If you are someone who struggles in making decisions, you are not on your own! Here is some info that may make the decision-making process a little easier.
In life we are always making decisions, many are mundane and non-consequential and most decisions we won’t even remember making, but some decisions are more important, have long-reaching consequences and can be difficult to undo. These “big” decisions are few and far between, so we often get little opportunity to learn how to make good decisions. It’s understandable when we hesitate in this area.
Studies show most people evaluate their big life decisions more positively when they involve a change compared to when they maintain the status quo. In other words, people more often regret the things that they didn’t do rather than the things they did do!
When there is a choice between analysis (doing the research, looking at the stats, gathering information/all the facts, asking for advice and weighing up the pros and cons) or an intuitive (gut) approach, big decisions tend to be judged more positively when a more analytical approach is undertaken, so take the time to get informed of all your options.
We will often reflect upon decisions involving engagement in self-development ie., taking up a new hobby, pursuing spirituality or travelling, to be good decisions when looking back so your future self will probably not regret these types of decisions.
Feeling confident at the time of the decision making is strongly related to evaluating the decision as very good so if you are not feeling confident in a decision, consider delaying until you can learn more. Taking more time to make a decision is also associated with better evaluations, so it seems taking your time, if it’s available, is not such a bad thing!
And remember, if you are feeling low in mood, any decision, no matter how small can feel hard. Just remember on the days when everything seems hard, focus on making good, not perfect decisions, that moves you just a little in the direction that you want to go. Low mood will want to keep you stuck, so doing anything positive in the direction of personal meaning, values and purpose is a small step in the right direction!
Smith, J., 2022. Why has nobody told me this before?. 1st ed. Penguin Random House UK.