Everyone is faced with the dilemma of making big decisions at different times in their lives, whether it’s staying in a not-so-great relationship, buying a new home, or changing jobs. However, many people become paralyzed with indecisiveness and anxiety when faced with a menu of ordinary choices. The process of how we reach decisions is different for everyone. Here are some strategies that may help you to be more decisive:

What’s the Purpose?

Whether you are trying to decide which cereal to eat or what car to buy, you need to identify the end goal. Do you want a cereal that is nutritious, inexpensive, or simply tastes really good? The same for a car decision: do want one that has great gas mileage, lower car payments, or looks flashy? A similar formula would apply to many other types of choices including changing jobs or deciding what to wear to work.

Set Standards

When faced with a lot of options, narrow the field by deciding what is the most important to you. For example, if you are shopping for a new laptop things to consider would be the size, the screen quality, the amount of RAM, storage capacity, battery life, USB ports, wireless networking, cost, and so much more. It’s rare to find something that will fit all of the criteria, so the decision process may be easier by identifying the top three features and tapering down from there. This method would work for many types of decisions with multiple choices.

Trust Your Gut

Prioritizing your choices and checking off a list is effective when you’re unsure about a decision. However, if your intuition is directing you down a specific path, you would be wise to listen. So, how do you know to trust your instincts? Your body and subconscious work together to send out signals that a certain choice feels “right,” as in healthy and unforced. It just seems easier to make that particular decision without overthinking it.

The Voice of Experience

Making a big decision based on relevant facts and information is important. So is talking to someone who has been in a similar type of situation such as a family member, friend, or coworker. The voice of experience can be way more insightful than researching something on Google.

If you are having a problem getting a handle on being more decisive or dealing with the anxiety that sometimes comes with making decisions, consider talking with a counselor or therapist who can help you make an effective action plan and work toward goals, while providing much needed support.

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