How To Be A More Decisive Person

Tips for being more decisive: clarify values, evaluate impact, do research, trust your gut, stop living with regret.

Jun 26, 2024
We all struggle with making decisions from time to time. Certain choices are more challenging than others, like deciding which career path to take, or whether to say “yes” to a marriage proposal.
For some of us, the stress of making a decision can be so overwhelming that we struggle to choose anything.
When you discover that even choosing a Netflix movie or which meal you want to order fills you with anxiety, it’s time to make a change.
Becoming a more decisive person can make your life a lot easier. It helps you focus your attention on taking the right steps and stop living in limbo.
So, where do you get started?
Clarify Your Values And Priorities
One of the reasons so many people struggle with decision making is they don’t know what they really want. While it’s normal to not know exactly what you want in every area of life, you should at least have a clear idea of what matters most to you.
Clarifying your values and priorities will help you to make decisions much faster.
For instance, if one of your goals in life is to spend as much time as possible with your children, it’s much easier to choose a flexible job that pays a little less over one that would have you working 60 hours per week.
Whenever you get stuck, take a step back and remind yourself of what really matters to you.
Evaluate The Potential Impact Of Your Decisions
When making a decision, your main focus should be on choosing the path that delivers the best outcomes for you. Being able to look at your choices holistically and evaluate how they’re going to impact you in the future is a good way to make better choices.
It also helps you to determine whether the short-term results of certain decisions are worth the long-term repercussions.
For instance, if you want to lose weight, you can ask yourself whether eating an extra slice of pizza now is worth the extra work you may need to put in at the gym tomorrow.
If you can’t see any significant negative outcomes with any of the available choices, determine how a choice makes you feel. If you’re instantly hit with a feeling of unhappiness or panic, you might want to go in the other direction.
Always Do Your Research
It’s much easier to be decisive when you have as much information as possible. The more complex the decision, the more data you need to make a confident choice.
For instance, you won’t feel comfortable choosing one job offer over another if you haven’t researched the two companies, their salaries, and the work responsibilities.
Always collect as much information as you can and try to compare your options like-for-like.
In other words, if you know the salary, company culture, and values of one company, you need to know the same things about the other company.
Don’t be afraid to include other perspectives too. Asking others for their thoughts and opinions can give you insight you might not be able to get from the data alone.
Know When To Trust Your Gut
While having more information usually makes decision making easier, there will be times when all the information in the world won’t help you. If that’s the case, you’ll need to look elsewhere when making your choice – namely, your gut instinct.
Emotion will always play a role in good decision making. Imagine choosing a new job based on all the logical factors, like a higher wage and better hours, but you still didn’t feel comfortable about the position. You’d live your life wondering what could have been elsewhere.
Learning when to listen to your gut instinct is important when it comes to decision making. When you combine your instincts with the information available, you can make better decisions.
Stop Living With Regret
One of the biggest issues that can keep us from making decisions quickly and confidently is the fear of making the wrong choice. We worry about what’s going to happen if we go in the wrong direction or do something incorrectly.
However, the unfortunate truth is that we’re all going to make bad choices from time to time.
The key to success is learning how to live with your decisions and ditch the regret. Remind yourself that you did your research and made your choice based on what was right for you at the time.
Getting stuck in the fear of making a mistake is just a waste of crucial time.