Making decisions is not something you should avoid. Being able to make a tough decision is actually a sign of maturity. Part of maturity is learning how your personal actions affect others, and that means understanding that if you delay your decision, it could have an adverse effect on everyone involved.
Strategies for difficult decision making:
1. Take your time.
If the decision isn’t time-sensitive, but will have a lasting impact on both your life and the lives of the people around you, you should devote some time to thinking about the consequences of your actions. Making a tough decision in a rush is the easiest way to end up regretting it.
2. Consider your values.
Though values are not static, they’re still a good jumping-off point for decision making. If the choice you’re making involves offending your morals in some way, that should be an indication that you’re not choosing the right path, and that you should maybe reconsider.
3. Make a decision-making matrix.
It involves listing out all the options you have to consider as rows, all the factors that go into making the decision as columns, and then giving each option and factor a number score that symbolizes its weight when making your decision. The option that makes the most sense will be the biggest number, and your decision will be made for you.
4. Or… make a pros and cons list.
List the positive and negative aspects of the choice. Putting pen to paper and really concretely thinking about the effects of your decision will help you make an educated choice.
5. Talk to people you trust who are not directly involved.
Consult someone who can be objective about your predicament. They will be able to see the bigger picture. They can more easily gauge whether your decision is worth it.
6. Talk to the people who are involved, too.
Although you ultimately need to make a choice, you should still consult people who will be affected, as they could have valuable input that might change your mind.
7. Listen to that little voice inside of you.
Even if you don’t end up following the voice’s advice, evaluate why it’s there, and whether you can afford to ignore it.