When faced with a decision, what do you do? I had a number of friends growing up who couldn’t make decisions if their life depended on it. They’d hem and haw trying to figure it out. Even a close relative had the same problem. I usually got really frustrated and would say, alright already, make up your mind! Ummm, people just didn’t appreciate that! I can’t imagine why…
Because of them, I only occasionally have trouble making decisions. But you may not be so lucky. If you’re like my friends, you may play the “what if” game. What if I say yes and something goes wrong; I lose my job, my spouse, money, whatever; or some other negative thing happens. But, what if I say no and I miss out on all the wonderful things this choice would bring me?
If this happens to you a lot and you get locked up and can’t move in either direction, you might want to try out a couple of different systems to see which works best for you.
One popular idea that’s been around for ages is the old pros and cons list. If it’s an important decision like moving to a new city or taking a different job, that might work to at least get you started. But here’s the twist, once you see what’s actually under the pros list vs. what’s on the cons list, you may find that it’s not the length of the list, but the importance of one or two items on the list that will help you make up your mind. You have to be willing to write these down because it’s something about seeing it in front of you that helps you make this decision. Just throwing it out there and saying it doesn’t seem to work as well.
Then there’s the “what’s the worst thing that could happen” system. Think of at least one worst case scenario – usually two or three works better – and see how they make you feel. And then think of the best cases – again at least two or three. How does that feel? Could you live with the worst case scenario if it happens? How likely does it really feel? And how wonderful is the best case scenario? If the worst totally outweighs the good, then you may not make the decision to go forward. But if you’re really excited about the possibilities, you may feel ready to take the risk involved.
And ultimately what is NOT making a decision doing to your life? Are you having fun and loving your life or are you living in fear by keeping the status quo? Just know that there’s no right or wrong answer ever. It is simply a decision that will propel your life in one direction or another. And if you don’t like the direction it takes, just choose a different decision, and start off in a new direction.