I had a query from a reader recently who brought up a really interesting point.
I won’t go into details but, in short, she was struggling between two decisions: whether to do what her family wanted her to, or whether to follow her heart.
And, while I couldn’t tell her what to do or give her specific advice (it’s her life and she knows her background and situation better than anyone), it made me think about decision making.
Making the right decision...
Sometimes we get so caught up in making the “right” decision.
Choosing the “right” thing to do.
But sometimes there is no right decision!
It’s not always that black and white.
If we focus on finding the “right” decision, we can get confused and then paralyzed.
We don’t do anything.
We think we need to have all the answers before we act.
And yet, that’s not true at all.
Sure, some decisions need to be weighed up carefully.
Some more than others:
But a lot of the time, it’s not about making the “right” decision.
It’s about making any decision.
And then acting on it.
Taking steps towards it.
Which shifts you from stuck… to moving.
I see this so often with people’s new businesses:
I don’t know whether to start with Instagram or Facebook or Pinterest or all three!
I don’t know whether to file my paperwork or look for new clients or do a marketing plan!
I don’t know whether to invest in business coaching or save money while I’m starting out!
While these aren’t stupid questions by any means, if we get stuck on finding the “right” decision, we can delay getting the really juicy stuff done.
So, take the time you need to make your decision.
But know that it doesn’t have to be perfect.
You don’t have to have 100% of the information to make a good decision.
Because if it wasn’t a good decision…
You’ll correct yourself!
You’ll change course and find a way around it.
Or maybe even go back to the start.
But - and this is really important - you’ll have learned something.
(I don’t believe in failures.
If you learn from it, how can it be a failure?)
So, dear reader:
Don’t worry about making the right decision:
Just focus on doing it.
Take time to assess the situation, make a decision, and then go with it.
There is no ‘perfect’ decision.
In small steps.
Finally, for anyone torn between two decisions and becoming paralyzed because of it:
And that sounds like a win-win to me :)
Because sometimes we spend so long trying to make the right decision, we don't make a decision at all.
But wait a minute...
Some of you might be thinking: “But what about a degree subject, for example? That’s a huge decision, and there is a right or wrong answer to that!”
I know it’s a big decision, but there still doesn’t have to be a "right" or "wrong" answer.
I know people who have studied degrees they had no passion for, and easily moved into a different field afterwards.
I know people who have walked away from PhDs, and been much happier doing work they love.
What I'm saying is...
It is always fixable.
Don’t worry about being perfect.
Just keep taking small steps… replot… and learn as you go.
I'd love to hear in the comments (or you can send me an email):
- When have you made a "bad" decision that turned out well?
- Have you ever deliberated for ages on something when you didn't need to?
You got this ;)