7 Tips to Take a Difficult Decision

7 Tips to Take a Difficult Decision

Ease your decision-making process with these practical tips!
7 Tips to Take a Difficult Decision

Suppose you’ve been following the Tokyo Olympic Games. In that case, the chances are that you heard about US Gymnastics superstar Simone Biles who withdrew from the team final and also the individual all-around competition (as of the time of publishing this blog). While many have praised her bravery for prioritizing her well-being, the criticism from naysayers is pouring in too.

A four-time Olympic gold medalist or not, it is tormenting to take a difficult decision. We’ve all been in situations where we’ve had to make some tough choices – saying yes to a new job, declining a promotion, turning down an investment offer, seeking series seed funding, walking out of an abusive relationship, etc. Unfortunately, making as many hard decisions over time doesn’t necessarily ease up the decision-making process either.

Here we are with some practical tips that you can rely on as you make a difficult decision, regardless of the scenario. Do read till the end to get a bonus tip.

Suppose you’ve been following the Tokyo Olympic Games. In that case, the chances are that you heard about US Gymnastics superstar Simone Biles who withdrew from the team final and also the individual all-around competition (as of the time of publishing this blog). While many have praised her bravery for prioritizing her well-being, the criticism from naysayers is pouring in too.

A four-time Olympic gold medalist or not, it is tormenting to take a difficult decision. We’ve all been in situations where we’ve had to make some tough choices – saying yes to a new job, declining a promotion, turning down an investment offer, seeking series seed funding, walking out of an abusive relationship, etc. Unfortunately, making as many hard decisions over time doesn’t necessarily ease up the decision-making process either.

Here we are with some practical tips that you can rely on as you make a difficult decision, regardless of the scenario. Do read till the end to get a bonus tip.

#1 Put Your Thinking Cap On

Okay, you’ve established that there are tough choices to be made. The next logical step would be ruminating on the 02situation and the options. Don’t bother about the pros and cons list just now. Asking yourself what you are looking for most, as the outcome, or why you’re looking for something is a good starting point. If that seems arduous, try the below:

    • Introspect what do you NOT want to do – sometimes, the process of elimination helps narrow down the choices available
    • Ascertain what are you avoiding through a specific choice

Work your way to finding out what you really want. For example, would you please read here how American director George Lucas took a pay cut in exchange for the film’s rights he was directing then, Star Wars?

#1 Put Your Thinking Cap On

Okay, you’ve established that there are tough choices to be made.

02The next logical step would be ruminating on the situation and the options. Don’t bother about the pros and cons list just now. Asking yourself what you are looking for most, as the outcome, or why you’re looking for something is a good starting point. If that seems arduous, try the below:

• Introspect what do you NOT want to do – sometimes, the process of elimination helps narrow down the choices available
• Ascertain what are you avoiding through a specific choice

Work your way to finding out what you really want. For example, would you please read here how American director George Lucas took a pay cut in exchange for the film’s rights he was directing then, Star Wars?

#2 Beware of Analysis Paralysis

Thinking clearly can be wearisome when the stakes are high. Yet, going overboard with the thinking process only deters your decision-making abilities.  Overanalyzing a situation exasperates you and impedes your best thinking. This 03 1challenge is known as Analysis Paralysis. This also applies when you’re overloaded with choices and feel forced to choose something. In such cases,

  • Take a few deep breaths to relax your mind
  • Meditate for a brief while and re-examine the situation with a more still/clear mind
  • Implement the 24-hr rule – give yourself a day’s rest and sleep upon your options before calling your shots

Check out this article on how Shopify and other brands deliberated the post-Covid workplace experience for their staff.

#2 Beware of Analysis Paralysis

Thinking clearly can be wearisome when the stakes are high. Yet, going overboard with the thinking process only deters your decision-making abilities. Overanalyzing a situation exasperates you and impedes your best thinking. This challenge is known as Analysis Paralysis. This also applies when you’re overloaded with choices and feel forced to choose something.

03 1In such cases,

• Take a few deep breaths to relax your mind
• Meditate for a brief while and re-examine the situation with a more still/clear mind
• Implement the 24-hr rule – give yourself a day’s rest and sleep upon your options before calling your shots

Check out this article on how Shopify and other brands deliberated the post-Covid workplace experience for their staff.

#3 Seek Help

While the final decision will remain yours, you could involve other people in the decision-making process. These could be your trusted persons, colleagues, or subject matter experts. Also, don’t restrict yourself to your known circle. Widen your search, if it helps.
Seek Help - how to decide a difficult decision

Nelson Mandela’s father, a tribal king, was known to make crucial decisions by holding discussions with people from various walks of life. Even the wisest of leaders are open to listening to others’ experiences. Another way to help yourself is to put the decision-making on pause when it seems stressful. You never know! The answer you’re seeking could come from an unrelated conversation with a stranger. Even better, it could hit you just as you dole out advice to another person about their problem!

#4 Ask Yourself, ‘How will you feel about it?’

