Is it also difficult for you to take important decisions?
A couple of years ago, when I wanted to create the blog and change to the digital world, they came to me many doubts and fears.
Imagine that, at that moment you have to make a decision, appear a genius that asks you a few questions, to help you assess your options and facilitate the process.
In this article I propose 18 key questions to take important decisions.
When making decisions, you use to think a lot, trying to find the best option, the fairest, the less risky or the less painful decision.
And you can spend hours, days, or even weeks, before you can have a glimpse of light.
You tend to defend a particular point of view to consider that “that” is the best option, to a few minutes later, give you a whole series of reasons which justify the contrary view.
So in the end, just feel confused and without knowing what to do.
That’s why, I want to leave you some questions you can use when you need to take important decisions:
1. What is the goal you want to achieve with this decision?
This is the first thing you should have veeeeeeery clear.
Because, to reach a place before you have to know where do you want to go.
What do you want to achieve?
To clarify this question, I give you 2 options:
- Write your goal with great detail. At the time of writing, I advise you also write how it would be a typical day with your goal achieved.
- Imagine it mentally: close your eyes and try to see yourself with your mission accomplished. What are you doing? with whom? How do you feel? Try to connect with all the sensations you can, and watch it as clear as possible.
2. What you want to achieve with this decision, it depends on you?
Because, you CANNOT change another person, rather than yourself.
If your goal is to change another person, you won’t get it.
So, consider situations that depend on you and your actions.
3. What do we gain and what you lose with your decision?
This question is intended to give you clarity about the pros and cons of your decision.
Try to be schematic:
You can ask yourself this question in two or three different days, in case of different things come up, but once you have made your list, you’ll have to forbid your mind to keep spinning the same, if you don’t want to go crazy.
Once written the pros and cons, you have to prohibit your mind repeat, endlessly, in your head.
You write it on paper and there remain.
4. Do you have other options?
Sometimes you’re so focused on A, that you don’t see B and much less C.
It’s easy to have white or black thinking, but remember that there are colors and you have to relax so you can expand your vision.
Try to find alternatives, make a brainstorming if necessary, but investigates if there is another way to get what you want.
In addition, this will enrich you because you’ll realize that you have more options than you thought.
Having alternatives will allow you to choose.
5. If you’ve been in a similar situation before, what was your learning?
Every experience brings learning and now it’s time to recover it.
- If you are considering changing the job, what helped you to get the last one?
- If you are looking for a partner, what helps you to meet people and what isn’t useful?
Of course, every situation is different, but from your lived experience you can learn a lot and this is the time for you to think about it, to take what it worked and to leave what it didn’t.
6. This decision, respect your values and priorities?
If you make a decision, and you do NOT consider your values, you won’t be able to keep it.
Let’s imagine that for you the value of “family” it’s set the number 1 of your priorities. They offer a job with more responsibility and economic benefits, where you have to travel a lot. This will prevent you from spending much time with your family.
How long do you think you can go against your values?
You may not be able to hold that position for long, because it’s more important for you to give time to your family than to work.
So that’s why you have to make decisions aligned with your values and priorities, to make it easier both carry them out and managing the effects thereof.
7. Do you have any belief that limits you?
False beliefs can really hurt you.
The worst is that, often, you don’t even realize that a belief is limiting you.
You can look into some of your beliefs like:
- I should not …
- It’s not right …
- It’s very difficult…
- I won’t get …
- It’s impossible…
- This is not for me because…
Finish these sentences and consider the truth of them.
Remember that many times you run on autopilot and you do not even notice.
Detect and control your false believes so they don’t stop you from going in the direction you want.
8. What is the “worst of the worst” that could happen if … you take this decision?
Here it’s about imagining yourself in the most extreme situation you can and, moreover, make it dramatic.
- If you decide to change job, something could go wrong and you could lose your job. Then you couldn’t pay the bills, they will kick you off from your flat and you’d have to live under a bridge.
- If you decide to stay in the job you hate, you could have a stomach ulcer due to a high level of stress or depression.
- If you decide to risk, it could go wrong and lose, absolutely, “everything” achieved so far.
- If you choose not to take the risk, you could regret it the rest of your life for not trying, and maybe you’ll never have the possibility to choose again .
It’s important to be as exaggerated as possible, when answering this question.
This exercise will help you to make easier to take your decision, because probably no consequences will be so terrible.
9. What does your heart think about it?
The key questions to take important decisions cannot ignore your intuitive part, because otherwise, they would be incomplete.
Now it’s time to ask that part of you that knows nothing of analysis and statistics, and only feel, sense and wish.
It can happen that from your head there is no inconvenience to go in a certain direction, and yet being unable to take the decision because “something within you” you don’t know what or why, it’s not clear.
