Travel the world or start a career? Continue studying or apply for a job? Break up or stay together? Help! The fear of making the wrong decisions and overthinking can paralyze us.
Of course you have to think before you make a decision, especially when it’s life altering. But quite honestly, overthinking leads to nothing.
So, why do we do it then?
Because we’re afraid to miss out on one thing if we choose it over something else, or we’re scared of the possible outcome.
That’s – very briefly – my theory. But how do you deal with it? Through trial and error, I have uncovered some tricks that help with decision making. And no, I don’t believe in endless lists of pros and cons.
1. A decision is just a decision
In many situations, a decision is just a decision, neither good nor bad. You go left or you go right, and both directions have consequences. The outcome might be complicated, different than you expected, but does that make it a bad decision? You will learn from it. And what is a good decision? When the outcome is easy? When you are satisfied? Some people are never satisfied, not because they make the wrong decisions, but because of their attitude. So, don’t be afraid to make a wrong decision, when there simply is no wrong decision.
2. Stop asking for everyone’s opinion
Yes, it can be wise to ask for advice when you don’t know what to do. But too many opinions only blur your own idea. Also don’t be afraid to question the advice given to you.
A bestie that screams ‘OMG, GIRL, YES YOU SHOULD DO THAT!’ when you tell her you’re thinking of leaving your steady job to spend six months in an Indian ashram, can also scream this because she is fucking bored in her own job. In the end, it is up to you.
3. The fear is not real
Fear are thoughts you create yourself. Don’t listen to it. My mind, for example, can be pretty wild in creating worst case scenarios, and that’s kind of annoying when you have to make a decision. That’s why I prefer to listen to my gut feeling. My gut feeling is a funny warm feeling around my heart, while fear causes pain in my stomach. I prefer the former.
4. Pick a deadline
I tend to make decisions pretty quickly, especially the harder ones, to make sure I don’t have too much time to think and let my doubts take over. If you tend to do the opposite and overthink on decisions, set a deadline for yourself.
5. Do like the Dice man
When you really get stuck in between two choices, there is always The Dice Man solution: use a dice to make a decision. Crazy? Could be. But at least it’s way more exciting than being paralyzed.
6. Never say “What if…” following a decision
Did you make your decision? Great! But please, don’t use that annoying “what if…” — completely useless. Don’t whine about what could have happened if you had gone down that other path. Just accept the consequences and learn from the experience. Remember, “It’s all a blessin’ or a lesson.”