We have all been there: stumped by an important decision with no idea which direction to head in. We turn to our friends, family, even professionals and strangers for advice. When they largely agree this can give you a sense of direction or the confidence boost you need. But a lot of the time their advice is conflicting, each vehemently defending their opinion, leaving you more clueless than before. Or perhaps they all agree, and yet you still remain unconvinced?
It can be difficult knowing who’s advice to take and when, and being Miss Indecisive (honestly, you should see the state I can get myself in when choosing which toothpaste to buy!), I thought I would share a process that I have found helpful to navigate this minefield of pros+ cons, opinions and advice.
How to stay sane when dealing with indecision:
- First, you must know that you are your own best adviser. Even when you feel way out of your depth and have no idea what to think or where to begin, its likely you will actually have some inkling or gut feeling of what is right for you. Thats your intuition talking and you need to listen up.
- Do this: Before asking anyone’s advice write down all your feelings, ideas, dilemmas or understandings relating to the subject. They don’t need to be that coherent or clear, and obviously, they will be conflicting. This will come in handy later on.
- Be selective with who you take advice from. Even if it is just choosing which size to buy that dress online in, too many reviews can confuse the matter further and you must be judicious with who’s advice to take. The same applies to all decisions. Ask them why they hold that opinion. And ask yourself how relevant their experience is to your situation and whether their intentions match(ed) your own...
- Be really clear on your intentions and what your aims/goals/hopes are that this decision could impact on. Write them down. Why does this decision matter to you and what do you want most out of it.
- Step back and stop obsessing. It can be tempting to obsess over these decisions, whether they involve career opportunities, relationships or what to have for dinner. Go outside, talk to your friends (about something completely unrelated) or find something else to hold your attention.
- Tune back into your intuition and follow your heart. Sometimes what we need to do next isn’t always that logical so just tune in to what your gut is telling you.
- Review that list you made at the start and notice any patterns or strong opinions. That was your intuition and your ego batting it out. What is self-doubt and holding you back from making the right choice, that can be discounted?
- Decide. Remaining in indecision for too long will only cause more anxiety and strain on the rest of your life. Make a decision and give it a decent shot even if it feels uncomfortable for a little while.
- Trust that you've made the right move. This is the big one. Adopt Marie Forleo’s mantra that "everything is figureoutable". Its unlikely that the world will come apart at the seams due to your decision. If it doesn’t work out this time, there is always another chance to get it right (even if it presents itself very differently). Learn from the experience.
It’s the uncertainty that comes with decisions that can cause us to fret for hours on end. You might know what each direction involves and maybe even where it will take you, but you can’t know how you (or others) will feel about that or which will make you happier.
There are somethings you just can’t predict. So stop trying. Relax.
Hakuna Matata, baby!
Go grab those opportunities by the horns, lovely! Or sit back in the comfort of knowing that it just wasn’t meant to happen this time. Don't sweat it, sugah.
P.S. Think your friends might find this post helpful? Share it with them on social media. Or let me know any tips and tricks you have for coping with big decisions in the comments below.