If you happen to struggle with decision-making confidence, you’re not alone.
Many people don’t trust their own judgment, whether it’s important issues, like where to work or live – or more mundane queries, like which restaurant to choose for dinner or what to wear to work. For some, learning to make decisions can be especially frustrating, causing momentary feelings of panic, stress, and even indecision where you can’t decide what action to take.
If this sounds like you, the good news is that indecision can be overcome. All too often, for many of us, decision-making confidence often comes down to how self-confident we are – or, more specifically, how confident we are in our ability to make sound choices.
Being able to make confident decisions is important for your career, social life, and personal life. By making better decisions, fewer regrets follow, leading to a more fulfilling and positive life experience. Most of us can truly benefit from refining our decision-making process. If you consider yourself to be a poor decision-maker, rest assured that you are not alone! Ultimately, it's all about your confidence in decision-making.
Read on for five simple steps that will help you boost your self-confidence and teach you how to be confident in your decisions.
What is Confident Decision-Making?
Decision-making confidence allows you to feel comfortable and accountable for your decisions. As a result, this helps to reduce your stress and anxiety about important decisions you have to make at work, school, and other areas in life.
Six Tips on How to Make Confident Decisions
1. Recognize That Fear is Normal
There is a perception that those who have confidence in decision-making are never afraid – that they confidently walk into the line of fire with no fear. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Everyone has fears and those who make big decisions are often shaking in their boots, but they power through it and come out the other side more confident. If you lack confidence, it’s important not to buy into the theory that some people are born confident while others just don’t have it. Instead, realize that confidence is a state of mind, and trusting your own judgment is something you can improve upon.
2. Recognize Your Desires
To make decisions that resonate with you, it's essential to understand your own desires and long-term objectives. By being in touch with what you genuinely want from life, the decision-making process becomes more aligned with your goals. Think about your future – where do you envision yourself in a year, or even five? Every choice you make should be a stepping stone towards that vision. Ponder on whether the decision you're about to make aligns with the path you’ve set for yourself. Often, even if a choice seems more challenging or daunting, if it's in line with your true desires, it's likely the right one.
3. Seek Guidance, But Trust Your Own Decision
While it's beneficial to gather insights from others, remember that at the end of the day, the decision is yours. Each of us has our unique journey, and no one else truly understands the intricacies of our experiences or the whispers of our intuition. Successful individuals often seek opinions from others to gain different perspectives. These viewpoints can help you see potential blind spots or consider aspects you hadn't previously contemplated. However, it's crucial to differentiate between guidance and giving away your decision-making power. While advice can be a valuable tool, always listen to your inner voice and trust your instincts. Your life is uniquely yours, and the decisions you make should reflect that.
4. Stand Up to Your Fears
It’s ok to be afraid, and it’s important to recognize that fear is normal – but don’t let your doubts control you.
Instead, take control of your fears and realize that you can overcome them. When faced with a decision, recognize it as an opportunity rather than something to dread. You might make the “wrong decision,” but guess what? Nine times out of ten it won’t really matter anyway. Usually, decisions are less about right and wrong issues and more about simple matters of preference. As the adage says, “Do something that scares you every day” – no matter how afraid you might be. In time, you’ll build up your decision-making confidence.
5. Set a Time Limit
While the sound of a ticking clock, counting down the seconds until your decision must be made, may send chills down your spine, giving yourself a time limit can actually help you to be confident in your decisions.
A set time will help limit how long you allot to thinking and rethinking your decision, and then that’s it – no more dwelling on the issue.
On the other hand, indecision can cause you to stop and dwell, overthinking every nuance and potential “what if” scenario. If you get into the habit of doing this, it will stifle your productivity and limit your adventures in life. If you’re struggling with indecisiveness, get out of your comfort zone and force yourself to make a decision within a specific timeline. It’s almost guaranteed that doing this will help speed up your decision-making process and will make you a more effective decision-maker.
6. List the Pros and Cons
If you are having trouble trying to make an especially difficult decision, you might consider writing down a list of pros and cons.
Writing down the potential negative and positive outcomes/implications of the decision, and identifying the alternatives (while being aware of what you want), will help you organize your thoughts and see more clearly which side of the coin is your best option. It will also give you that boost of confidence in decision-making.
7. Trust Yourself
Possibly the most important tip of them all, trust yourself. Nobody knows the situation quite like you do. Once you gather all the information and weigh the alternatives, go with your gut and make the decision that will benefit your life going forward. Having confidence in yourself will make for stronger confidence in your decision-making. By trusting yourself, you will at least know that whatever decision you make will be the one YOU think is best.
8. Just Do It!
And, finally, Nike’s slogan is a good one to remember when it comes to making confident decisions… Just do it.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the fuss of having to make the “correct” decision that it becomes overly stressful. “I’m the worst at making decisions,” we might say. Instead of subscribing to this doubt, recognize that you do have the ability to make confident decisions. Don’t feel that you have to wait for every single condition to be perfect before you decide to move forward with that new business venture, dream vacation, or friendship. If you wait too long, you risk losing the opportunity. Instead, take that first step toward making it happen. As long as you’re moving forward, you can always pivot, but you have to get started first!
Decision Making Confidence Starts Today
Like everything in life, the first time you do something, it will be difficult. The more you work at it, though, the more natural it will become. Making decisions isn’t always easy, but in time you’ll find that your confidence in decision-making is greater than you know. You just have to believe that you can!
Often, the organization that comes with keeping a daily or weekly planner can help maintain a healthy headspace, making the right decision more clear. Check out our flagship planners below, they just might help!