How to make decisions without going crazy

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By Advice from a Twenty Something

One of my biggest faults is that I'm extremely indecisive. Whether it's choosing between two different conditioners at Walgreens or deciding which college to attend, making a decision and sticking to it has never been one of my strong suits. It's something I'm constantly working on.

What I've realized makes decision-making so difficult for me is the inability to clear all other thoughts and truly listen to my instincts. I find that thoughts about what others will think, what this choice says about me, how this choice makes others feel, how this choice makes me feel – all of these things can get in the way of seeing what I really want.



So next time you're struggling to make a big decision, try to keep some of these thoughts in mind:

1. Take your time.
For some reason, I always seem to want to get to the solution of a problem as quickly as possible. Maybe it's still stuck from taking tests back in high-school, but it's a habit that needs to be broken in order to take off any added pressure and give yourself the clarity to decide what you want. When possible, take your time.

2. Try on each scenario.
I find that truly taking the time to imagine each scenario playing out, and asking myself how it's making me feel, can really help. Sometimes even closing your eyes while you do this can really allow you to focus on where the stress is coming from as well as the relief. Once you feel that sense of relief deep down, you'll know that's the choice you truly want.

3. Doing what's best for you does not necessarily make you selfish.
The idea and the fear of being selfish can often prevent you from making decisions that truly make you happy. I've always thought being selfish meant putting yourself before others, but there's another definition I find more satisfying. Being selfish means putting yourself before others without thinking about how they feel and how it will affect them at all. Understanding this difference can allow you to focus on your wants and needs, without that added guilt.

4. Separate your wants from your fears.
Just because you're scared of what a choice might lead to, doesn't make it the wrong choice. It's natural to be fearful of the future, but what's important is the present. Understand what you want right now, knowing that you can't control the future and you can deal with what the decision brings when the time comes. Being able to separate the fears from what you really want and need can help bring clarity to a tough decision.

5. Take advice from others with a grain of salt.
I always talk through tough decisions with those closest to me. Not only because I want others' perspectives, but because it makes me feel closer to them to open up. While taking advice from others is great and can really make you feel better, just know that, in the end, you are the only one who knows what's best for you.

We want to know, what helps you make big decisions?

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