How do you make a big decision fast without worrying that you’re making the wrong one?
We’ve all been there. You’re caught between a rock and a hard place, and you can’t figure out which option is the right one.
Meanwhile your mind is taking you down the rabbit hole, asking questions that are going to keep you awake all night.
Questions like: What if I make a huge mistake by letting go of something that feels certain? And what if I miss out on something great because I was too afraid to take the risk?
Decision-making can be crazy-making, but only if you let it.
Napoleon Hill, author of the well-known book Think and Grow Rich once said, “Successful people make decisions quickly (as soon as all the facts are available) and change them very slowly (if ever). Unsuccessful people make decisions very slowly, and change them often and quickly.”
So how do successful people make decisions so quickly? While I can’t speak for others, I can share with you what’s worked for me as someone who used to be a chronic over-thinker and worry-wart.
Thankfully I’m now able to make decisions quickly without too much stress.
How to make a decision fast in 7 steps:
1. Zoom out
When you’re too close and emotionally attached to the outcome of a big decision it can cloud your judgment. Fear can take over and make it difficult to make the right decision for you and all involved.
I find it helpful to act as if I’m “zooming out” and seeing things from a greater perspective. I imagine that I’m tapping into the wisdom of my higher self, rather than relying only on my limited ego “survival-minded” thinking.
Zoom out and ask yourself without thinking too much, “what immediately feels like the right thing to do?”
Pay attention to what comes up. Usually you know even when you think you don’t. It’s your mind that overthinks and confuses you.
2. Tune into what you would do if fear wasn’t an issue.
A mentor of mine once said, “indecision is one of the most painful spaces to be in.” The fear of making the wrong decision is real, and it can leave you feeling frozen. I’ve definitely been there my fair share of times.
But by not making a decision and letting our fear decide for us, we are still making an indirect decision.
Rather than letting fear steer the course of your life, what if you instead asked yourself the question: “What would I do if I knew with 100% certainty I would succeed?”
What if the fear of failure was off the table? Your answer to this question will show you what you really want.
Getting out of fear mode helps you tune into your heart so you can make the most empowering decision, not merely the safest one.
3. Figure out which option is in your best interest long term.
My favorite litmus test for making any big life decision (or even smaller ones) is to ask myself, “will this bring me closer to my big vision or will it take me farther away from it?”
It seems like common sense but you’d be amazed by how often we do things we really don’t want to do simply because we feel like we should do them.
If you’re feeling pressured by others to make a decision fast, remember that the best thing for all involved is for you to make the right decision for you.
When you make decisions for other people, you end up feeling resentful towards them. It won’t create a happy ending for anyone involved, trust me.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?
The decisions you make today create your future. Do what you know in your heart is best for you, and you can’t go wrong.
Related post: 7 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself When Setting Goals
Free Printable: Goal Setting Workbook
4. Connect with what your gut is telling you.
Have you ever had a gut feeling about something, but you ignored it and it later turned out that the feeling was right?
Worst. Feeling. Ever. Right? You end up kicking yourself for not listening to your gut in the first place.
Our bodies are so smart. They know when something feels off. They also know when something feels right.
I find that when something doesn’t feel right, I get a heavy sinking sensation in my gut. When something feels good, I feel a pull towards that thing and it feels light.
Close your eyes and bring your attention to your gut. Visualize each option in your mind and focus on what you’re feeling.
Jot down what you felt so you can take this information into account when making your final decision.
5. Assess your commitment level.
I love this little hack, because it always shows me how much I really want something. Let’s be honest: If you’re lower than a 7 committed on a scale of 1-10, you probably shouldn’t be pursuing that thing. You’re mind, body, and soul just aren’t in it, and that’s okay!
For each option ask yourself, “on a scale of 1-10 how committed am I to following through with this decision?”
Be completely honest with yourself, and don’t just write down the number you think looks good on paper.
Which option gave you a higher commitment level? Dig deeper so you understand why you chose each number. Why not a lower number? A higher number?
6. Fully commit to your final decision.
Now, you’re ready to make your final decision. For each option look at the notes you made for each of the steps above. At this point you should have a pretty clear winner.
If not, go back and dig a little deeper. You may still be overthinking things!
Once you’ve made your decision, fully commit to it and don’t let yourself keep thinking about the other options.
To “decide” in Latin literally means “to cut off” so once you’ve decided that’s it! You may even find it helpful to write out your decision like a contract you’re making to yourself.
Something like, “I (name), now fully commit to (insert decision). I know and fully trust that I’ve made the right decision for myself and all involved. I move forward now with peace and excitement for where this decision will lead me.”
Now that you’ve made a decision, go celebrate! You’ve now committed to something that will shape your life and your future for the better. How exciting is that!?
Plus when you celebrate you train your mind to see decision-making as a positive event rather than a stressful one.
To wrap it all up…
Making a big decision doesn’t have to be so overwhelming and stressful. It really can be a fun, exciting process if you choose to listen to your body and your higher self instead of your fearful mind.
At the end of the day, you only have one life. It’s cheesy (and maybe a bit morbid), but it’s the truth.
Do what feels right for you, and that will always be the best, most empowering choice you can make.
I’d love to know: How did this process help you? What other tips do you have for making big decision quickly? Let’s have a conversation in the comments!