Building Personal Decision Making Confidence
Originally appeared in Dr. Brian’s Smart Marketing Blog
There are many things you can do to build your confidence in making decisions. There ar also many things that can work to prevent or limit good decision making. Let us start with them.
Factors Complicating Decision Making
There are a variety of reasons why we may struggle with decisions. These might include the following:
Lacking information including the knowledge of where to find it and how to evaluate it when it is acquired
Inadequate or inaccurate information
Too much information available, causing the individual to become paralyzed in decision making
Lack of Decision Making Experience and Knowledge Factors
Lacking knowledge of decision-making procedures and skills, with limited experience in decision making
Lacking confidence in decision-making abilities, due to a lack of experience or a belief that the individual is a poor decision maker, or worrying too much about the decision and believing that the outcome of the decision has too many consequences to make the decision
Competing motives, leading to indecisiveness or putting off decisions(
Being multi-potentialed, Being gifted and having many interests and strong abilities in a number of areas. People with many interests and abilities find decision making harder, believing they will have to sacrifice important interests or abilities.
Limited interests or abilities, providing limited options from which to choose, especially when none of them appear attractive to the individual.
Conflicts with significant others can interfere with decision making
Limited self-confidence You have thought this out but you are still concerned
Paralysing anxiety when making decisions about very important matters, because of the fear of making bad choices.
The struggle for control when predicting and controlling the future is not completely possible. Thus an individual is left wondering whether pursuing a certain course will get them what they want in life.
Procrastination Decision making put off or hampered because even if the individual does decide, he or she does not know how to formulate a plan to carry out that decision.
Better Decision-Making Methods
Gather relevant, thorough, and accurate information.
There is no shortcut to gathering good information. Good information is the essential building blocks of any decision. There are many ways to gather information. If your information is inaccurate, incomplete, or misleading, you will be handicapped in making a good decision.
Gather information from multiple sources as a reliability check. Gather enough information that you are well informed, but do not wait for the “magical” piece of information that will suddenly illuminate your understanding. Each piece of information will help you get a better understanding of the puzzle, but you don’t need every piece of the puzzle in order to get a pretty good sense for what the picture looks like.
Seek options and variables.
Understand and be able to differentiate your options. Make sure you have an adequate amount of options. Ponder them thoughtfully. Evaluate and rank your options until you have some that seem more adequate than others. Talk with others about your options.
Seek the variables
Develop an understanding of good decision making skills and processes.
Make sure that you know, implement, and stick with good decision making procedures. Know the outcomes you want from your decisions.
Learn to live with an element of uncertainty and risk.
Almost all decision-making has some element of risk involved. Of course the more important the decision, the more we have to lose. But, realise that most decisions are not irreversible There will likely be no sense of guarantee that your decision will work out, until after you have started down the path. It has been said that “life gives the tests first and the lesson afterwards.” Develop the ability to compromise on some things, while holding fast to fundamental values. Realise that you will end up with both good and bad in your choice, hopefully more good than bad. If you have more bad than good, it may be time to make a different choice.
Understand the need for the support of others
Recognise the important influence of others in your life. Seek them out for counsel. But, remember the decision is yours, and you have to live with the consequences, on one else can.
An important part of growing up is learning to make choices and becoming responsible for those choices.
You will find that sometimes your decisions will make you temporarily lonely, disliked, or unappreciated, but over the long haul you will feel better about yourself and perhaps even admired by others because of your integrity that you are true to yourself. You cannot not have an identity or position.
Give yourself adequate time.
When possible, with important decisions, avoid being pressured to make decisions. You need “incubation” time once you have gathered information. You may need to ponder and “sit on it” for a time.
Do not allow waiting to become a form of procrastination.
Practice, practice, practise.
There is no substitute for practiceand Practise in making choices. Even “bad” choices provide great learning experiences. Those choices that are bad can be changed.
Embrace your “brand“
There is no need to be ashamed of who you are. You do not need to let others by default on your part make decisions for you, just because you want to be accepted, loved, or admired by them. Stand up for the things you value and you will ultimately have less to worry about over time.
Remain open and flexible.
Even though we must make decisions daily, we will continue to learn. If we later find that we need to change a previous decision, because we know more now, don’t be afraid to make a change. The modern world-of-work requires that we be flexible and adaptable.