That “something” has to have its space and has to listen.
Write it down:
- What does your heart want?
- Which side feels it better?
- What intuition has about that decision?
Listen without censor.
You’ll be able to analyze later.
10. Could it be useful for the opinion of others?
Here I ask you to be careful.
I don’t want you to confuse your opinions with others opinion.
If you are interested, you can ask for another opinion, but always, seeing it as “an additional point of view” not as “the truth” or “the right thing”.
Think that every person lives their own reality, so their “advice” will be based on their experience and beliefs.
One thing is to ask other points of view to expand your vision, and quite another is to consider that others know more or better, what’s good for you.
That’s a serious mistake.
Because nobody but you will have to live with the consequences of your decision, so it is very, but very important, that YOU take the decision and not someone else.
Do you understand?
11. Imagine that 10 years have passed, what would have helped you then?
With this question may arise emotional aspects that so far had not occurred to you and it’s important to take them into account.
I would like you to imagine 2 possible scenarios:
A) You DO NOT take the decision. Imagine how your life is evolving.
B) That you DO take the decision. Re-imagine how your life evolves.
In both cases, you may ask yourself:
- What would you have needed then?
- What would have helped you?
- What words would you have liked to hear?
- What actions would you have had to take?
Perhaps these answers can serve to give you the push you are missing in the right direction.
12. Is there anything you can do NOW that lets you see some results of your future decision?
Sometimes you can do something small that offers you some information or allows you to feel “what it would be” without having to take your decision.
Others, it’s not possible.
But just in case, it’s better to ask.
- If you want to change job, you could search for offers and see what kind of job fits with what you want. You could also send some curriculum to see if you get any response.
- If you want to leave a relationship, you could start organizing a little of your life without that person. You could also start having your own activities.
Of course these small actions won’t ensure you anything, but at least they can give you an idea of the beginning of the road.
13. Can you assume the risks involved in your decision without a 100% guarantee?
Any decision involves risk.
You win something and lose something.
But there are people that don’t want to assume any risk.
They pretend to have the 100% security of their decision.
They pretend to have guarantees.
But, if you expect to be 100% sure BEFORE taking your decision, then, you will never take it.
Because there is NO guarantee.
There is always the risk of being wrong, but usually that’s not something that is known at once, but over time.
Don’t search for 100%, find the right percentage that is worth to take your decision.
Is it enough to be convinced 80%?
If so, go ahead!
14. Do you know what are the consequences of your decision?
To leave behind what you no longer want and get where you want to go, you have to walk and keep going forward with all that implies.
Your decision will have some effects you’ll have to assume.
And it’s important to know them to be prepared.
Take a look at the consequences that your decision will involve both you and the people around you.
And be ready for possible actions to mitigate unwanted effects.
The flexibility to adapt to what comes, will be your ally.
15. Can you give me adequate time to make your decision?
No need to rush.
But either postpone it forever.
You can decide “not decide” for a while.
You decide how much time do you need, but set a deadline.
And, until then, allow yourself to gather all the necessary information, answer the questions, ask other people, write lists of pros and cons and get an overview.
And when the time comes, take the decision and start acting.
16. If you take the wrong decision, what could you do to “repair” the damage?
Of course there is always the possibility of a misfire, or taking the wrong decision.
In that case, could you do something about it?
It’s important to have alternatives for things you could do if things don’t go as you expect.
You have to have options and resources available that can repair a bad decision.
17. This damage, would be totally irreversible or could you return to straighten the road?
This question helps you to keep your fears at bay.
And also, again weight off the decision because, if go wrong, probably, the effects are temporary and reversible.
Sometimes, after certain decisions, there is no turning back. You can not undo what you did.
Other decisions, however, have temporary and reversible effects.
This implies that in this second case, maybe in a while, you could straighten the path again.
Straighten the way, does not mean returning to the initial situation, but finding a new situation that best suits your requirements, although it won’t be the first one you thought.
Consider these aspects, will make you feel of having a plan B in the rear.
18. Once the decision is made, how are you feeling about it?
It depends on the type of decision you have to take, it may be difficult emotional periods, but as you know, that’s part of the process.
You have to pass those difficult times and hold them, because if the minimum that hurts you step back, you’ll never get forward.
You have to be strong, take care of yourself, and continue giving you the support you need.
If you are in a time when you have to make a decision, I hope these questions will help you in the process.
Remember that phrase of Seneca that says:
“It’s not because things are difficult that we don’t dare, it’s because we don’t dare, that things are difficult”
So I invite you to dare.
1In this article I just wrote 18 key questions to make important decisions, but of course there are many more:
What other question would you add?
Leave me your comments on the blog.