A good decision may not always seem logical. Nonetheless, in the continuum of life, the emotional outcome of a choice has its significance, and so, it’s okay if that emotion defies logic.

Ask Yourself, 'How will you feel about it' - how to make a decision between two things

For example, in an interview, P.C. Musthafa, Co-founder and CEO, iD Fresh Food, said how religious principles forbid his brand from taking loans. To a young entrepreneur looking to grow their business, the decision by iD may seem a rookie mistake. Yet, it’s one that the brand and its management swear by – an emotional choice rooted in their principles.

Whatever the scenario, ask yourself how you’ll feel about the decision after a while, say in a year’s time. Emotions can sometimes guide you better to make the tough but correct decision.

#5 Tap into Your Subconscious

More often than not, you already know the answers you are seeking. The unwillingness to confront the consequences could be preventing you from acknowledging the appropriate course of action. In such instances, leave the decision-making to the subconscious mind.

06 1Your intuition could be speaking to you in many ways – a tingling in your body, a whisper inside you, pain in some part of the body, or a nudge you feel when you read a message or hear a song! Believe that you do have the answers.

Henry Ford’s decision to double his employees’ wages even as the demand for Ford cars fell did seem outright crazy to the world in 1914. But soon enough, he laughed his way to the bank.

A decision based on gut feeling could be called crazy or good faith depending on one thing – perspective. You should know that only one of those truly matters – your perspective!

#5 Tap into Your Subconscious

More often than not, you already know the answers you are seeking. The unwillingness to confront the consequences could be preventing you from acknowledging the appropriate course of action. In such instances, leave the decision-making to the subconscious mind.

06 1Your intuition could be speaking to you in many ways – a tingling in your body, a whisper inside you, pain in some part of the body, or a nudge you feel when you read a message or hear a song! Believe that you do have the answers.

Henry Ford’s decision to double his employees’ wages even as the demand for Ford cars fell did seem outright crazy to the world in 1914. But soon enough, he laughed his way to the bank.

A decision based on gut feeling could be called crazy or good faith depending on one thing – perspective. You should know that only one of those truly matters – your perspective!

#6 Avoid Decision Fatigue

When you’re expected to make an essential and accurate decision, it’s advisable to be in a clear state of mind. A study showed that the mornings between 8 am to 1 pm are the best for such tasks – whether you’re a morning person or a night owl.

Avoid Decision Fatigue - how to make a difficult decision at work

Maybe engage in a short meditation and then ponder on the decision. Another trick is to enforce or recall the time limit to make the decision. This time limit can hasten the process. Then again, it is imperative not to indulge in decision-making when the body and mind are exhausted.

#7 Get Creative with Your Mind

Here’s one of our favourite tips. Your mind is likely to go through several iterations with the decision to be taken. With every iteration, envision the outcome(s) for a choice; more importantly, cut off the drama that’s shaping up in your mind for each of those choices.

08When you visualize, it helps determine various possibilities. And it also points you towards the things that make you anxious. Remember that a conflict in mind is an opportunity to welcome change in some form.

E.g., your resistance to fire an underperformer who’s been given umpteen chances to recoup or someone who isn’t a team player could indicate your fear of tackling awkward conversations. Now you know what the real issue is! Doesn’t it simplify your decision?

#7 Get Creative with Your Mind

Here’s one of our favourite tips. Your mind is likely to go through several iterations with the decision to be taken. With every iteration, envision the outcome(s) for a choice; more importantly, cut off the drama that’s shaping up in your mind for each of those choices.

08When you visualize, it helps determine various possibilities. And it also points you towards the things that make you anxious. Remember that a conflict in mind is an opportunity to welcome change in some form.

E.g., your resistance to fire an underperformer who’s been given umpteen chances to recoup or someone who isn’t a team player could indicate your fear of tackling awkward conversations. Now you know what the real issue is! Doesn’t it simplify your decision?

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Congratulations! You now know how to take a decision that will not only provide peace to your mind but solve the root cause of the problem.

Since you’ve read so far, you surely deserve a little extra for sticking around! So here goes a bonus tip:

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Congratulations! You now know how to take a decision that will not only provide peace to your mind but solve the root cause of the problem.

Since you’ve read so far, you surely deserve a little extra for sticking around! So here goes a bonus tip:

There’s a simple secret to making a tough decision – don’t look at your decision as a failure, irrespective of the outcomes! If at all, it’s another opportunity to be wiser. Here’s a refresher on how tech giant Microsoft wrote off the billions it spent acquiring Nokia. So, propel your mind to embark on a course of action. Avoid harping on the idea of making the ‘perfect decision.’

If you still don’t seem convinced, here’s a compilation of how even the smallest decisions can have a significant turnabout of events! Just know that life will be in motion no matter what decision you take. Therefore, use the fear to guide you in dealing better with the outcomes of the decision – your decision.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Decide. Live bravely.

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Tarashme

Tarashme is a blogging website for entrepreneurs. It provides practically useful content that helps them to accelerate their growth.

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