Whether conscious of it or not, our lives are made up of choices. Every day, we make tiny to major decisions that affect our lives. Even tiny choices add up and ultimately lead us down a certain path.
Sometimes we are faced with making a choice that may steer us towards one particular path but subsequently results in neglecting the alternative one, which can be a challenging consideration.
Making choices is difficult because we know that the choices we make come with certain outcomes. Unfortunately, we are not able to see ahead into the future and know what is going to happen. We have to live with the choices we have made and that can be stressful at the very least!
It is normal to feel all sorts of emotions when we are about to make decisions that can impact our lives significantly. For example, buying and selling your home, or even moving to somewhere new! Most people feel confused, anxious, overwhelmed, and pressured.
In making these types of decisions we are often up against factors beyond our control. This is what can make things more stressful and challenging. If you had full control of the outcome life would be easy.
However, there are things that you can do to make the best choice possible for yourself, regardless of how much the odds may seem to be against you.
How to Make Choices Amidst Difficult Situations
Making a choice becomes harder when we are aware of the potential losses that we could experience from choosing one option over another.
Some people would prefer to stay in their comfort zone and not make any decisions at all, which may suit those who do not have the luxury of time or extra income.
However, if enough time passes and you fail to make your choice, your indecision may not have the best outcome. Not making a choice earlier could cost you later, with undesirable consequences down the road.
If you are finding it hard to make a choice right now, you can start with these helpful suggestions:
Become More Aware of Your Feelings
Start with self-awareness. Become aware of how this situation is making you feel. Are you feeling between a rock and a hard place? Feeling pressured, stressed, anxious, or sad? What you feel is valid. Once you have control of your emotions make sure you can find the courage to make a choice. Your emotions can trap you into feeling afraid of doing anything. Know that your power comes from your ability to choose.
Calm Your Mind
A good decision most often comes from a calm and peaceful mind. If you are stressed about making a choice, find a way to overcome these feelings and relax your mind to allow for positive decision-making. Feeling stressed and anxious will not help you make the best choice. Try relaxation techniques such as exercise, yoga, deep breathing, or other stress-relieving activities that put you in a more relaxed state of mind.
Take Your Time If You Have the Option
Taking enough time to work through your choices certainly helps, but this is a luxury you may not always have. If you do have the time before making a decision, make sure you use it wisely! Do not rush. If you are working against time, find a way to process your options in the best possible way, calmly and methodically.
List the Pros and Cons
You may have been told to write down your thoughts, and not make a decision based on your emotions. This is to help you to factor logic into your decision-making process. It is often best to weigh your options by listing down the potential pros and cons of each choice. Think of the possibilities or learn more about the potential outcomes that each option could lead you to.
Once you have written down the pros and cons, and have had the time to ponder on your choices, you will likely see the best possible choice or choices for you to decide on. Do not stop at logic and reasoning, but more importantly, compare your best choices with your own beliefs, values, and goals. Do they align? If so, you will know what you have to do.
Ask for Advice
Once you have taken the time to weigh your options and learn more about the consequences that each of the choices could lead you to, you are in a much better state for decision-making. However, if you are still undecided, seeking counsel could provide some much-needed objectivity.
Ask for advice, especially from people who have had to make the same hard choices. You are likely to be led with more clarity when you factor in other people’s experiences.
The process of making a choice when confronted with challenging situations can be difficult. You need to take a step back to assess the situation and your emotions, seek advice from others, consider various options, and weigh the potential consequences before making your choice.
It is also important you take responsibility for your decisions and be open to adjusting them if necessary. Making tough choices requires courage, patience, and a willingness to learn and grow from the outcomes, and you can do it!