How to Simplify a Complicated Decision

You make decisions every day, all day long. With all of that practice, why is it so easy to get hung up on the biggies?

  • Snooze button or wake right up?
  • Coffee or tea?
  • Button down shirt, or pullover?
  • Cereal or fruit?

That’s a lot to think about all before breakfast. Those are not examples of complicated decisions. In fact, we can usually make those choices without a list of pros and cons, or giving them too much thought.

What happens when you need to make a big decision? The trick is to apply some of your gut instincts that you use in your daily, simple decision making to the big choices too. You know what’s best for you and your family, and once you start to trust that, you will make better decisions faster.

Steps to Simplify a Complicated Decision

  • Don’t ask everyone about what you should do. 

If you ask 5 people to give you their opinion, you will get 5 different answers. That input will lead to second-guessing and confusion. Consult the people who will be directly affected by your decision and let everyone else know what you’ve decided, with confidence.

  • High/Low

What is the best thing and worst thing about each choice? Is the best thing worth putting up with the worst things?

  • Call it

You may take time to actually make your decision, but when presented with the choice, your gut/heart/intuition or whatever it is that speaks to you, will give you an immediate answer. Write it down. That written answer could be the tiebreaker.

  • Be grateful for the opportunity

If you see your options as a burden instead of an opportunity, you may not choose wisely. Once you realize how fortunate you are to have the choice put in front of you, you can act accordingly.

  • Consider the escape clause.

What happens if you back out? Recognizing that something is reversible makes it easier to take the leap.

  • Take the pressure off. 

Chances are, this one choice you make is not going to save or ruin the world. Let go of the drama and consider the facts. Trust yourself. If you can’t make a choice, go back to #4.

  • Consider option C. 

Often we put ourselves in a position of choosing A or B. Don’t be afraid to create C. Things are not always either/or.

  • Rinse and repeat. 

Remember how you made your last great decision and do that again.

  • Believe it. 

Once you make your choice, believe in it. Know that you made the right decision for that moment and move forward. Let go of the what ifs and make the best of your new opportunity.

When considering a big decision, take your time and apply a few of the steps above. If you can keep it simple, you will have more clarity on the best way to move forward. Good luck simplifying your next complicated decision.

About martingilligan

Many of my friends and family have stated that I not only have a gift with words but also self expression. As long as I can remember I have always wanted to be a writer, but being my own worst critic, I tend either not to share my work, or take the necessary risks to accept the criticism one needs to grow and continue on with my craft. I often start on projects with the intent to succeed, but rarely if at any time do I continue to follow through. It is my hope that this experiment will be the necessary tool to keep me in the habit of pursuing my dream of writing, and continuing on even when Mr. Criticism comes knocking on my door. So as I often say, a blank page is an open invitation to view my thoughts and ideas as I bleed my creativity upon its empty space. So strap yourself in...the roller coaster ride is about to begin, as I welcome you to my madness.
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