Working Through the Decision-Making Process

There is something about having to make a choice, and coming to a decision that can be a strong source of anxiety and stress in our lives. The process we go through of trying to come to a decision isn’t always simple, and I think our contemplation can cause overthinking, causing us anxiety. There are times when we’re faced with an easier decision, but it isn’t necessarily the most beneficial one. On the other hand, making the better choice may not be easy at all and comes with troubles and obstacles to get there. Do we take the easier route because it’s less of a hassle, or do we make the better choice, even though it comes with troubles? There are benefits and cons of each; we want to make the best choice and avoid the potential “what ifs” after making said decision. In trying to make the best choice for ourselves we have to think objectively and analytically about the facts, while also I believe, using our gut instincts and listening to what we are feeling.

I’m in this boat right now. I’ve found myself working one of the worst jobs I’ve ever had. This may sound dramatic, but I mean it entirely. I’ve worked quite a few jobs in my lifetime so far but I find myself dreading and having anxiety at the thought of going in, and counting down the minutes till I get to leave. I wonder first and foremost whether or not I could just take the easier route to save myself all the headache. Rather than abandon the commitment I’ve made to this job and begin the lengthy process of finding a new one, maybe I can just stick it out? Perhaps I’ve convinced myself somehow I’m making a situation seem worse than it is, and there is actually a simple solution I just can’t see. Like, maybe this job really isn’t all that bad? I could be overreacting possibly? Maybe you’ve done this too. This is when I think it is important to seek outside influence and advice. I wouldn’t even limit it to one, I would seek out several. Chances are you might already have someone in mind you typically turn to for advice. The point in seeking these people out is to gauge what someone outside of the situation thinks about it and see perhaps what they would do if they were in that situation. Do they feel the same as you about the situation? Maybe they actually think it’s not as big of a deal as you initially thought. Or maybe they agree and there is a decision that needs to be made. By gauging several different opinions you can get a better look at the bigger picture. Sometimes, at least in my own experience, I get stuck into one way of thinking and one opinion- aka I have a stubborn streak. It’s not always so easy for me to step outside the situation and look at it from a different perspective, so this is when seeking outside advice helps.

This is not to say that we should discredit our gut feelings. Our intuition is an important factor in decision making. Chances are you most likely have a feeling in the pit of your stomach about what you should do. Don’t ignore your inner voice and what your body is trying to tell you. Explore those feelings. Maybe this is a similar situation you’ve been in before and your intuition recognizes that. Gut feelings are there for a reason, there is something more we need to consider about the situation.

We all of course want to make the best decision for ourselves. We want the best outcome possible. Making a list of pros and cons may also provide help in coming to a decision. Objectively just look at the facts. What are the pros, the good things about it? And what are the cons, the bad things about it? Look and see not only how many pros and cons there are, but also what they are. Sometimes one huge con is equivalent to two or three pros. 

Lastly, I give this advice as something I myself need to work on taking: make the choice that is the most beneficial for yourself even if it is more difficult. I am not so good at taking this piece of advice. Let’s be honest, there are numerous decisions and choices we all have to make throughout our lives. Some of them are hard. Some of them we just want to take the easier way so we don’t have to deal with the hassle. I get it. I’ve done it. But remember those gut feelings? I’ve felt the longing and nagging of my intuition wagging it’s finger at me when I settle for taking the easy route even when I knew it wasn’t best for me. What’s worse is remaining in that wrong decision and then having that constant feeling that tells you just how wrong it is.

Coming to a decision about a situation can make you feel anxious, stressed, defeated, and exhausted even. There are ways we can work through this though and come to the best possible decision for ourselves. We can do this by taking outside advice, looking objectively at the facts, and listening to our gut feelings. The best choice may or may not be the easiest. But whether it is or not, we should ultimately try to act in our own best interests. This, while uncomfortable and a headache at first, will in the end alleviate all of that exhaustion and any associated anxieties. We will know without a doubt we made the very best choice for ourselves and that it was worth it in the end. 

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