Making decisions is something we do every day. Entrepreneurs, however, often have to make even more decisions than the average person, and their choices may have far-reaching effects and implications. It’s no wonder that many of us feel anxious when it comes down to making an important decision.
We asked members of the Forbes Coaches Council for their best advice on working around the negative parts of decision-making. The answers indicate that letting go and trusting yourself can be just as helpful as weighing the pros and cons.
1. Find A Way To Become Calm
While anxiety plays an important evolutionary role in keeping us safe from mistakes and harm, too much anxiety interferes with performance and decision making. Rather than trying to suppress emotions, which is not only ineffective but may harm us, we must work to calm the body and brain. Only then can we effectively examine pros and cons and make a better decision. – Christine Allen, Ph.D., Insight Business Works
2. Use Multiple-Choice Methodology
In multiple-choice tests, you can pick from a number of answers but there is only one best answer. For this scenario, “all of the above” or “none of the above” categories won’t work. Have that someone who has been suffering come to you with three choices and have them pick one “best answer” and defend it. You can see their thought process, and you’ve made them decide but not abandon all their ideas. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.
3. Get Crystal Clear On Your Evaluation Criteria
Evaluate opportunities using criteria that you determine is important to you, based on your values and your goals. Develop a scoring system to evaluate each activity, task or opportunity as it relates to your evaluation criteria. While the final scores are important, it is the process that is the most telling, because you will discover what is important and what isn’t, and that will be your guide. – Michela Quilici, MQ Consulting and Business Training, Inc.
4. Find The Opposite Energy
Critical thinking can go into overdrive with “analysis paralysis.” The easiest way to overcome this is to utilize a different energy/strength that is natural for you but can also help you pull the trigger. Are you energized by having a results focus? Do you like to initiate (take independent action to get things done)? Is courage natural for you? When you’re stuck in one energy, find an opposite one to use that can help yield a decision. – Cha Tekeli, Chalamode, Inc.
5. Build Your Action Muscle
Taking action is like a muscle that needs development over time. Start small, give yourself a limited timeframe to research your options, and then act. Notice what happens and adjust if needed. Once you realize most worst-case scenarios don’t happen, your confidence will grow, and it will become easier to take action. Clarity comes from action, so trust yourself and make a choice. – Jean Ali Muhlbauer, The Muhlbauer Companies, LLC
6. Set A Timeline And A Deadline
Create a timeline and deadline for making the decision. When there’s a timeline set for research and exploration focused on the ideal outcome, the result is that leaders have a great amount of information at hand to make the best choices. This sets the foundation for making the decision with extensive knowledge of the project. Having a deadline limits potential decision anxiety. – Frances McIntosh, Intentional Coaching LLC
Continue Reading on Forbes