When the stakes are high, making a decision can feel like a mission impossible—and endlessly going back and forth between choices leaves you feeling stuck and unhappy. Indecision is ultimately an action issue, meaning failure to take action.
As I struggled making the decision to leave my corporate executive job, I was miserable because I found myself unable to make a decision. I waffled back and forth for a long time (possibly years), and therefore didn’t take action. Finally, I used three tips to help me deal with my indecision and take action for the choice that was right for me:
1. FACE YOUR FEARS
Oftentimes, what paralyzes us is fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Wondering if we will we be good enough to do xyz.
I started to name my fears. I wrote down this question on a piece of paper and listed out all the responses. “What is the worst that could happen?” What if your biggest fear did happen? Then what? Is it really as bad as what you think? How would you deal with it?
When you face your fears and outline solutions to do with them, it removes the ability for fear to paralyze you and to control your decision making.
For me, my biggest fear in quitting my job was financial. For 15 years, I had been a corporate executive making a lot of money. Money was not anything we ever had to worry about, but if I quit, we needed to determine how we could live. Once my partner and I identified solutions, it removed the fear of finances out of the equation.
2. STOP ‘SHOULD’-ING ON YOURSELF
This might be one of my favorite quotes from life coach Lyn Christian. How often do we ‘should’ on ourselves by doing things we think we ‘should’ be doing because other people think we should be doing them? If we are making decisions based on trying to satisfy or impress others we are Should-ing on ourselves. Have you ever found yourself saying, “Well, I should do this, or I should do that?” The only things you should be doing are the things that make you happy. When you stop worrying about what others want you to do or what others think about you, the answer quickly becomes crystal clear!
As I thought about leaving the corporate world, I had LOTS of people tell me that I shouldn’t do it. I had a big salary, fancy title, huge bonuses, corporate luxury vehicle, a dream job… the list goes on and on. Because other people thought I should stay in my job, I did. And I should-ed all over myself. When I finally listened to myself, the decision was very clear of what decision would bring happiness to me. Ultimately, that’s all that matters.
3. LET IT WAIT
Unless there is a time sensitivity to your decision, don’t rush to make one. Sometimes it might feel like you need to make a decision right away, but you don’t. Sit with it for a little bit of time, sleep on it. Use the 10-10-10 rule to see how your decision sits with you short-term, mid-term, and long-term. When you ask yourself how this decision will matter in 10 years, it might make the decision easier. Take time to think through it. If you don’t have to make a decision this second, don’t.
I started thinking about leaving my corporate job a year before I actually left. I had lots of time to think through the answers to my biggest fears and plan for them.
These three tips have helped me make decisions! What has helped you? What do you do when it’s time to make hard decisions? Share with us in the comments below! Here’s to a more decisive life!