I took a leap last month and secured a new office space. It was a big decision that caused a deluge of many more smaller but significant decisions. For one, I had to decide on location, followed by size, decor, furniture, and colors. At times it felt like my head was spinning. Some research shows that an adult makes up to 35,000 decisions per day, and I’m pretty sure I came close to that number at the height of my decision-making. I got organized, consulted friends and family whose judgement I value, made the decisions, and I haven’t looked back.
We get bogged down by the perceived weight of decisions, sometimes to the point of stagnation and inaction. I don’t want that to happen to you! Here are lessons learned to help you feel confident with the decisions you make:
Make it the Right Decision
Rather than looking for assurances and guarantees, be confident with the decisions you make. They won’t all be perfect (there’s no such thing as perfection), but you can make them right by playing them out. When I was feeling overwhelmed about choosing an office, I set a time limit for my decision. It was like setting a goal in that once I wrote it down, I worked toward it. I gave myself a deadline of selecting an office by the end of spring, and I hit it.
Don’t Second Guess Yourself
When you get over the hump of making a decision, it’s natural for the second-guessing and what-iffing to set in. What if it was answer b not c on my science test? What if I chose the wrong college? Did that email express everything I wanted it to? I get it. We’re humans, and our minds are thinking machines. Trust your gut. Instinct is a gift because it’s natural and it hands you your decision without overthinking.
Leverage Your Resources
While your decisions are ultimately up to you, it doesn’t hurt to bounce them off of people you trust. I leaned on friends and trusted resources in my network for their input on my office. I was agonizing over the color of my desk. I know, it seems silly, but in the moment it was important. So I reached out to friends with keen eyes for decor. I didn’t say Tell me what to do. Instead, I heard them and chose gray because it just felt like me.
Embrace the Excitement and Fear
Notice I’m not saying to not feel excitement or fear because you can’t banish your feelings. Instead flow with them and reframe doubts and problems into good opportunities. When things feel scary ask, What’s the worst that can happen? A) Your boogeyman worry will most likely not happen and B) If it does, empower yourself with a response. I worried that after signing my lease, I’d end up not liking the space. That would stink, but I would find another location. Ta-da!
The Bottom Line
Decisions can loom large, and that’s understandable. Rather than getting stuck and not moving forward, take a deep breath and make your decisions. Big or small, decisions create a world of opportunity, and when you recognize that, you will feel confident.
What helps you make decisions?