Have you ever faced a difficult decision and gone back and forth (and back and forth again), trying to find the best choice?

It can be agonizing not to know what to do. It’s like you’re doing mental gymnastics, trying to figure things out. And the stress of uncertainty can permeate the rest of your life, making it hard to stay present.

Making matters worse, trying to predict all the potential pitfalls and ramifications of your decisions can waste time and prevent you from discovering creative solutions.

If you see your decisions as life-or-death matters, you may get stuck searching for the one “right” answer and not take any action at all.

If you cling to trying to get things right, the journey will likely feel painfully slow.

But of course you try to find the right choice. You’ve been socialized to do so.

We live in a culture that propagates the fallacy of one “right” solution. Career coaches tell us we should find our “one true purpose” or “the right path forward.” Marketers tout the supposed magic pill. Racism, patriarchy, and other manifestations of supremacy are rooted in the notion that one way is best.

Contrary to popular belief, there are probably many decent solutions to the challenge you face.

But when you rack your brain trying to find just one, you’ll have a hard time seeing any. Here’s why—

Comparing and analyzing all the options can work well with straightforward decision-making like when it comes to choosing a restaurant. But when we face complex and personal decisions like whether to change jobs or start a business, our conscious minds can have a hard time juggling all of the variables.

According to the law of diminishing returns, at some point you’ll reach a moment in which more effort provides less benefit. If you prepare too much, it can hold you back from moving forward and actually make you feel less ready.

Once you have enough information to make a good decision, adding more information can confuse you, keep you mired in analysis paralysis, and lead you to make a worse decision.

A Better Way

I invite you to entertain the notion that there is no right choice, and even if there is, there is no way that our humble, mortal minds can know with certainty what it is.

Your job is not to find the “right answers” or the “best step forward.” Instead, it is to listen carefully to your intuition and to people you trust. And then make your best guess with what you’ve got.

It’s often far better to make a quick decision and come up a bit short than to take no step at all.

In fact, the decisions we make quickly are often better than ones you make cautiously and systematically. When something just feels right, there is often a great reason, even if you don’t consciously know what it is and even if your conscious mind argues back.

The best decision-making is iterative.

That means that you make a decision about your next step, gather information about what happens, and then make your next step based on that information. With each step, you gather information about what to do next.

If you get new information that indicates that another course of action is better, your inner  Judge may say that you should have known better. But the truth is, if you had known then what you know now, you would have chosen differently.

You can choose to get down on yourself. Or, you can choose to get curious, learn what there is to learn, and take the next best step with the new information you have.

I hope you’ll choose to learn. And to keep moving forward.

I’d love to hear from you!

What’s your next step forward? Any questions about what to do next?

Please share in the comments section on my blog, and I will make sure to respond.

Wishing you all the best on your journey,

Katherine

X

Forgot Password?

Join Us