Making Decisions is Good for your Ego
Do I want the falafel? Or the curry? Maybe it’s better to have a salad. I can’t decide, what do you think I should have? *sigh* I don’t know about you, but I have some version of this conversation about eight times a week day. Let’s stop the madness and get good at making decisions, shall we? Ease decision-paralysis with these simple methods to make choices, and boost confidence.
We’re faced with around 35,000 choices to make every day - with that much practice, you’d think we’d be better at it really. Yet, loads of us find it daunting and can get paralysed by trying to make the “right choice”. Here’s the kicker, though. That decision-paralysis is wreaking havoc on our self-confidence.
You know you, boo
It’s common to rope in friends, family, or colleagues to help make some of these thousands of choices in a day. But, why is it that we think they know us better than we know us? Psychologist, Jennifer Guttman says;
“We do this as a way of searching for the “right” decision, as if there is one. In today’s world of social media, we’re predisposed to believe that there are correct choices that lead to “perfect” outcomes. However, the truth is everyone is guessing, even the people that look like they’ve made all the “right” choices.”
This constant search for the right choice makes us lose confidence in ourselves, and results in a lack of trust in our capability to solve problems.
Make the decision to make a decision
Seriously, the only way to get out of this nasty indecision-fuelled confidence spiral, is to make a decision. But, the decisions we eventually come to after obsessing, getting everyone’s advice and obsessing some more, is normally the same as if we’d trusted our intuition in the first place. So, in theory - going with your gut can save you a shit-tonne of time and anguish.
Flex those choice muscles
The more you can practice making quick decisions, the easier it gets. And the methods to get there are pretty simple. Using an adapted method from Hungarian mathematician George Pólya from 1945, Guttman has come with a pretty simple set of guidelines to free you from the terror of making the right choices, to just make a decision and get on with it.
Tips to make decisions easier and boost your confidence while you’re at it
Think outside the box. Not all problems are black and white, and thinking that they are can mean you get stuck. Get creative and look for solutions that aren’t that obvious.
Make a plan, Stan. Give yourself a set amount of time. Small decisions get 10 minutes, big decisions get 20. You have an innate ability to problem solve, and setting a time limit forces you to believe in that. (You can do it).
Don’t run out of time. If you allow time to run out on a situation which means a decision is made for you by default - you’re inherently undermining your own abilities and self-confidence.
FOR THE NERDY: Seven ways to make confident decisions [Source: Psychology Today].