Making decisions is something we do every day and the majority of these tend to be small and fairly inconsequential. Should I get a muffin with my coffee? What do I need from the supermarket? However, sometimes we are faced with making tough decisions, the ones that become more and more overwhelming as we attempt to tackle them, and our rational conscious and emotional subconscious inevitably get into a tug-of-war.
I was recently faced with this situation – I needed to decide if I should return to the UK as planned after a year away, or take a chance on a life in New Zealand. I actually found the decision to stay in New Zealand much harder than I expected as it also meant considering a career change, not to mention being about as far away from home as possible for the long term.
Before coming to NZ on a working holiday visa, my career was in the travel industry. However once I started working with Madison, I could see a new career path developing. Not only did I fall in love with NZ and the way of life here, I was also enjoying the change in my professional life. So for me, the choice to stay in NZ was going to be a long term commitment as I wanted to be able to fully dedicate myself to both my job and the country.
I ended up making the decision the only way I knew how – with a little logic and a whole lot of gut feeling. During the evaluation process, I found a few tactics that helped me reach the best choice for my circumstances. So if you are on the fence about a decision and need a little bravery boost, here are some of my thoughts on ways to manage decision making when it all gets too much.
Make a pros and cons list
An oldie but a goodie, to help focus the brain. I find once a decision is written down in its most basic point-by-point format, it normally shows the issue to be a whole lot more manageable and easy to work through.
Take other people’s advice
Not something I am always very good at, but an impartial perspective can be really useful. I have a great friend who I can depend on for unwavering honesty, just make sure your sounding board is impartial or it won’t help clarify any issues you are pondering.
Trust your instinct
If it feels wrong and the spider senses are kicking in, the answer is the obvious one. Never underestimate your own judgement even if it goes against what everyone else thinks.
Ask yourself – what’s the worst that could happen?
Once you have thought through all the possible outcomes if things don’t go perfectly, you’ll be able to assess if the consequences are life changing and irreversible. When you think through the worst that could happen, the situation is likely to actually be fairly manageable. And always remember – even if things don’t go quite to plan, you will gain something from every situation, good or bad.
In the end, decisions often come down to a leap of faith. My leap has led to a new career, new friends and a permanent relocation to a new country. What could being brave bring you?