Do you want to know how to make tough decisions?
Do you always feel nervous each time you have to make important decisions, either in your business or life generally?
If you always struggle with making tough decisions, you must improve your decision-making skills.
This is because the fear of making tough decisions can lead to inaction or unwillingness to take any step.
Consequently, keeping you stuck and limiting your progress in life generally.
In this blog post, we share tips that will help you overcome self-doubt, stop feeling overwhelmed, and make tough decisions.
How To Make Tough Decisions
We make decisions daily; however, we do not realize it.
Each morning we wake up, we have to decide on what to eat for breakfast, the clothes and accessories to wear, and basically how to spend the entire day.
These everyday decisions or choices we make don’t seem much like a difficult thing to do.
However, when we have to make certain life-changing decisions like who to marry, the career to pursue, the type of business to start, investment decisions, etc., we often have a hard time doing so.
Well, the reason we can’t bring ourselves to make some tough decisions most times is not far-fetched.
It’s not because we can’t make those decisions.
Instead, it’s the consequences of the decisions that scare us when making those tough decisions.
We fear the known and unknown changes that may happen due to the decision we’re about to make.
For instance, as a business owner, you’re finding it difficult to decide to fire a negative employee.
This is because you fear the negative impact (limited workforce) of this decision on your business generally.
We fail to realize that change is a constant thing and that regardless of how careful we are, we can’t always predict what’ll happen in the future.
More so, if you can’t bring yourself to make that tough decision due to fear of the unknown, you’ll never really know the results your decision will yield.
So, why not keep an open mind, weigh your options carefully, and make the decision anyway.
Well, it’s most often easier said than done.
This is why there are certain principles that can guide you to making tough decisions.
Let’s find out what they are.
Guiding Principles on How to Make Tough Decisions
Be Clear On What You Truly Want
One of the reasons we have a hard time deciding between choices is that our choices are not what we want.
Hence, when you’re having difficulty deciding on something, ask yourself to see if that’s what you truly want.
Ask yourself what you truly want.
Are you finding it difficult between taking a new job offer or accepting a job promotion?
Then maybe what you truly want is the freedom to be your own boss.
In this case, the best decision to make would be to start a business.
In all, having a clear idea of what you want makes it easy to chose between choices or opportunities.
Thereby making it easy to make tough decisions.
Take Time To Think Your Decision Through
No one has time; everybody is always busy.
However, when it comes to making tough decisions, one of the basic things to do is book a “you” time to think about your choices.
You are not wasting your time; rather, you are taking your choices one after the other and weighing them.
You have to understand that decision-making is something you can’t do in haste.
Having a special thinking time helps you weigh your options carefully and gives you a clear idea of what’s best for you.
So, when you’re faced with tough decisions to make, don’t be pressured to make a hasty decision as that will only lead to errors in judgment and regrets later on.
Instead, make out time to carefully think about your decision before concluding on the steps to take.
Get a Clear Picture of the Consequences of Your Decision
Decisions are part of what determines what becomes of us in the future.
Therefore, it is advisable to get a clear picture of your decision when making tough decisions.
Determine the importance of the decision to you.
Understand why should or should not take the decision.
If you really need to decide on your options, define the key factors of your decision.
Figure out the direct, indirect, long, and short-term consequences of your decision.
Thereby giving you the mental clarity to make tough decisions.
Take a Look at Your Values; They Put You Through in Making Tough Decisions
Life is built on principles and values that guide our everyday activities, thoughts, and actions.
When you have clear values and principles that you live by, it aids your decision-making process.
Besides, those values and principles are meant to guide you through life.
So, why not include them in your decision-making process.
When you’re finding it difficult to make a major life-changing decision, taking a look back at your values and principles will remind you of the things that are most important to you.
For instance, if you value family, you’ll make decisions like choosing a job/business to help you spend time with your family more.
Overall, your values and principles will guide you when making tough decisions on important steps to take in life.
When Making a Tough Decision, Put It to the Test
The fear of failure always accompanies the fear of making a decision and standing by it.
This has given room to different ways of making decisions.
Some persons usually test their option to see how suitable it is before making the final decision.
Some decisions can be tested, for example, changing an environment.
If you want to relocate to a new environment, you can spend a weekend learning some things about the premises and deciding if you like it.
Testing your option helps clear your head and allows you to focus on the most viable options.
However, this principle may not be applicable in all situations.
Nevertheless, it is one of the guiding principles to making tough decisions.
Take a deep breath; it Will Calm Your Nerves and Help You Make a Decision
Most times, making tough decisions make us feel nervous.
You may even begin to panic, not because you are afraid of making decisions, but because you don’t know what the outcome would be.
With this in mind, you become all shaky.
At this point, take deep breaths.
If you take any decision in that state, you’ll certainly make judgments based on cloudy thinking.
Therefore, whenever you are tensed about the decision you want to make, take deep breaths to calm your nerves down.
This is an effective technique for relieving tension and calming your nerves down.
Consequently helping you think straight and enabling you to make tough decisions.
Pay Attention To Your Hopes/Trust Your Heart
When we have to make certain decisions in life, we often feel reluctant to so because we cannot control the outcomes of our decisions.
However, despite the uncertainties tied to the decisions we are about to make, deep down, we do hope things turn out a certain way.
We hope that things will happen in a certain way when we make certain decisions.
However, we feel reluctant because we fear that what we hope for may not happen.
If you can learn to trust your heart and allow your hopes to guide you in making a decision, things will be a lot easier.
So, when you need to make a tough decision, gather relevant information, weigh your options, make a decision by being hopeful that things will turn out fine.
