Life is full of making decisions. From the simple ones like what shall I wear today to the important ones like do I need to change my career? We are constantly in a process of making decisions, big and small. We are often very good at making the small decisions and getting on with our day. But many of us get stuck on the big decisions. As human beings we are intelligent and want to know the detail of every step of the way. We like to weigh the pros and cons resulting in a long drawn decision making process.
Taking too long on decision making can be a time wasting exercise costing you not only money but opportunities you could have taken on sooner. The truth is you can never know for certain all possible avenues or outcomes of any decision. Trying to work every possible scenario for each decision can be mind boggling. You will find yourself in limbo, in a state of confusion and the confusion can only get worse the longer you take to decide.
Without clarity of mind comes frustration, possibly anger. None of this is conducive to your decision making. So how do you get from indecision to decisiveness? How do you become a decision maker?
Patrick Overton says, “When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.”
Therefore we need to be bold. We need to trust life. We need to be confident stepping into the unknown. Knowing that whatever decision we take, it will be an adventure and we can roll with the punches as it were. However, this doesnt mean throwing caution to the wind and make decisions without due thought. To do so would only be dentrimental. It means we have to strike a balance between thinking about the next step and taking the next step. Pondering is good, sleeping over things is recommended and researching your next step always a good thing. However, taking too long to decide can lead to missed opportunities and wasted effort.
I remember years ago when I was studying for my degree, I was introduced to a method called the SWOT analysis, often used by businesses in project management. The SWOT analysis stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It is a method that corporations test out their decisions but it need not be limited to the business world. We can also analyse our decisions using the SWOT analysis. Once we have analysed the pros and cons, the risks and the opportunities, there is no need to wait. It is time to take the leap and jump off that fence!
Even with all the tools like SWOT analysis we need to know that life is a journey with twists and turns. Just as in project management, there will be contigencies we need to make. New things we did not foresee will surely crop up and we will rise up and get on with it. Robert K Greenleaf, says it nicely, “On an important decision one rarely has 100% of the information needed for a good decision no matter how much one spends or how long one waits. And, if one waits too long, he has a different problem and has to start all over. This is the terrible dilemma of the hesitant decision maker.“
So what decisions have you been sitting on? What has been holding you back? Dont cripple yourself with indecision, decide and let go! An exciting adventure awaits you!