Making decisions is not easy, although it seems like that for some people.
You surely have friends or worked with individuals who seem not to have an issue with making quick decisions, but if you are not that kind of a person, don’t worry as you can learn to be. In management, the ability to make quick, yet smart decisions is a must.
The problem arises when you’re not sure which direction is right, and you have an idea of the right course of action, but you keep second-guessing yourself and if your initial choice is the right one.
However, studies have shown that your hunch, or your initial decision, tends to be the right one.
This is because we are led by our gut instinct—it’s a self preservation technique that allows our unconscious mind to make a decision even before our conscious mind goes into effect.
One source states that “according to a study by Canada’s University of Alberta, when it comes to working out where the future lies your unconscious mind is both smarter than you think and can be a great motivator.”
Another source cites Melody Wilding, a licensed therapist and professor of human behaviour at Hunter College, who says that “trusting your gut is trusting the collection of all your subconscious experiences… this collection of heuristic shortcuts. It’s this unconscious-conscious learned experience centre that you can draw on from your years of being alive.”
So how do you trust your first instinct and stop second guessing yourself?
First, you need to take a pause and decide if you are ready to make a decision.
If you need to think or otherwise collect information to help make an education decision, do so.
Second, write down your successes! Seriously!
If you have a hard time with decision making, but keep track of all the great decisions you made in writing, you will prove to yourself that you really know what you’re doing.
Third, allow yourself the chance to make mistakes.
No one can see the future, and when making a decision, you are essentially asking yourself to do just that.
Some will be great decisions, while others will turn out to be otherwise.
The important thing is that you need to cut yourself some slack and remember that one one is perfect.
Fourth, talk about your fear of making the wrong decision with others.
What you will discover is that it is a common fear that most of us share.
Once you get more comfortable in understanding that this is a human flaw, you will go easy on yourself and realise that making a decision is not tricky!
Senior Management Trainer and Consultant