How to Improve Your Decision Making Ability

Jun 21, 2022 5 Min Read
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Photo by Kelly Sikkema @ unsplash

Second-guessing everything? This might be for you!

Are you someone who second guesses every decision? Maybe it's easy for you to make big ones but you stall on the small ones, such as what to order in a restaurant or what series to start watching. Or maybe you spend a lot of time going over past decisions and thinking about how you should have made different ones. Whatever your problem is when it comes to making up your mind about things, the tips below can help you.

Understand Decisions

You probably don't often think consciously about it this way, but at the core of every decision is something that you are giving up. It would be nice to think that you can have it all, but the truth is that you can't. Every decision is about making a tradeoff. Once you can think about the process as something along the lines of "Am I willing to give up X for Y?" you can probably make better choices.

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Understand Your Values

However, there's more to it than just understanding the tradeoff. You also need to be confident about what your values are. If you've ever looked back on something you did and felt uncomfortable, it might have been because you weren't being true to your values. Maybe you had two job offers to advance your career and you felt pressured by a friend who cares more than you about status into taking the one that offered a higher salary even though the other one offered an acceptable amount and was work you valued more. It can help to think about and make a list of your values to remind yourself of what is really important to you.

Gathering Information

Hard decisions will never go away, but you can give yourself the tools you need to make those choices. Thinking in terms of figuring out what you want to give up and having a firm grasp of your values are helpful, but you may also need to gather more information. Maybe you are trying to figure out whether to get your bachelor's degree. This involves a tradeoff of time and money, but if you do some research, you'll find that there are scholarships for college students you can apply for online. This can help cover the cost of tuition. It is often the case that the more information you have, the better a decision you can make. However, there is a danger here, which is that you can put off your choice indefinitely under the guise of continuing to gather information. If this seems as though it might be a danger, set yourself a deadline.

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Avoid Distractions

Even with all of the above points in line, there are other potential pitfalls. The key is to figure out what yours are. Some are very swayed by their emotions while others are influenced by what their peers think. Some people are bad at long-term thinking. When you identify your specific weaknesses or weaknesses, you can keep that foremost in your mind to reduce the likelihood that it will influence your choice.


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