Most of our decisions are fairly easy. Many of them are automatic. But how do you make your big decisions? Most of us spend a lot of time agonizing and worrying over these. We make lists, we research on the Internet, and we ask trusted friends. And then we worry some more. Not good.
My oldest daughter has been accepted to the BFA in Acting program at two of her favorite universities. She has a deadline to decide which school she will attend and she’s having difficulty making the decision.
This is a bit of a pattern with her. She wants to make sure she’s making the “right” decision.
Good news: She researches and looks at all the possible outcomes of her decision.
Bad news: This can lead to the dreaded paralysis by analysis, worry, anxiety, and frustration.
Here are some secrets to help you, and my daughter, make the right decision faster.
Most of the time a quick decision is your best decision:
Lots of research and several books have been written about how our quick hunch, gut, or blink decisions are usually best.
Our bodies are great at using our memories, experiences, and beliefs to help us make the right call. Our “intuition” helps us figure out patterns and sift through factors in ways we aren’t even aware of consciously. One study showed participants started betting correctly on a card game before they even consciously understood how the game worked.
One caveat – sometimes we need to slow down:
Our quick, almost unconscious, gut decisions are tied heavily to our emotions and sometimes our emotions fool us. My daughter could fall in love with the resort style dorm and pool in Florida. She could mistake that feeling for her gut telling her to choose that school. Whoops.
Quite often there is no “right” decision:
My daughter really likes both of these schools and their programs. They both have great opportunities for her. Regardless of which one she chooses she will learn a lot, become an even better actress, have a head start on her career, and have fun. There is no right or wrong decision to make.
You can support or undermine your decision:
Once you’ve made your decision you can support it by never looking back and focusing on all the good that is coming your way, or you can worry about what you could be missing if you’d chosen differently.
My daughter can throw her self into her classes, put in her best effort, make friends, audition for shows, and make the most of every opportunity at her new college.
Or, she can dismiss all the good in her decision, mope around, think of all the things she’s missing at the school she didn’t choose and be miserable. It’s her choice.
Bottom Line – Use a Mix of Your Gut and Your Logical Brain:
For the big decisions ask yourself, what do think is best? Then immediately right down the answer.
Then, go ahead and do your due diligence – research, write your pro and con list, talk to someone you trust, pray about it, sleep on it, and then decide.
Once you’ve decided, don’t look back. Make the decision work. You’ll be surprised how well it works out and how quickly your worry and anxiety fade away.
(I’m now offering a 40 day online coaching course to kick start finding and pursuing your Passionate Purpose.)