Advice for making a hard decision

Being faced with having to make a tough decision is emotionally and physically draining. It’s a scary process that can quickly become overwhelming. We share some advice on how you can make up your mind and feel good about it.

Woman thinking

Identify the draws and reservations

Tough decisions often require a lot more depth than a simple pros and cons list. But the basis of such a list stands true. Identifying your potential options and why each of them might or might not be suitable is a great starting point. It is best to write down your draws and reservations so you can see them all laid out in front of you. Write every item down, regardless of how silly or trivial certain points may seem. If they are important enough that they come into your head, they are worth putting on paper.

Think out loud

Coming to a decision in your head can sometimes seem impossible. Thoughts get jumbled and bounce back and forth until you can’t make heads or tails of anything. Speaking your thoughts out loud to yourself can often add clarity to the situation. Thoughts that seemed silly or confusing may make perfect sense when verbalized. The important thing is to not censor yourself. Let the thoughts come, and then acknowledge and address each of them as they come out of your mouth. Pick a space where you know you won’t be heard, so you can be sure to give yourself over completely to working through the problem.

Ask a friend

Often a friend can act as the perfect sounding board for how you are feeling. It is best to choose someone who has no connection to the problem at hand and can therefore see the situation from a more objective point of view. Talking the problem through with someone may help you see which elements feel the most rational, which in turn can assist you in looking at things in a new light. Often the more perspectives you have on a problem, the easier it is to arrive at a solution with confidence. So find someone you trust, and talk it out!

Sleep on it

Once you have considered all your options and how you feel about each of them, thinking about the problem more will only stress you out. It’s impossible to come to a good decision without a little bit of rest. The best thing you can do for yourself is to have a good night’s sleep. In all likelihood, you will wake up with a clearer head and feel better about settling on a decision once and for all.

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