Indecision has been something that’s plagued me to some extent or another my entire life. Especially as a child, I’d be paralyzed when it came to making decisions. There were occasions where, as a very young girl, I had made some particular decisions independently (and even confidently!), thinking that whatever it was I had decided to do was surely a good idea and would benefit not only myself but others too… but sadly, I hadn’t yet learned to take into account the reactions of, say, a parent with an irrational temper. Often, it’d result in being yelled or screamed at, or sometimes even worse. Yikes!
Going forward, this type of conditioning can really damage a young person and their ability to make future decisions. You soon learn that a poor decision might not only result in an undesired outcome, but that it might very well result in some form of reprimand or punishment, too. I think this is why I became so fearful of making decisions from such a young age. Add a dose of perfectionism into the mix, and you’ve got a great recipe for debilitating indecision.
Although I’m still not as decisive as I’d like to be, I’d still say that I’m SOOO much better at making decisions than I ever used to be. For example, even ordering something from a menu used to feel excruciating…. let alone making big life decisions like figuring out which field of study to major in at university, or whether or not to break up with a fiancé when things started to fall apart.
Little decisions are usually pretty easy these days. Sometimes, though, I might still feel uncertain or confused when it comes to making other more important decisions that are likely to have a significant impact on my life.
A couple years ago, I made my first video ever with the intent of posting it up on YouTube. But even though I published it on YouTube over two years ago, I never wrote about it here on my blog! I titled the video, “How To Make Great Decisions in 6 Easy Steps“.
Truth be told, I felt a little nervous and self-conscious when making this video. When I was a kid, the first time I ever heard my recorded voice played back to me, I cried and cried, horrified to discover that that was what I really sounded like. Thankfully, I’m not that self-conscious anymore. Although, of course, I still have my moments… We all have our moments, don’t we? (Objectively, I think I come across in the video as being sort of quirky and maybe even a little dorky. But oh well…)
Anyway, I recently thought about this video because I feel as though I am currently faced with needing to make a lot of decisions about my future career, creative path, and life as a whole. So I decided to revisit this video, and it actually helps a lot! I figured I might as well share it here on my blog, too, in hopes that it might help others as well.
In the video I describe a process for making great decisions in six easy steps.
Those six steps are…
As you’ve probably noticed, the six steps themselves are an acronym that spells out “DECIDE“.
The first step, Dream, could also easily be Daydream, or even Desire. In this step, use your imagination to dream about what kind of results and experiences you desire. Make a list of the different possibilities that pop into your head while you daydream.
In step two, review your list from the previous step and take note of which items on your list result in feelings of Excitement and Enthusiasm.
Now look over each of these possible decisions that made you feel enthusiasm, and review each of them through the filters of Heart, Mind, Body, Spirit. …How does each possibility align with all four of these quadrants? What you’re looking for here is congruence — alignment with as many of these four areas as possible.I’d strongly recommend you discard the possibilities that only align with one or two of the four categories. Take note of the possibilities that align with at least three but preferably all four of the Heart, Mind, Body, Spirit categories, and then continue on to the next step.
(Note: If needed, you can watch the video for a more thorough description of the Heart, Mind, Body and Spirit alignments. If none of the items on your list meet at least three of these alignments, then I’d strongly suggest revisiting step one to dream up some more ideas.)
In this step, it’s time to review each of your most congruently aligned possibilities in the context of your personal Integrity. How might each possible decision or course of action align with your morals and values? What’s important to you? You want to avoid making decisions that violate your morals and values. Making decisions that clearly exemplify your most dearly held beliefs, morals and values are decisions that demonstrate your personal integrity.
Review each of your remaining possible decision options and ask yourself if you’re willing to fully dedicate and commit yourself to carrying out this potential decision. Consider the time, energy, effort, work… all the possible resources you may need to spend in order to fully dedicate yourself to making this decision a reality. Are you ready to do what it takes? If the answer is “no” for any of your decisions that are still up for consideration, then eliminate it from your list.
By this point, any decision possibilities that are still left on your list are virtually guaranteed to be great decisions… great decisions for you, at least. Now it’s time for the final step — Execution! In other words, execute your decision by taking all the necessary action steps that are needed to reach your desired goal.Sometimes it helps to make a big list of all the necessary action steps that you’ll need to make, and then simply ploughing through the list and crossing off each step as you execute it. Once you execute all the steps on your list, you’re done!…Congratulations!! You’ve turned something that merely started off as a dream into part of your reality!! 😀 Woohoo!!!
I know I’ll certainly be using this process to help myself in making some kick-ass decisions…
I hope my little six step process for making great decisions proves to be helpful for you, too!
p.s. …Did you like it? Did the process come in handy?
Leave a comment and let me know what you think! 🙂
(p.p.s. Go easy on me! It’s my first video, and it’s more than two years old already… 😉 )