Don’t Give In To The Pressure
Most times, when you have to make a tough decision, there’s a lot of pressure around you.
Even more, these could be internal pressure (your conflicting thoughts and opinions) and external pressure (from people around you).
This pressure can lead you to make the wrong judgments and, consequently, the wrong decision.
Hence, you don’t have to give in to this pressure.
Quiet the voices in your head and the ones around you.
Think deeply about the decision you’re about to make and decide based on what you believe is right for you and not due to the pressure within and around you.
Keep An Open Mind
Who says you have to be rigid or hard on yourself when making a tough decision?
You can be flexible in your approach when making a tough decision.
You can explore as many options and choices as available before making a decision.
Seek other people’s opinions, do intensive research if you have to.
Doing this gives you a lot of choices to decide on.
Overall, keep an open mind to the choices available and the outcome of your decision.
Thus, helping you make tough decisions.
Don’t Overthink It
As much as we’ll like to tell you to think about your decision carefully before concluding, we have to tell you not to overdo it.
Overthinking will only feed your mind with more fears and worries.
Thereby making it difficult for you to settle on a decision.
Hence, when you have to make a tough decision, don’t overthink it.
Think about it carefully and reach a conclusion.
Practice Making Simple Decisions
You can become better at making tough decisions by practice.
You can do this by consciously making simple decisions daily, like; taking time to decide what you’ll have for dinner, the movie to watch, what to wear, choice of words to use, whether or not to hang out at night on a particular day, etc.
Do this consistently until it becomes part of you.
The aim of this is to train your brain to become comfortable with thinking through decisions by giving it daily decision-making tasks.
Over time, you’ll become more comfortable with making decisions.
Thereby making it easy for you to make tough/other life-changing decisions.
Remember the Lessons You Made From Your Past Decisions
As much as we like to leave the past in the past, we certainly cannot ignore the lessons of the past.
There’s so much to learn from our past only if we only keep a positive mind to learn.
So what? You made certain wrong decisions in the past that has led to serious negative consequences, but what can you learn from that experience.
What did you do or did not do right?
Did you ignore your intuition, or did you not seek advice from other people before making a decision?
Did that lead to bad consequences?
As hurtful as these past experiences may be, you can certainly learn a lot from them that will guide you in future decisions.
So, when faced with a tough decision once more, remember the past lessons.
What did you do right that led to great results? Apply them.
What did you do wrong that led to terrible consequences? Avoid them.
Discuss It With a Second Party
Decision-making processes can be overwhelming.
Also, sometimes you may be short f ideas on what to do regardless of how you think about the situation critically.
In this situation, seeking fresh perspectives from other people can be quite helpful.
In this case, you could share your problems with your friends, family members, or even colleagues.
Be honest with them and let them know the issues you’re struggling with.
Also, ask them for suggestions and opinions on what you should do.
Even more, you all could brainstorm ideas on the possible solutions and various options available to you.
Likewise, if you think your family, friends, or colleagues may not be helpful, you could consider talking to a random stranger about your situation.
This will help you get honest and unbiased opinions or perspectives about the tough decision you have to make.
It could be with someone sitting next to you in a bus, at the park, or someone in the gym.
However, ensure that the person is friendly, welcoming, and open to discussing such issues with you.
Also, be careful not to divulge sensitive information that may expose you to any form of risk, harm, or danger.
Overall, sharing your thoughts/struggles with others helps you gather fresh insights and different perspectives on how to solve the problem.
Thereby making it easy when you have to make tough decisions.
Believe in Yourself; It Boosts Your Confidence to Make Tough Decisions
Making a tough decision involves three major stages;
- placing your available options before you and weighing them in the positive and negative light
- brainstorming for more options and sampling people’s opinions
- believing in yourself and making the decision.
The first two stages involve people, but the last one is your call to make.
At this point, when you have done every other thing required of you, the time to make the big decision is now.
At this stage, it is only you against yourself.
You will have to believe in yourself.
You will have to trust your ability to make a decision and stand on it.
Do not second-guess yourself.
Do not judge yourself from a similar situation in the past that turned out bad.
Make the decision, step out of the way and allow things to play out the way they should.
Do all that is required of you to make the decision work, but never doubt your choice.
You took a long work and arrived at it, give it time to manifest, and you’d be happy you did.
Focus on the Long-term Effect
Tough decisions are made with the mindset of changing our lives for good.
That is why when making decisions, it is always good to consider the effect of the choice in the future.
Before you make a decision, consider how it will affect your life two or five years later.
Also, consider how it will affect the life of your loved ones (even though it is majorly about you).
Looking at your options from this point of view will help you decide the effects you can live with and the ones you can’t.
Deciding on this will help you choose options that you consider most suitable for you.
It will also help you rise quickly again if the decision doesn’t work out in the future.
Never Go Back on Your Choice
To make a decision is to choose one out of other options and stand by it.
Therefore, never fall for the trick of making a decision and going back on it without trying it out.
This thought usually comes from panicking and asking yourself if you really made the right decision.
Remember that you did not just jump up and land on a decision; you did some research and careful thinking to arrive at that decision.
The only way you would know if it is right or wrong is by not going back on it.
In the end, making a decision and standing by it gives you room to learn some lessons from it, whether it ends up good or bad.
Final Words on How To Make a Tough Decision
That’s it on the guiding principles to making tough decisions.
As said earlier, making tough decisions doesn’t need to be difficult if only you’ll learn to stop doubting yourself and trust your heart.
Also, using these principles to guide you in your decision-making process will most certainly help you become better at making decisions.
Thereby helping you develop your decision-making skills.