Psychology

Mandy Kloppers

Making the right decisions

Throughout life we have to make many decisions. Do I marry this person? Are they right for me? Is  job A better for me than job B? We have to make decisions on a daily basis, some being more important than others. When it comes to the important decisions, many of us procrastinate out of fear of making the wrong decision. So, are there ways to improve our chances of making the right decisions?

Thinking too hard and too long about which decision to make can be just as bad as making an impulsive decision. According to research carried out by Ap Dijksterhuis and Zeger van Olden (Unconscious Thought Theory), the best way to make a decision is to consider the aspects that need to be decided on and then to busy yourself with something else, allowing your unconscious mind, which is far better at considering the ‘bigger picture’ to come up with a solution.

It pays to consider the pros and cons and try to rationalise the benefits of each possibility but when you feel really stuck and unsure, it is worth distracting yourself for a while to allow your inner wisdom to take over.

We are all a lot wiser than we give ourselves credit for. Imagine that you had Option A and Option B and someone told you that  HAD to go for Option B. Your freedom of choice is taken away. The minute you feel forced into one set of circumstances, your inner wisdom kicks in even more and if you feel resistance to this rigid rule of taking Option B, this is your instinct telling you something.

People tend to regret things they didn’t try rather than the fact that they made a wrong decision. It is easier to see the outcome and learn from an outcome whether it was good or bad. When it comes to an unfulfilled experience, our imagination can run wild thinking about all the possible positives that we missed out on. So don’t be afraid to make decisions – see life as an adventure and know that even a wrong decision teaches us about ourselves.

Mandy X