When it comes to making a big decision, sometimes we can get completely wrapped up in our heads. We try to process the pros and cons, ask other people for their opinions and most of the time mull things over until the decision becomes painfully difficult to make.
Either that, or we make big decisions in haste and end up regretting them later.
Whatever technique you’ve tried in the past to help you when making a big decision, here’s one last one to try.
It’s this: ask yourself a few questions first.
We have a limited amount of ‘good decisions’
We have a limited amount of ‘good’ decisions we’re capable of making in one day.
It’s the reason why Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Kelly Cutrone wear the same outfit every day. They’re limiting the decisions they have to make in the morning, freeing up their mind to make more ‘good’ decisions later. Thank goodness for personal uniforms!
But regardless of how many decisions we can make in a day, how do we make sure that the big decisions we have to make in life, are the right ones? That new job you may want to take, that house you might want to buy, that project you may take on. It’s these big decisions that shape your life, so let’s get them right.
5 questions to ask yourself before making a big decision
Okay, let’s get to it. The following questions are designed to help you make a decision for yourself without any input from those around you.
1. How long have I been thinking about this?
Five years, two months, a day – just a couple of hours? How long have you been thinking about this big decision? Can you truly say that you’ve given it enough thought, done your research, and are confident in your choices?
If not, you may want to give it a little more time. If your decision is time-sensitive, sleep on it, or at least give it a few hours so you can calmly make a choice.
2. Does this bring me closer to my long-term goals?
If you’re anything like me, you have your long-term goals mapped out and your life priorities in order.
Check-in with these, does the decision you’re about to make get you to your long-term goal? Does it make any difference in how you get there? The answer to this question may be the simplest way to determine whether you say yes or no.
3. Is there any risk if I say yes? Is there any risk if I say no?
It’s time to weigh it up. If you say yes or no, what are the risks of making that decision?
For example, if you say no to starting a YouTube channel, the risk is that you’ll never have the YouTube career you’ve always wanted. On the other hand, if you say yes to starting a YouTube channel, you may risk not having the time to develop other projects that may actually give you more reward.
This all requires you to look to the future and make calculated judgements on what would be best for you on a completely personal level.
4. What am I afraid of?
When it comes to making a big decision, it might hinge on the fact that you’re scared of an uncertain outcome. This uncertainty, however, is crippling you (I know, I’ve been there!).
What’s the worst possible thing that could happen if you went for it? Weigh this up with the reward you could get if it works out. Our fear of failure can’t stop us from taking chances on things we’re passionate about.
Even if we fail, it’s a lesson we were meant to learn and we will become stronger for it.
5. Who am I doing it for?
This is one of the most important questions on this list. If your big decision doesn’t benefit you in some way, it’s worth seriously thinking about it.
It’s crucial that you start thinking about yourself more. You can’t possibly help others if you can’t help yourself first. We all know this, but we’ve been brought up believe that looking after ourselves is selfish. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Roundup: can you now make a decision?
Did your answers to the questions above help you make your big decision? Do you have any more questions to add? Leave us a comment below and share your tips with our readers.