Decision Making 101

Is Fear Complicating Your Decision Making Process?

Decision Making 101

Needless to say I read a lot of self-help, self-improvement, and inspirational style material each month. My goal is to digest some great nuggets for myself and glean some of what I call "take aways" for my clients. Sometimes these "take aways" are meaningful perspectives that I pull from the articles. Sometimes they are phrases I design based on what I read and then ask my clients to use these phrases in the context of what we are discussing that particular week.

One of my favorite "take away" perspectives is that allowing fear to be the overriding emotion involved in decision making greatly complicates your ability to come to a decision.

The idea of trying to remove fear from a decision making process can be applied when making basic or tough decisions. Think of the last decision you had to make that gave you pause. Think about why you struggled with the decision or why the process was uncomfortable. Generally speaking, when people are having difficulty making a decision it is due to some kind of fear.

My goal when supporting a client through a decision making process is to help the client remove as much fear-influenced thinking from the process as possible. Once we address/identify the fear driving forces that are complicating the decision making, we can move more quickly towards a resolution.

Start by asking yourself what your concerns are about the outcome of your decision. Are any of your thoughts fear based or are they legitimate issues that need to be considered as part of the process? If you have made a list of your thoughts and concerns regarding the decision, look at the list carefully. See if any of your concerns are based on fear or if the concerns are facts that need to be taken into account. I am in no way suggesting that emotion should not be part of the decision making process - going with your "gut" feeling is often VERY legitimate!

It is important to note that tough decisions are just that, tough. Keep in mind that every decision does not have a pleasing set of options to choose from. Many times you will need to make a choice from a set of options that at best seem like deciding between bad and worse. The best way to approach these types of tough decisions is to accept that your first course of action after you make the decision is to learn to live with the result knowing that you did the best with the circumstances at hand.


Posted in Coaching

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