HOW TO DECIDE IN YOUR FAVOR

I'll go-- no, wait! Maybe I should stay. But what if I miss something important? I better go. Except, what if nothing important occurs and I'm bored? I dread being bored. Time just drags on-- it's agony! Better to not be bored than to avoid missing something. Besides, I probably won't miss anything by staying...right?"
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Wrong! A word most feared by those who fail to decide. "What if I make a mistake?"
 
Lacking confidence in their ability to make useful decisions, while being afraid of making mistakes, many people find it more comfortable either acting on impulse or just sitting on the fence. In effect, their most productive decision is frequently to not decide. After all, as French philosopher, Jean Paul Sartre pointed out; not choosing is, in itself, a choice! Yet the cost of either not deciding or letting circumstances select choices is high. It turns predators into victims; believers into doubters. Moreover, choosing to not decide or making impulsively bad decisions can confirm a negative belief-- a self-fulfilling prophecy: "I am incompetent."
 
Unfortunately, for those who have difficulty deciding, "competence" is tantamount to "perfection." That is, in order to overcome the fear of risk-taking and decide something, there needs to be a guarantee of success. As outcomes generally do not come with warranties, aiming for perfection before deciding creates a lot of stagnation. Under the circumstances, deciding to not decide because you may ultimately have been wrong is as meaningless as deciding not to breathe because tonight you may learn that today's air quality index was extremely poor!
 
A more useful choice in making choice decisions is to strive for a better decision. In order to be able to make a better decision, it is important to possess a valuable belief: In any situation, a person generally makes the best choice available. This means if the decision was poor that likely there were too few choices from which to select a good one. To begin generating more choices, ask yourself several thought-provoking questions:
 
·        1- What specifically do I want? What do you hope to accomplish by deciding in favor of something? Is it something that fulfills your needs or complements your lifestyle? If you were to look back at the choices available one year from now, would you likely have made the same decision?
·        2- What are some other choices of which I am both aware and unaware? As opposed to justifying a bad decision with, "I had no choice", this question allows you to consciously begin generating other choices from which to select the "best" one. Furthermore, people often have far more options than they are able to maintain in conscious awareness. Simply realizing this may be enough to allow your unconscious to generate new choices. Help it along by keeping your eyes and ears occupied. Read, phone friends-- even talk to strangers-- who have knowledge of the issue in question. Observe how others handle similar situations. Keep your conscious mind very busy collecting choices...and your unconscious might surprise you with a few more you hadn't considered.
·        3- Great expectations: The truth about consequences. If you choose this option, what will probably happen? What can you expect from making that choice? What could likely happen after that? And then what? These questions encourage you to think beyond the immediate to the potential outcome of your decision. A crucial point, if you expect that the con- sequences will be satisfactory, that probably will occur. But if you already expect failure, this outcome will likely prevail!
 
An example will suffice. When the winds of change at a Fortune 500 company were first felt and layoffs were imminent but as yet uncertain, many employees likely considered avoiding the rush-- as well as the trauma of being considered unnecessary-- by securing new employment now. But alas, many quickly rejected this option, fearing failure at the thought of securing new employment.  They chose instead to hang on and hope their job was declared essential.
 
Armed with new thought-provoking choices, one could have examined the consequences of each of these options. The first one, a proactive choice could allow the employee to make valuable new contacts, learn more about his (or her) present field-- as well as related fields-- and eventually secure a new job. The second option, a reactive choice, would have likely generated anxiety and insecurity.  In other words, the difference between being able to choose your own destiny and having that controlled for you is largely a function of your level of motivation.  Getting going is not easy for many people.  But those who find the strength to do so, as opposed to thinking, considering, planning and waiting to see what happens next, have a better chance of selecting in their favor.  
 
It’s your choice.  Choose your destiny; or have someone else make that call.