3 Questions that will help you make the right decision EVERY time

INDUSTRY TALK - Siân of Robin's Bobbins

Who else here struggles with making decisions at times?

Wouldn’t it be great if we could have the assurance that we’re making the right decision EVERY time?

Well today I’d like to share 3 questions that I’ve found work for me whenever I have to make a difficult decision.

A difficult decision doesn’t have to be ground-breaking by the way. It can be as simple as “Do you want juice for breakfast?” True story, this question is usually a difficult one for me. I mean, I’m the girl who has to check the menu online before I go to the restaurant so that I don’t hold everybody else back when it’s time to order! A difficult decision can also be about whether or not to have kids, whether to accept ‘that’ job offer, or anything in between.

So what do we do when we are stuck? I personally find it very helpful to ask myself:

1) What do I really, really want?

(That’s right, just like the Spice Girls!)

A lot of the time the first answer we get before we start thinking too much - the answer that comes from our guts - is an indication of what we actually want. It seems so simple and yet it doesn’t mean it’s easy. It requires listening to ourselves and not putting anyone else’s needs or wants before ours, and it requires acknowledging our own desires.

Asking ourselves what we really want can be a fantastic way to make a decision but let’s be realistic, sometimes it’s just not practical because there’s more to take into account. That’s where the second question comes in.

2) Does this align with my values?

Alright, so this one requires us to know ourselves a little bit and to have an understanding of what really matters to us.

If you haven’t done it already, I really recommend giving thinking about your values a go because they will act as a compass in your personal life and/or your career and they will speed the decision-making process up.

“Yes, but what if I’m still not sure whether I’m making the right decision?” you ask. Well, then move on to question 3.

3) Does this move me closer to my goals?

Again, this question requires us to have an idea of where we want to go, but I’ve found it extremely useful in deciding what I want to spend my time on and when. There are so many amazing opportunities out there, and sometimes it’s hard to know whether an opportunity is indeed an opportunity, or whether it’s a distraction. Because it can be both. And sometimes an opportunity is simply just not right for right now.

I also find that “Does this move me closer to my goals?” helps me let go of FOMO (fear of missing out).

A personal example

Those 3 questions can be used separately or together. Here’s a personal example using all 3 of them:

Not long ago I took part in a free 5-day online challenge and as those things tend to go, a course was promoted towards the end of the five days (it was a time-sensitive offer, of course). My (first) gut instinct was to think “Wow, I want to be part of that!” That thought was killed less than a second later by my brain trying to ‘rationalise’ with thoughts like: “Yeah, but I don’t know if I’d have the time to do it,” “It’s above my budget right now. If only I got paid sooner… Maybe if they run it again in the future?” and “Yeah, maybe now’s not the time. Maybe it would end up being a distraction. Plus I’ve got so much to do at the moment… Blah, blah, blah!” See what’s going on here?

It’s an understatement to say that hearing about that course had made me feel uncomfortable! The next morning I was still thinking about it. So what did I do? I went to the course website and read all the information on it in order to have all the details.

Then I ask myself: “What do I want?” - Answer: “I’d like to do it, but…”

Straight away I moved on to the next question: “Does this align with my values?” - Answer: “Yes, learning and self-improvement are very important to me and I trust that this course would help me up my game.”

Then: “Does this move me closer to my goals?” - Answer: “Well, yes because I would learn how to communicate efficiently, etc." (that’s where knowing all the details about the course came in handy) “but it’s a bit above my budget at the moment…”

Quickly I circled back to the first question: “And if money wasn’t an issue… What do I really, really want?” And the BAM! I felt myself smile and I believe it’s my 6 year old self that answered: “I want to do it.”

Once the decision was made, I made some calculations found a way to gather the funds, enrolled in the course, and didn’t look back.

A key tip to decision-making

I think one of the key things about making decisions is to let go once the decision’s been made. I know it’s easy to say and that sometimes we want look back one more time ‘just to be sure’ (I’m guilty of it too sometimes) but looking back and thinking about it all over again just makes making decisions harder.

There’s a point when we have to trust ourselves!

A final thought

I want to leave you today with this thought:

What if making the right decision wasn’t about everything going smoothly as a result of said decision or getting it right the first time round?

What if instead, making the right decision was about making the best possible decision with the information that you have in the moment?

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