Having trouble making decisions these days is not uncommon. Today’s society has made available so many choices for us. Let’s look at the simplest example of this. When we go shopping our shopping centres were normally located on the nearest corner and most stores would stock a couple of hundred items. Today however we see large shopping chains literally stocking thousands of items. Instead of choosing from 5 or 6 breakfast cereals we literally now have over 30 cereals to choose from and of course with better education comes the dilemma of reading all the labels to see how much sugar, how much fat, the G.I. rating etc, etc.
The crazy side of this of course is most of us make major decisions which change our lives dramatically very quickly, such as changing jobs, buying a house or car and god forbid, even marriage!
When counselling people over many years about issues such as marriage, divorce, substance abuse, depression, anxiety etc, I have complied some approaches, which may be of assistance.
1. List all the options you can think of which will help you solve the problem. Don’t worry how ridiculous they may seem, list them all, as many as you can think of. Now edit your list; in other words cross out those that do not sit comfortable with you. Use the remaining items on the list to set about planning actions against this list. For example:- you may be having difficulties in a relationship. Your edited list may now contain: I want to stay in this relationship. Therefore your plan may be to seek professional counselling together with your partner. So for every item on your list, be proactive about the planned activity.
2. Another idea is listing the pros and cons of a problem or idea. It can also help in major decisions to receive input from others. However, the final decision should be made by you, the individual. As youngsters we are dependent on our parents/carers for existence, as we mature we strive for independence especially around adolescence. However the very smart people today strive for interdependence. Interdependence calls on other people with specific expertise to assist us. Never lose sight of the benefits of interdependence.
In making decisions it is far better to make an “educated” decision rather than one based on ignorance and lack of education. Major decisions, which affect your life, should be fully researched with input from people who have spent years already weighing up the pros and cons. Decisions affecting others should be a balance betweencompassion and education.