On Making Difficult Decisions

It amazes me how quickly we can forget about the good things in life that keep us moving. We tend to focus on the negative side of things; what’s lacking and what we *want* instead of what we already have.

Last night I asked my boyfriend, “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?” To which he replied, “Time travel.” He said that it would be kind of cool to know what the future holds and that it would help us make difficult decisions in the present.

But, we can’t travel through time. We can’t see what’s ahead of us. All we can do is our best right now. But what if you have to make a difficult decision that will change your life forever? What do you want to be when you grow up? Should I take this job or go to school? Money will benefit me now, but what about in the future? Planning is an important part of securing your future. So what are we to do?

There are plenty of ways to make difficult decisions… but that doesn’t mean they are easy. Here are some tips on making it a little easier:

 

Ask around.
Ask trusted supports like coworkers, friends or family what they think of your choices. Sometimes they can see more clearly what we cannot.

Try to remember that you may not like their answers, but they truly care about you and want what is best for you.

 

Weigh the pros and cons.
Make a list of the costs and benefits of each choice. Weigh them by quality, not quantity.
A good way to do this is to divide a piece of paper into 4 squares. In the first square, write Option A . In the same square, write all the pros of going with that choice.
In the square underneath, write all the cons.
Repeat on the other side for option B.

This will allow you to see the pros and cons of each decision next to each other and make it easier to weigh them out.

 

Ask the important questions.

Think about what the decisions entail and how they will affect your life. Be honest with yourself when answering them! Some questions to ask include:

Will this make me happy?

How?

Does it align with my values?

How will this affect my family?

Will they be happy?

Am I just fantasizing about Opt. A/B?
Am I being realistic?
Is it doable?
What will this look like next year if I go with it?
These are all very important questions to ask yourself when making difficult decisions.  Consider the consequences of each action carefully. Take as much time as you can to let your answers to these questions incubate.
Come back to your list in a couple days and see if you have anything to add.

If you’re still having a difficult time it could mean that the change you’re considering isn’t a good idea after all. Our gut instinct tends to kick in with these kinds of things and it’s important to learn to listen to them!