5 Tips For Making Tough Decisions

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Making Tough Decisions Easier

By SHANNA LOGAN

Does decision making make your head spin?

Does decision making make your head spin?

We all need to make tough decisions at some point, whether about our careers, our relationships, or our future plans, and tough decisions are just that, tough. It’s normal to feel stressed and overwhelmed when you’re faced with big decisions, especially when there’s a lot on the line, but emotions can make decision making even harder.

Problem solving is a helpful way to approach any complex decision. The process neatly lays out all of your possible courses of action so you can evaluate each option separately. A problem solving approach can also help you to organise your thoughts and apply logic so that your decisions aren’t driven by emotion.

Here’s 5 steps to help you problem solve tough decisions.

Step 1: List All Your Options

Writing a list of all options is a great place to start if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed about a decision you have to make. It’s best to write out every possible option, no matter how silly it may seem, because looking at your options as a whole will help you to put your choices into perspective.

Step 2: Look At Pros + Cons

After you’ve brainstormed possible courses of action you can start to analyse each option separately. Consider each option and list the reasons why following this course of action would be helpful, and the reasons why it might be unhelpful. It can also help to think about the strength of these pros or cons because they may differ in their level of importance. For example, a pro of staying in your current job might be that you get to continue to work with a friend, but this mightn’t be as important as the negative influence of continuing to work for a demanding and hostile boss.

Step 3: Think Of Short + Long Term Consequences

When you’re writing your pros and cons, think about the short-term and longer-term consequences of each. Courses of action that make things better now might actually make things harder longer-term and vice-versa so it’s important to think each option through.

Step 4: Decide Which Option Is Best

After you’ve weighed up all the options and thought about the impact that each of these might have on your life, both right now and in the future, it may be that one or two options stand out above the rest. Try to see which option is the best decision for you based on the facts you have in front of you.

Step 5: Make A Plan

Once you’ve made your decision, look at how you can put your plan into action. Look at what steps you’ll need to take to implement your plan and consider whether there’s barriers you need to problem solve. If implementing your plan feels overwhelming, work in small steps. Small steps will make it easier for you to reach our life goals.

Shanna is a warm and empathic clinically trained registered psychologist very experienced at working with children, adolescents, families and adults. She has extensive experience practicing from a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approach, but is also experienced with Acceptance Based Therapy (ACT), Dialectical behaviour Therapy (DBT), Schema therapy, Mindfulness and Biofeedback evidence-based approaches. Shanna works with a range of presentations including anxiety disorders, depression, emotional dysregulation, stress and adjustment.


 

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