Over the years, clients have often told me that they don’t feel comfortable making decisions, often not trusting themselves enough to make the ‘right’ choice.
We make masses of straightforward decisions on a daily basis and some are so much part of our daily routines that we don’t think of them as decisions.
But as adults with responsibilities including perhaps other mouths to feed, it’s very common to get stuck on the big decision making. We know we want to be happy but there are so many external factors that we also can’t ignore.
It “should” be about what we truly want, but often there is a compromise to be made somewhere.
So it’s no surprise to hear that the question that I am hearing these days is “Is it a good idea to even think about making big decisions right now?”
If you had asked me this earlier in the year, I would have said; “Focus on the small things, the things that you can control and give yourself a bit of a break right now.”
The level of stress we were under was not conducive to choosing to make big changes.
But now as there is seemingly no definite end in sight to the current situation, it may no longer be possible (or maybe not healthy) to leave big decisions for another time. The big and perhaps difficult decisions involving careers, relationships, health, children, family (and tons of other situations) can no longer be ignored.
So, I personally think that if you have a decision to make, it’s now time to give it your undivided attention.
Now, I don’t know what your personal decision is so it’s impossible for me to come up with a bespoke solution for you on this page — not without writing a gazillion words so that everybody’s eyes glaze over…
Instead (and what I hope is helpful) I have put a list together of some general questions that I would ask you if you were sitting with me now. (I do ask a lot of client questions but I wouldn’t normally ask 14 one after the other like this!)
What I am hoping is that my general questions spark something in your mind that will allow you to ask yourself some more specific and targeted questions that cover your situation. The answers might come instantly and for others you might have to dig deeper — above all be honest with yourself.
Just one last thing, do not come at these questions when you are feeling really stressed, anxious or suffering any form of trauma — this makes it very difficult to both think clearly and to come up with a solution as you will be reacting to your current feelings and may come up with a reactive solution that is not sustainable.
Instead, give yourself a break and come back to them when the time is right and when you have more clarity.
Okay, not in any particular order:
Is this decision time-sensitive or are you putting the pressure on yourself?
If you don’t take action now, will you regret it?
What is your biggest fear if you do it / don’t do it?
Imagine yourself in the new situation, how does it make you feel? Then think of your current situation and compare the feeling.
Do you want some help to make this decision, if so who can help you?
Why have you got to make this decision now?
What are you afraid of?
What does your head/heart/gut say?
What are you really doing this for?
Who are you really doing this for?
If you upset people with your decision, can you live with that?
What are all the pros/cons — both short and long term?
Have you got the energy and the capacity to think about this big change now?
Was this decision on your radar before the pandemic or are you reacting?
There are so many other questions but this will get you thinking about where to get started. It’s a really individual process and involves looking at the decision from all angles and being informed by the bigger picture of your situation.
If you really want to make a decision and you have all the relevant information at your fingertips, you can find the answer that’s right for you.
It will take space, time and some courage too, oh and maybe patience because it probably won’t be a 5 minute job.
A couple of years ago, I wrote an e-book about making decisions and using your comfort zone as a lens to look through. Take a look here on Amazon.
(If you don’t have a Kindle and would like a PDF of the book, please subscribe to my mailing list here and I will email you a copy.)
I hope this has been useful and if you would like some help to make your decision, get in touch and let’s have a chat. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.