Making the decision to stay at or leave a job, a relationship, or country, can be tough. We take a look at how making tough decisions can be easier.

The decision making process can be used to empower us instead of leaving us feeling confused and stuck, and not having any idea of what we should do.

Peter, Sam, Mike and Benjamin sit around the kitchen table to discuss what goes into making big decisions and some of the ways we can make this process easier for ourselves.

Getting advice from other people can be incredibly helpful when making tough decisions, but learning how to approach this advice can mean the difference between doing what other people think you should do and doing what you want to do.

But sometimes it’s not so easy knowing what it is we want to do, knowing which way we’d like to go, or which decision to make and why. In this episode I share a technique which helps me break down tough situations and make decisions which support my personal growth and sense of well-being.

Side note: this episode was recorded in Berlin, back in May 2015. Back then I was living in Mitte (the center of the city), so you’ll hear sirens and other glorious street noises from time to time – how authentic!

Show Highlights and Takeaways

  • Getting Advice from Other People
    • It can be helpful to talk to friends and family about the situation we are in as they will often give us a different perspective and different questions about the situation that we hadn’t previously thought of.
    • Sometimes we can use other people’s advice to talk us out of stepping out of our comfort zone to face positive challenges for ourselves which we know will help us grow and progress.
    • Being aware of what someone else is bringing to the table when they’re giving advice can be helpful in remembering that it’s their advice and might not be applicable to your situation.
    • We always have the choice to take someone’s advice or leave it.
    • If we are always following other people’s advice, and don’t trust that we know what we want (or that we can work it out) then we may end up living according to other people’s opinions about what we should do, and not living how we want to.
    • Trust that you know what you need, and you know what you want. No one else knows you better than yourself.
  • Making A Decision
    • It’s not possible to make a perfect decision.
    • A 100% ‘right’ decision where everyone’s happy doesn’t exist.
    • We can only make a decision that’s good enough. A decision that is good enough given our current level of awareness of ourselves and the situation in front of us. We can’t do anymore than that.
    • Getting used to making decisive choices on a smaller scale makes it easier when it comes time to decide on the bigger choices in life.
      • What would I like to eat now? … Porridge!
      • Do I feel like hanging out with this person right now? … Yes!
      • What do I want to wear right now? … Purple pants!
  • Making a Decision When You’ve Already Invested a Lot of Time and Energy into Something
    • The time, energy and effort have already been spent.
    • You’re making this decision now, in the present moment and thinking about how you’d like to move forward into the future.
    • Don’t get hung up on the past. Make your decision now, considering what will make you happy.
  • Which Questions Are You Asking Yourself?
    • The questions we ask ourselves are important. They help guide us to certain areas and realisations which can be laying under the surface of our awareness.
    • Instead of thinking about a decision in terms of the right decision and the wrong decision to make, you can ask yourself what is favourable given the situation I’m in.

Write It All DownA Technique for Making Tough Decisions Easier

This is a technique for gaining more clarity on a situation, uncovering how you truly feel, and discovering what it is you truly want for yourself moving forward.

With more clarity in these areas making tough decisions becomes a lot easier and you’ll be making decisions which are in alignment with your own growth and well-being, more often.

  1. Come back to actuality – write down all the known facts of the situation.
  2. Once you’re clear on the facts of the situation ask yourself some questions: “What do I want? Why do I want that? Why do I feel this way about that?” – Keep asking yourself questions and write everything down. This will bring some clarity to the situation and uncover how you feel about it and what it is you want.
  3. Get some advice – At this stage it can be helpful to seek advice from other people to add some perspective to your decision making process. Having a clear idea of what feels right to you before seeking advice helps to identify the advice which is applicable to you and your situation.

You’ll know when to jump ship. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ decision to be made, just a good enough decision based on your awareness of the situation and the option which feels more favourable to you.