6 Strategies for Getting Over Decision Paralysis for the New Year

Are you ending 2023 avoiding a critical decision you will soon be required to make?  This type of thought process is known as “decision paralysis.”

The following six-step process can assist in diminishing your decision paralysis on key initiatives:

Step 1: Identify what you have been putting off.

Sit down for a few minutes with a pen and a notepad and ask yourself: “What issue(s) have I been putting off?  What problems seem insurmountable?  What drains my energy every time I think about this issue?”  By identifying the issue and why it is so unsettling, you will have a better focus on how you’ll be able to move forward. 

Step 2: Ask Why? 

By asking “Why?”, you can determine the root cause of your problem.  Why has this issue caused you decision paralysis?  If you provide concrete answers grounded in fact, you should arrive at the root of the cause as to why you have developed decision paralysis on this particular issue.

Step 3: Conduct your research.

Decision-making is both an emotional process and a calculation.  Great strategists trust both intellect and instinct. They gather information until they feel they can make good decisions.  Do some research about the issue at hand. 

In order to generate some good alternatives, look at the problem from different angles.  Logic is a tool, and it’s most effective when combined with instinct.

Step 4: Visualize and use your instinct.

After you’ve conducted your research, listen to your intuitive side, your gut. Does one decision leave you feeling queasy while another one feels meaningful and purposeful?  That’s your instinct talking to you!  Use your imagination to visualize the various choices you have researched and see where your instinct and intellect coincide.

Step 5: Look at your decision objectively. 

Use your instinct to quietly and methodically test your assumptions against your own experience.  Have you made a similar decision in the past?  How did it turn out?  What lessons did you learn from it?  Many people make the same mistakes repeatedly because they fail to learn from the past.

Step 6: Make your decision and take action! 

Communicate your decision to those who will be affected by, or involved in, implementing it.  Get their buy-in and support.

Many variables will always affect your decision-making process.  However, if you remove the barriers and distractions to solving problems, you’ll improve the quality of your decisions and feel more confident about your ability to repeat the process with future problems.

How do you take control of decision-making?

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