“We are the creative force of our life, and through our own decisions rather than our conditions, if we carefully learn to do certain things, we can accomplish those goals.”
From the moment we are born our choices are made for us; our name, religion / spirituality, what we wear, what we eat, where we live and even who we play with. Making decisions is not a part of what we have to do.
Whilst we are born with free will, which is the ability to act at one’s own discretion, it is not until our parents invite us to activate our free will, or we defy them, that we commence learning the skill of making decisions.
To be decisive is the act of choosing which, of at least two alternatives, is the best for you and perhaps others. Those who are skillful at making choices learn how to quickly way up the options and know that with making a decision are consequences. Sometimes good consequences, sometimes less than good consequences.
Which can be one of the main reasons people don’t make decisions; they are not ready for the consequences of their decision or perhaps they don’t feel capable of making the right decision.
Rather than make decisions people will:
- deny the problem exists;
- justify their reason for not making a decision;
- perhaps even blame someone else for their predicament; or
- see-saw between choices.
All of which is self deceiving behaviour as any of these actions mislead the person into thinking they aren’t strong enough for the outcomes or to face what is happening around them. If only they realised by not making a decision is a choice in itself and a choice to remain dis-empowered.
To make choices is to be responsible and accountable, thus being at control of our life. We are also prepared for the outcome of our choice and know that if we do not like that outcome then we simply just make another choice.
At times in order to make choices we may seek others input and advice, which is healthy as long as we understand that any advice give by another is based on their beliefs, values and rules about what is right. Which means their advice is right for them not necessarily right for us.
Whilst this can be quite a robust process, it is a suggested template to aid in making quality decisions, particularly in challenging situations.
- Get Detailed
(a) Our perception of the way a situation is, doesn’t mean it is the truth. So to ensure you fully understand the situation, considering it from several different angles i.e. others perceptions. Also consider all contributing factors, endeavour to get to the root cause of the situation. By doing so it helps to make sure your choice at hand is the real issue or if there is something deeper to consider.
(b) Now consider what it is you want, what is your goal? your ideal? When we know what it is we want and be specific about it, then we are able to move closer to that ideal. Such clarity also aids our decision and can open us up to more options.
- List your alternatives (choices)
When we delve into the problem and see it from different perspectives,and are clear on what we want, then we are able to then create a range of alternatives from which to choose. In this step BE creative and brainstorm, let go of logic, in order to generate as many choices as you can.
- Explore your options
Once you have finished brainstorming it is now time to review the options for their feasibility as well as their pros and cons. Discard the options which are not practical or have a low degree of probability.
With those options now left consider the benefits and drawbacks of each. To some element every decision has an element of risk, when we understand what is the “worse” that could happen and if we can manage that “worse” then we are fully informed.
If the previous steps have been followed, at this stage ideally we have an in depth grasp of the situation, are clear about what we want, have a list of suitable options, so now its time to make a decision as to which alternative outweighs the others.
So select the one which outweighs the others and remember to also listen to your gut (intuition) if there are a couple.
- Create an action plan
Now you have your decision its time create an action plan on how to implement it. Sometimes decisions may be overwhelming, or you might not know where to start, so the best way to implement it is to break your decision down into manageable chunks / action steps.
Remember that making choices is a skill which can be likened to a muscle. The more we exercise the skill the stronger it gets and being a skill means it can be mastered and over time strengthened!
However what happens when there is no best alternative and there is two or more options that are equally as good, i.e. one option does not outweigh another, when all quantitative factors are equal?
This is when we need to refer and rely on our values, the reasons that lie within us and align to who we are and what we want to be. We have the power to create reasons and thus unmeasurable values for each of our choices, which means we are the architect of our own life.
All the aforementioned methodologies stop you from being a drifter in life and from being at the effect of what happens to you. It means you now get to write your own story via the choices you make, or don’t make.
If you need additional support in making decisions easier consider an appointment with us, either face to face or via Skype. http://www.theinnersageaustralia.com/appointment-randwick/