How To Make Hard Choices
Life is all about making choices. The wonderful thing about life is that we choose most of the things that we will experience. Some might say that we consciously choose, whether we realize it or not, all the experiences of our lives. Whatever the case may be it is true that we constantly need to make choices and some of these choices can be very hard.
If you do find it hard to make some choices, there are certain techniques that can help you. Something that does help right off the bat is to always try and stay objective. As I’ve told you in other articles, emotions are a wonderful way to discover your inner psyche, but sometimes they can get in the way of you making good choices because they tend to cloud our perspective. Next time that you are finding it difficult to make a choice, see if it’s perhaps the fact that your emotions are getting in the way. If your emotions are getting in the way then see if you can step back from the situation and see it in the third person perspective, in this way you will have a broad view of the situation and a clear mind.
Sometimes it is also difficult to make a decision because the situation is so complex that we are not able to see everything clearly. When this is the case it is always a good idea to write your potential decisions, and the particulars of the situation, down on paper. By writing things down, you stop taxing your mind trying to remember and keep everything in perspective, and in this way you allow your mental energies to focus on coming up with the correct choice. When we are trying to keep everything in our minds, it is sometimes very easy to forget the small things, this can skew our entire thought pattern because of one missed item. Make it a practice to write down your problems and your decisions on the subject, that way you will have more mental space and energy to deal with any decision or problem.
If you are having problems making hard choices, here is a wonderful little technique that you can use:
- On a piece of paper make two columns; the header for the first column is pros, on the second column the header is cons, the header for the third column is fixes. This technique then is called “pros, cons, and fixes”.
- Now what you will do is take any decision and for that decision write down all the pros. This of course would be there is a list of all the positives, the benefits, and the advantages of making a certain decision in a certain way.
- On the second column you would list all the cons. Here you will write down all the negatives and all the problems associated with making this particular decision.
- On the third column you will write down all the fixes. A fix is basically a negative that can be fixed so that you try to take a con from the list and turn it into a pro. In a way you could say that you are trying to neutralize as many cons as possible. On paper this can be easy for you to do because as you look at your list you will have one column of positive things and one column of negative things; and as you look at these you should have a better idea of how you can fix some of the big problems that your choice might incur.
- Compare all the pros and all the cons that you could not fix. Now you can look at all the positives and negatives of the choice that you are about to make and in this way come up with a far more logical and objective conclusion.
This is a great way to structure any difficult choice that you might have. In this way you are able to write down on paper exactly what is going on in your head, and allow yourself to have a far more objective and logical look at your dilemma. If there are many choices, for example the need to choose between many options, you can still use this method by creating a chart for each of the options you have available. When you are having trouble making decisions and you think that the problem is either too complex to keep all in your head or that your emotions are clouding your judgment, try this technique and you will find that your choices will become far easier to deal with.