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?
MAKING DECISIONS IS GOOD FOR YOUR EGO
Ease decision-paralysis with 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].
Want More of This? Get Some Brain Food Every Week.
BRAIN FOOD - SMOKED MACKEREL PATE
This week, founder of City Dietitians and broadcaster Sophie Medlin, is sharing her delish smoked mackerel pate recipe. It doesn’t require any cooking - so your flat won’t feel like more of an oven than it already does, feels pretty fancy and can be chucked together in five minutes flat. #winning.
“This pate is so easy to make and combines DHA rich mackerel and B vitamins from the cream cheese. Serve with veg and wholegrain crackers to feed your gut bacteria for even more of a brain boost. It is really delicious for a quick lunch to take to work, or as part of a picnic in the sunshine!”
What you’ll need: Smoked mackerel fillets (skinned & boned), cream cheese, horseradish sauce, lemon, chives, ground black pepper. (Click here to automatically add all these to your usual food shop)
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Put the fish, cream cheese, horseradish and lemon in a blender, or just mix it all together with a fork - it doesn’t have to be completely smooth depending on your preference.
Add the chives and black pepper.
Sprinkle the cayenne on top with a few drops of hot sauce if you want.
Serve with carrot sticks, sugar snap peas, high fibre crackers or wholemeal pitta.
WHAT WE LOVE THIS WEEK
Watch: Are you unconsciously biased against other groups of people? An interesting TedX talk from neuroscientist Tara Swart on the global emotional crisis, why our brains are wired to be wary, and what we can do to break down our barriers for a more harmonious society. [youtube]
Read: Microdosing magic mushrooms: wishful thinking or genuine technique to boost your brain power? There hasn’t been much in the way of concrete science on this, but Imperial College London opened a psychedelics research centre earlier this year and just released a review on the subject; here’s what they had to say. [psychology today]
Listen: Work a bit, putz around on instagram, make a brew, catch up on your Whatsapps, work a bit. Sound familiar? Fix your focus and hack your way to productivity with this 15-minute listen from Jim Kwik and some productivity pros. [jimkwik.com]
Follow: Dr Rupy Aujla, a medical doctor who also shares recipes to help you feel your best.
This week’s challenge - quick decision-making. You with me, tribe?
See you next Sunday