Why is It so Hard to Make Decisions?
by Ebru Sznapkova
- How to make right choices for your career and life?
- How do you make decisions in your life?
- What are your decision making criteria?
- What / who influences your decision making?
And the most important question:
How happy are you with your choices?
Decision making is one of the most important step we take for progress in life. We practice decision making almost hundred times a week, sometimes conditions develop over a time and we are forced to make decisions. It may or not be a very conscious process, but important fact is all decisions impact our future. Sometimes we claim that, the conditions that shape the decision-making process simply lead us to the next step with no choice. Most of our clients say that they made the choice, because they had to. There was no other option available or possible to move them forward.
Success and happiness come with conscious decisions in life!
What is behind the decision-making process?
We learn how to make decisions or how to let the conditions to shape the decisions on behalf of us. It is very much directed through our map of the world; our personal GPS and how much we believe what conditions drive our life. Let us make it easier. We make everyday many decisions and all those decisions are based on how we perceive the topic. However, this perception was developed over the time, after learning, experiencing and creating a belief about that topic. We all make decisions based on our beliefs. We link emotions to those beliefs, and we take actions. We move forward or not, based on how limiting those beliefs are as well as how those current and possible outcomes are linked to our emotions. Do you agree?
For example: If Marry is afraid of public speaking, she would never choose to present in front of her team despite she knows that presentation can change her life. So if Marry`s manager comes and asks her to deliver that presentation on behalf of her because she is not available that day, probably Marry will refuse it, due to her public speaking fear and maybe loose the chance to be recognized by the higher management for the promotion she desired for the past 2 years.
Or if Marc never believed that he can become a successful team leader, he will never apply for that new management position. If his previous manager gave him the negative feedback about his people management competencies, he would never apply for such a leading position no matter how much he wants. It is no different for a person who believes that he cannot dance because he was told by his little brother that he is not a good dancer.
We carry so much information from our past about who we are, what we can and can not do, should do, should not do; that leads us to make either good decisions, wrong decisions or no decisions for our career and life. Before each decision-making, millions of questions pass through our mind…
Shall I? Is it a good decision for me? Can I make it? What if I fail? Is this the right position for me? Do I want to be a manager? Can I be a manager? What do I really want? Is it a good decision? Is it logic? Will I waste my time if this is a bad decision? Will I fail if I go this way? Shall I apply for that position? Is it a good time to change my career? Will I ever be happy in my life? Am I happy? Is this a good relation for me? What if I fail? What do they think about me? Is it possible to earn that much of money? Shall I change the company? and many more….
- What leads us to make good decisions?
- What leads us to make wrong decisions?
- What leads us to make no-decisions?
When we know our WHY; then we can make confident decisions.
Why is a very important word in our mind library and our lives. If we can answer before every act the question; why then we can take confident steps in life. We should be able to explain to ourselves why we make that decision, why we do what we do and how we do and why we had this choice but not the other one… Why is the compass of our values, our belief system. Our values control our behaviours and the output of our decisions. If something is not according to our values, we feel a headache about that topic. Values are our compass!
Let us share the story of Linda; she recently decided to resign from her current job. Her reason was, she felt so unhappy at work and everyday she was late to her work. Despite she woke up at 6am every morning, she never managed to be at work on time. She didn’t know why but she was making her best to be there on time. Until Linda understood that the employer was not sharing the same values and she was just feeling somehow unhappy but never knew why. Once she noticed it and she couldn’t do anything to change it, she simply decided to leave. She noticed that it was not the salary, work conditions that she was seeking for happiness but the values.
So, if you know your WHY then decision making process gets much simpler because why explains everything. It means you are on the driver seat of your life path. You simply decide and you know WHY!
As we also work with our clients, sometimes their WHYs are not that clear to them yet. Then the decisions are taken to support someone else’s happiness or beliefs. Rather than me being on a driver seat, my fears sit and drive my life!
Is it something familiar to you? This is the time when the dilemmas are on the stage. Different scenarios in the mind start to fly which takes the decision-making process much longer and more complicated. Because simply it is not me but my fear who is the main character role at the stage.
Those are the times that we ask opinions of others, go for reference check in mind, check our fears, write up failure scenarios in our mind and never sure of the decision taken. If someone comes and asks the simple question “ Are you sure? “ This is the time to re-evaluate the decision again and again and probably even change the decision which was right for you.
Here is the classical known decision-making process
Step 1: Identify your Goal
Step 2: Gather information and evaluate the Options
Step 3: Consider the Consequences
Step 4: Make Your Decision
Step 5: Evaluate Your Decision
CAUTION: Your GPS – Your MIND MAP leads you consciously or unconsciously with the decision-making process.
What does that mean?
Be aware of the decision-making process behind the scene.
What are your limiting beliefs that took active role in your sub conscious mind during that decision making? Is this what you really wanted?
Most people make decisions either to take a step forward or avoid that step because of;
- FEAR OF FAILURE
- LACK OF CONFIDENCE or KNOWLEDGE
- OTHERS` DECISIONS
- LACK OF SELF AWARENESS
Pain and Pleasure guides our DECISION MAKING PROCESS; All humans make decisions either to AVOID PAIN or GAIN PLEASURE.
“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you are in control of your life. If you don’t life controls, you.’’ ~ Tony Robbins
If you work on your Mind Map to identify all those, you can create the results you desire with your decisions. This simple rule of decision making is to identify the goal; why you do what you do and what you really would like to achieve.