Does decision-making scare you? If so, you’re not alone. Though most of us make many decisions every day, there are times when this process is anything but easy.
The next time you’re faced with a decision and feel paralyzed by fear, try one of these five techniques. It’s my hope that one or all will help ease your stress and worry when making decisions.
1. Swap out the word. Change the word ‘decision’ to the word ‘choice’. Choice is lighter and less daunting. It also seems less final. This subtle shift is a powerful one.
2. Put it into perspective. The next time you find yourself paralyzed by fear when making a decision, ask yourself this question: “How important is it?” Take this concept even further by asking, “How will I feel about this in a year? In 5 years?”
3. Know when to halt. When making decisions, check your “sense of urgency meter” – the feeling you must do something now. If it’s high – meaning you’re unable to focus on anything else and are on edge – anxiety has likely kicked in. This is good and bad. It’s good because this is a red flag to step away from the decision for now. Why? Excessive worry and fear actually cloud your judgment and often result in faulty decisions made too quickly. It’s bad because this is easier said than done. As difficult as it may be, use your sense of urgency as a signal to wait. Distract yourself. Go for a walk, do a fun activity or meditate. Your answer will eventually come but not if you’re trying to force it.
4. Use the “If it’s not a definite yes, it’s a no” trick. This is a great yardstick for making decisions. If there’s any doubt about the decision and it doesn’t feel like a “yes, yes, yes”, don’t do it.
5. Tune in to you. When faced with a decision of two or more options, always check in with your body. Does one option feel light and good while the other feels heavy? This is your body speaking to you. Trust it and go with the lighter choice. It’s your truth.
~ Jaime Pfeffer