Think about the times you ask yourself over and over again, “Should I get married?” or “Should I quit my job?” “Should I eat that cheesecake?” “Should we go ahead with that merger?”
How many times have you called a friend or family member and asked them what you should do? The simple act of making a decision has suddenly turned into a daunting task.
Why is it that we can make hundreds of decisions a day, but every once in a while there is that one decision that keeps us from moving forward. We torture ourselves continuously with one decision, and we just refuse to make it. This ambivalence is what keeps us filled with frustration and paralyzed from moving forward with great ideas or extinguishing bad ones.
One skill great leaders have is their ability to make decisions. They know the process involved to make decisions and act on them.
When you know what it takes to make decisions, and you follow the process, you will never have to go through life wondering, “What if?”
Here are a few tips in making decisions that can change the direction of your life.
Know What You Want
Sometimes life happens so fast that you don’t have time to sit and really think about your priorities. When you are unclear of your wants or goals, you can easily get off course with the decisions you make. It is important to know and stay focused on what it is you want.
Companies should always have a mission or vision that they are working towards. When making a decision, they need to assess if moving forward with the decision would keep with the goals and the vision of the company. If the decision would deviate the company from its current path, then it should be dismissed. If they really want to move ahead with it, then they need to go back to the mission of the company and make the decision on whether they have set the right mission.
In order for you to move forward with a decision, you need to ask yourself, “How is this decision tied to my goal?” When we are clear on our purpose and goals, the decisions are much easier to make.
The best decisions are informed decisions. We constantly find ourselves frustrated on a decision, going back and forth in our minds, not knowing the direction to take.
Sometimes the only reason we cannot move forward with whether or not to move on a plan is because we lack information. It is critical that if you need facts or figures, proof or evidence for you to move forward on a decision, then get it. Ask for research and statistics if that is what you need. If you don’t have time to do it, delegate it or hire it out.
Most of our frustration with decisions is just the confusion from not knowing. When you have the proper information in front of you sometimes the decision is made for you. If you are questioning whether someone is qualified for a job you would have them submit a resume or do a skills test before making your decision to hire them. The same should be done for all of your decisions. Find out what you need then go from there.
Learn to Commit
One thing you will always find with a great leader is that they are committed to their decisions. They do not waiver. When they stand up and announce they have made a decision to do something, they will follow through right to the end.
Many of us make a decision to do something, begin moving forward and the first obstacle we hit, we stop. We quit before the idea ever gets off the ground.
In order to have an idea and then decide to put it into action, you must be committed 100% and be prepared for the result, good or bad. Learn to own your decision and fight for your cause. Do not let someone or something take your power from you. Decide that you are going to believe in your decision and commit to it until its completion.
One thing we need to understand that fear is a great thing to have. It keeps you on your toes and it makes you aware of things that can harm you. This is a wonderful instinct. Fear will never leave your life. It will always be there.
Being nervous about moving forward is a sign that you are growing as a person. When you learn that mixing fear with excitement is the formula for success, you will face your fears more often.
What you need to do is not lessen your fear, but to increase your courage. When you have the courage to make decisions, it will open doors for you that you never thought possible. Stop blaming your fears of rejection, judgment or failure for your not moving forward with something. In many cases fear is a blessing and is what catapults us to success. That fear of poverty, starvation or solitude can push us to do things we never could imagine. To make decisions that really matter, step up your courage. Then you will see some big changes.
Stop worrying about the How.
Many times we decide not to do something because we do not know how we are going to make it happen. We start focusing on the details and can come with a list of reasons why we cannot do something.
That is not the way to make decisions. The greatest innovations and creations ever made came about by just deciding to move forward with an idea. It wasn’t until after the decision was made to do it did they worry about how they were going to make it happen. All the greats in the world saw the vision in their minds first, decided they were going to create it, then put the wheels in motion on how they were going to accomplish it.
This is where all the fun is, in discovering how you are going to make your idea come to life.
Make the decision first, then the how will come to you. Without the decision to do something, it is just a thought.
Trust in yourself. Many people even when surrounded by all the tools and resources they need to make a proper decision lack the one thing required to make it. They do not have the confidence in themselves to go through with the decision.
Trusting in yourself and deciding that you are worthy to have what it is you want is an important step in making a decision.
Move forward with confidence. If you are equipped with all the right information and facts you should feel good about the decision. What you may be lacking is the confidence to stand up for yourself when the going gets tough.
When you know that you are making the right decision, give yourself positive feedback. Change any negative feedback that you are running through your mind to positive thoughts and you will feel more confident about your decision. Think about all the good things that will come from your decision to take on this challenge. After all, you are putting in motion things that only a small percentage of the population can do. Be proud that you are part of that group.
Start making decisions and take ownership of your ideas, begin to move forward and not only will you achieve faster and greater results you will transform your self-esteem and confidence along the way.