“ Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision.” —Tony Robbins
In our daily lives, we make small choices like what clothes to wear in the morning or what brand of soap to buy which may be easy enough to make—though some of us spend hours on research to make those decisions. It’s those biggest decisions that are the hardest to make—ones where despite all the research you’ve done still it is up to you and to your gut feelings and experiences, to decide what is the best option.
Some of the hard questions we encounter through our life like: Should I take this job? Should I move back home? Should I marry? Essential questions that are difficult and risky to answer.
So how do you put yourself in the best position when faced with hard decisions?
Here are 5 pieces of advice for how to approach and handle life-altering choices:
1. BE CLEAR ON YOUR VALUES
Having clear values makes taking difficult decisions easier. For example, spending time with family is one of the very important things in your life. When it comes time to a decision about work travel, or taking a new job abroad, you’ll immediately know what actions to take depending on those values.
2. ASK FOR A VIEW
Sometimes it is not enough to do our research and check our guts, we actually need advice. Asking someone else for their opinion typically works best when you’re considering doing something that you’ve never done before, and when you know someone who’s experienced in that domain. Just be mindful not to accept the advice given to you blindly. Some choices may seem fine for someone and not for another. If you find yourself not comfortable with the given advice, you don’t have to go with it, but you may benefit from the conversation which can lead you towards a decision.
3. TEST IT OUT FIRST
Ahead of your decision to relocate or accept a new job in a different country, test it out before making this decision. Visit the place or see if you can meet with any of your potential new mates ahead of time. When we expose ourselves to a new experience, usually our gut feeling, and our body tends to signal whether it feels “right” or “off”.
4. TAKE A DEEP BREATH
I remember my mother used to tell me always to take a few deep breaths before I say something I might regret later. Well, I know the reasoning for that now!
Make sure when it comes to a decision that you give yourself the space to think between stimulus and response and break your mind out of the destructiveness of “reaction mode”.
5. STAY AWAY FROM ‘What if’ GAME
It is strange how we tend to dwell on the consequences of actions which we didn’t actually take, once we feel we are close to the right one.
What if I’d accepted the offer?
What if I’d said what I really want?
We are very bad at looking into our inner self, which makes it hard to decide. At a certain point you need to trust you’ve put in the thought and work to make the right decision and just commit.
It’s impossible to know whether the decision you’re making is 100% right. Remember that your gut is as powerful and important as all the research and views you have gathered.
When you have to make a life decision, make sure you do the research, be confident and most of all trust your guts. You’ve got this!