Take a step back and look at where you are in your life. You got here somehow. You started as a child, not knowing where life would take you, and you ended up right here. How? The overly obvious, yet extremely evasive answer is that you’ve gotten to where you are through a series of decisions. Whether you realize it or not, even the smallest choices you’ve made have swayed your life into the direction it’s gone. Have you ever heard of those parallel universe theories that suggest there are multiple other universes where all the choices we make in this life are played out in alternate realities? If you think about it that way, having to make a decision can be paralyzing.
This is a feeling we’ve all experienced and will certainly encounter again in the future. I’ve been personally afflicted by this feeling of decision paralysis more than I’d like to admit. During one period of my life, I notoriously used a magic eight ball app to guide my decision making (don’t try at home 😬)…so you’re talking to one of the most indecisive girls out there. But there’s hope! Here are a few tips for dealing with hard decision making!
Limit your council
It’s in our nature to seek validation in our decisions. If you’re anything like me, you might ask everyone you know for their input before making up your mind. Rookie mistake 😭. If you gather too many opinions, you’ll probably end up feeling more confused than you started. Instead, have two to three people as your go-to for advice in different areas of your life. You might want to have your trusted council for career moves, your love life, personal finances, and so on. No matter what, make sure these people aren’t just going to tell you what you want to hear.
Choose according to who you are
As Ruth Chang says in her incredible TED Talk, what makes a choice hard is how the alternatives relate. In an easy choice, one alternative is better than the other. In a hard choice, one alternative is better in some ways, and another alternative is better in other ways, but neither is better than the other overall. Facing hard choices, allows us to create reasons why we chose what we did, and in turn, become the people that we are and the authors of our own lives. The beauty of tough choices is that they force us to fall back on our values…so if you can’t make up your mind, it might be a good idea to revisit what you really stand behind.
Don’t look back
Often, there’s not one right answer, and even if there was, you’d never know if you chose the wrong one. It’s important to realize that life isn’t the Black Mirror Bandersnatch episode – you can’t go back and see what would’ve happened if you made different decisions. And even if those parallel universe theories are true, the ability to inspect our alternate realities hasn’t been released to the masses yet. That means once you make a decision, don’t look back. Just go for it confidently and if in the future it’s not working out for you, readjust.
What tough choices have you had to make and how did you make them? Please share with us by commenting below!