How to Make Difficult Decisions and Take Action
Far too many of us sit on the fence about important decisions in our lives because we are afraid of making the wrong choice. If we are unhappy, or know we need to make a change, then we have to be ready to make those decisions – and trust our instincts. The fact is we cannot make the perfect decision. The good news is there is no wrong one, only different lessons to be learned.
‘I believe it’s our decisions, not the conditions of our lives, that determine our destiny.’
– Anthony Robbins
Even not doing anything is a decision not to act… but as you had the thought in the first place, is there something niggling you which you want to change?
A thought creates an impulse, an impulse creates action. Action creates results. Those actions or decisions we take today will impact our tomorrow. The key here is to make well-thought out, considered decisions, even ones that carry an element of risk.
Change requires action, but how do you actually pluck up the courage to move forward? If you know you need to make that decision, it is really easy to fall prey to paralysis: you know you need to make a change, but that leap into the unknown makes it really hard to figure out what to do!
I’ve had to make some really big decisions recently, culminating with me deciding to step back from a role I was passionately engaged with, but found was no longer right for me. I agonised over it, wanting to make the right choice for me and for the business. But it’s hard to make those decisions when you love what you do. I didn’t take that decision lightly; I took a measured approach to work out if stepping away was the right thing to do and decided that I felt strongly enough that I took the action.
When we make a decision it’s really easy to focus on the end result – the perfect outcome. But you know what? It doesn’t always work like that. If we can’t always control the final outcome, sometimes it’s better to consider not just the end result, but what the next steps might be. You gather information and data along the way, helping you to make more-informed decisions, so you can manoeuvre your position accordingly to be able to take the next step.
You are more likely to take action if you have given that decision enough time and attention.
- Take plenty of time to think through and ensure you are in a rational head space to do so. Try to quiet any emotions around the decision – emotions are not your friend here.
- Don’t make a decision without having all the information you need. Take time to research or speak to people.
- Write down your ideas and how you want to implement them. Writing them down helps with clarity and when you read them back, enables you to better analyse your thoughts from all angles.
- As you are writing things down, create a pro and con list to help put things into perspective.
- Talk it out with others – this helps you to brainstorm your decision and to get valuable feedback and validation.
- Listen to your gut and your heart. That inner voice is essential. Deep down you know whether your decision feels right or not. *
Acting on your decision once you have made it can feel more difficult than the decision itself! Remember that change does not happen overnight, it takes time, patience and more often than not, hard work.
Taking that first step, however small, is essential to achieving your success. Remember that acting on your decisions is a way to challenge yourself. You are stepping out of your comfort zone – but that means you are making progress.
The key to making sure we follow through on our decisions is to formulate them in a concrete and actionable way. This helps us to follow them through in a timely manner. Identify the obstacles that will prevent you from taking action and formulate potential solutions to them.
Today is the day to act on your decisions. The timing will never be perfect, so commit to your future now.
* Ginger Tip…
Still not convinced you’ve made the right decision?
Try imagining you have made this one troublesome decision and sleep on it. When you wake up the next morning, what is your first thought regarding the decision?
Are you relieved? Then, you’ve made the right choice.
But, if you’re still anxious about the decision, then you have more work to do.
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