.

10. Align Your Decisions and Actions With Personal Values – How to Make Difficult Decisions

Everybody has values and principles that make them who they are.

So, when faced with a difficult decision remember your values.

Consider if that ultimate choice matches your value.

In other words, think about those things you value and prioritize your decision based on them.

For instance, let’s assume you value fashion, and you are thinking of starting either a fashion-related business or a coffee shop business.

This decision might be difficult to make due to the circumstances surrounding each of the options.

However, you might go for the fashion-related business because it aligns with your value.

So, ensure you consider your values.

If you do not know what your values are, then you need to figure them out.

11. Envision Each Choice

If you are skeptical about how a choice will play out in the nearest future, then you should try the envisioning technique.

That is, you should visualize your decision as if you have made it already.

All you need to do is to shut your eyes.

While your eyes are shut, see yourself living with that decision.

When you have done this notice your feelings.

If you feel good about that decision, then you are probably on the right path.

12. Set a Deadline – How to Make Difficult Decisions

Show yourself tough love by setting a deadline to make your decision.

When you set a deadline, it will make you see that every minute counts in making your decision.

As a result, you more be dedicated to making your decision.

Conclusion on How to Make Difficult Decisions

Difficult decisions tell on us both physically and mentally.

They get us tensed, stressed, confused, and sometimes scared.

However, we cannot run away from them.

We need to make them and move on with our lives.

You can tackle tough decisions better when you reduce and weigh each of your options, get a hold of your emotions, and envision your choices. 

Also, you can consider talking to someone you trust about it, and check to see the option that matches your value or principle.

While tackling tough decisions ensure that you sleep, eat well, avoid letting too much information overwhelm you, and discard bias or prejudice.