How to (Finally) Make a Decision
Career Growth

How to (Finally) Make a Decision

STRUGGLING TO MAKE A TOUGH DECISION? REMIND YOURSELF OF THESE THREE THINGS.

If you’re like me, over-analyzing is your middle name. It’s like the weight of the world is riding on every damn decision you have to make whether it’s a strategic move for your company or whether you’re trying to decide where to meet someone for dinner. 

While I still have no freaking clue where I’m eating dinner, I’ve done a good job of being decisive in my business.

Baby steps folks, baby steps.

Here’s what makes it easier for me to pull the trigger:

1. I ONLY KNOW WHAT I KNOW

I can hypothesize all day long about what could be, and try to make a decision that is forward-thinking and proactive, but in all reality, I’m limited by what I know for certain right now. I’ll do my research when necessary, but I’ve learned that making a decision and modifying it as I go is the best option for my personal sanity. 

In Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull (President of Pixar), he says:

“I often say that managers of creative enterprises must hold lightly to goals and firmly to intentions. What does that mean? It means that we must be open to having our goals change as we learn new information or are surprised by things we thought we knew but didn’t. As long as our intentions—our values—remain constant, our goals can shift as needed.”

2. I HAVE PERMISSION TO CHANGE MY MIND

If I decide a certain choice isn’t working for me anymore, I change my mind. 

Most things aren’t permanent. And even if they are harder to reverse than the average decision, there are so many ways of making it work in your favor, if you just take control of the conversation. 

If I decide a certain choice isn’t working for me anymore, I change my mind. Most things aren’t permanent.

Ed addresses this more brilliantly than I could ever articulate here:

“It isn’t enough to pick a path—you must go down it. By doing so, you see things you couldn’t possibly see when you started out; you may not like what you see, some of it may be confusing, but at least you will have, as we like to say, ‘explored the neighborhood.’ Armed with new facts, you can then reframe whatever questions you’re asking.”

But first, you have to pick something. 

If, in your exploration down that path, you gather more information that leads you to a direction you hadn’t originally considered, consider yourself lucky to have found it. If you need to switch gears, that’s okay, too…at least you’re learning, discovering, and defining what works for you and what doesn’t.

I’d say that’s much better than waiting for the “right" answer to knock on your door.

3. GO WITH YOUR GUT

Most of us have people we look up to (or stalk on Instagram). Maybe it’s a mentor, industry leader, or someone who has an online personality that you resonate with. 

What I’ve learned is that most people speak from their personal experiences. While many can guide us, they still can’t make the decision for us because they aren’t coming at it from the same perspective. 

Over the years, I’ve definitely become better at asking the right questions and knowing who actually gives helpful feedback. But at the end of the day, it’s on you to pull the trigger…trust your gut and roll with it.

This article was originally published on Stilettos on the Rocks.