When you’re good at making decisions — it feels like you can overcome any obstacle.
However, there are only so many hours in a day, and if you want to be productive, then you need to learn how to utilize that time and utilize it to the best of your ability.
By understanding how to be decisive in your everyday life, you can not only take back your time but significantly decrease the amount of time you spend on decisions that don’t actually require that much thinking.
I’ve always struggled with decision making; we often get so caught up in the desire to make the right decision that we end up making no decision at all.
It takes effort and a certain level of commitment to learning how to be decisive, but as Tony Robbins says,
“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”
We all want to shape our own destinies. Knowing how to be confident in your decision-making skills is an incredibly valuable trait to have; it shows the world that you’re in control. You know what you’re doing, and you’ve got the situation handled.
Luckily, decision-making is a skill you can learn and improve on. And here are three strategies.
Stop overthinking, learn to be willing to make a choice, despite it being right or wrong. Or, be willing to live with making none at all.
The basic rule of thumb — stop overthinking every single little decision that you have to make.
You want to make sure everything is perfect; you want to be certain that the option you’re picking is correct. You don’t want to fail; you don’t want any setbacks. I get it.
The thing is, nobody is sure about anything. The people that make decisions and seem decisive about everything are just as nervous as you; they’re just choosing not to overthink and go for it.
I used to be incredibly fearful of being wrong or displeasing others by making choices that I genuinely felt were right. I didn’t want others to look down on me, and I didn’t want to be judged, so I always went with what was expected of me.
By doing so, I allowed myself to become a people-pleaser, and I forgot that the only person I should have been worried about all this time — was myself.
I relied on authoritative figures to make my decisions for me; I’d come to them seeking advice, and wherever they seemed to lean more towards, that’s the option I would pick. I thought, “they’re older; they have more experience than I do.”
In reality, authentic leadership comes from you and your ability to make decisions — even if they might turn out to be the wrong one. A poor decision now will always lead you to a better one later. Utilize your failures as learning lessons, and don’t allow yourself to stagnate by not making any decisions at all.
Make your smaller decisions habitual. The fewer options you give yourself, the less you’ll have to worry about.
Making decisions is like a muscle; you have to work at it every day. Sitting down and analyzing all of your options won’t help you grow; it’ll stunt you instead.
I’ve started utilizing this strategy a little over three months ago when I realized that it would take me over 30 minutes to decide on what I would have for breakfast.
I’ve found that my first impulse is usually correct, but the longer I dwell on it and ask myself if I’m positive that’s what I want — that’s when I get stuck.
Every morning I give myself two options for breakfast, sweet or savory. I choose whichever sounds the best to me in under a minute. I don’t question my choice; I go with it.
The more I’ve utilized this strategy, the more it becomes a habit. By eliminating the small decisions that you need to make on a daily basis, you’re allowing yourself to have more time for better and bigger things.
Decision Coach Nell Wulfhart says,
“If you’re chronically indecisive, build that decision-making muscle by starting small. Give yourself 30 seconds to decide what you’ll have for dinner, what movie to watch, or whether you want to go out tonight. Follow through on that decision. Repeat. Then work up to bigger things…Making small decisions in a timely fashion will help train your brain to think through questions more quickly.”
Instead of standing in front of my fridge for 30+ minutes, I have my breakfast ready, the pressure is off, and I feel great because I feel in control. It makes the big decisions significantly easier to approach because you start from the bottom and work your way up.
Visualize yourself going down each road, then ask yourself: Do I like this? No? Then change lanes.
Tony Robbins always says that you need to visualize your goals. The same method can be used to improve your decision-making skills.
Visualizing yourself going down each path can benefit you in understanding the outcomes and whether or not you want to pursue them.
How will you feel if you pick option A? B? Ask yourself a series of questions and reflect on those answers.
- How long have you actually thought about it?
- What will your life look like?
- What will your bank account look like?
- Does it bring you closer to your long-term goals?
- How would you feel about this decision five years from now?
- How will this impact your life today? Tomorrow?
- Will you, at any point, regret this?
- Do the pros outweigh the cons?
- What are you doing it for?
When what you experience inside yourself is in perfect alignment with your values and your purpose, outside circumstances don’t matter. When your inner state is at peace, you’re at peace.
At the end of the day, there’s no magic pill that will help you wake up with this skill. You’ll have to do the necessary work every day until you master it.
The key is to not get discouraged.
Decision making becomes easier the more you make it about you and not about pleasing others, or always being right. The better you become at it, the more you’ll experience the life-changing benefits of the skill.
You’ll feel empowered, confident, and you won’t question or doubt your abilities.
I’ve always been doubtful of my capabilities; I didn’t think I was cut from the same cloth as leaders, CEO’s, business tyrants, and the likes. However, I’ve learned that it’s not about being cut from the same cloth or having the same education. It’s your willingness to work hard, and it’s your willingness to improve.
The prize is 100% worth it. Imagine yourself living the life of your dreams, all because you were able to master a skill that could help you inch just a bit closer towards your dreams.
Start committing to learning how to be a decision-maker.