You’re continuously faced with decisions everyday.
If you look at your inbox alone, it’s full of decisions – do you read or not, how do you respond, what’s the next action. Then, those times come when there’s something really big. Maybe it’s a conflict you’re dealing with or what to do next in your career. Making a few tweaks in how you make these big decisions can boost your confidence and make you feel better.
How you make a decision is a process, an internal strategy.
Remember, inside your mind, you’ve got a step-by-step method for making decisions. It’s a habit not something in your DNA. And, the foundation for the whole process is the mindset you carry into it.
Starting the decision making process with a confident mindset is key.
I know how stressful a mind full of doubt can be. It can paralyze you. You freeze. You don’t want to make the wrong decision. I felt that way when it came to making large spending decisions in my former job. I’d never faced that before so I had no internal check on how I could make the right decision.
Then, after I started connecting with my whole life vision and core values, I made many big decisions like making space for my spiritual practice, resigning from my job, and spending more time with friends and family. Adding some new steps and taking out a few in my process made me feel at ease with these decisions.
When you’ve got a reliable decision making strategy there’s no second-guessing.
So, if you’re ready for some peace of mind, keep reading on to learn 3 ways to boost your confidence with making big decisions.
1. Identify Your Criteria for Good Decisions
Take out a piece of paper and list your criteria out before you invest time pondering the decision. Start with is the decision a fit for your vision in life, the values you hold dear, and does it have a beneficial impact on others. Of course, you can add in situational things like time, money, and other requirements.
If this is a work decision, you can do the same. Be aware of this. If your personal values are in conflict with those at work, you’ll feel uneasy. This doesn’t mean that your work is bad. It’s only a sign of a bigger decision to make so take your thinking up a level.
2. Visualize the Options (See, Hear, and Feel)
Pick at least three options to your decision and limit it to five in total. For example, if you want to make a decision about your job, instead of saying you have only two options – stay or go – expand it like adding look for another role where you’re at, taking a sabbatical, or changing your current role responsibilities.
Now, give yourself the space to be creative. Visualize yourself taking each option one by one. Make small movies. Look around at what shows up. Go into them and hear what’s being said by you and others. Take in how you feel with the option you’re visualizing. See how this matches your criteria for a good decision.
Doing each one is about a 30 second to 1 minute exercise. Do not skip any of your senses – be sure you see, hear, and feel the option. You’ll find new information that you can’t experience by only thinking intellectually. And, this process gets you in tune with what feels right inside.
3. Avoid the Negative Loop
Please take a careful note of what I’m sharing now. This was one of the most powerful things I’ve realized through NLP about decision making strategies. A major mis-step in making decisions is the negative loop.
The negative loop goes like this. You imagine an option you’d don’t want – say you hear or see something not great. Then, it makes you feel bad. And, you’re stuck now. You keep going back to what you don’t want. There’s no exit to this strategy and it creates loads of bad feelings ( a clear sign of an ineffective strategy). You can stop this by imagining options that you feel positive about.
Taking these three into your strategy – your criteria for a good decision, visualizing your options, and avoiding the negative loop – will increase the effectiveness of your decision making and naturally make you feel more confident with your process. When you feel more confident, you face big decisions with ease.
Your Thoughts: What do-able steps can you take today to boost your confidence with your process? Please share in the comments and we can learn from each other.
And, please pass this note along to anyone who’s facing a big decision and is feeling unclear.