It Takes a Long Time to Make a Quick Decision

I’m interested in why people hate making decisions, when decision-making is such Overwhelmed with choicesa powerful tool to put you in charge. I’m always eager to hear about stumbling blocks that keep people from making decisions. What are yours? Please add a comment.

I ran across a recent post that gives one person’s answer to this question. Stephanie Jain, in her blog http://secondmarshmallow.com/2012/07/03/what-should-i-wear-the-importance-of-values-in-decision-making/ describes her own decision-making anguish.

In the midst of many major life decisions, I found myself paralyzed again. Should I quit my first stable corporate job and pursue one of a much riskier entrepreneurial nature?  Who or what should I prioritize with schedule conflict – my work, my close friends, my boyfriend, or myself?  Should I just drop everything, start over, and go to graduate school?

As these questions and a handful more swirled through my mind, the internal tension built from the failure to make a decision began to clench, tighter and tighter, until I finally found myself standing in my closet – staring at the array of colors, styles, and cuts of clothing, and broke down. The pressure of facing yet another decision had pushed me over the edge. I could not decide what to wear!

The lesson learned is, I was unable to make a decision because I wanted it all.

Yes, we want it all. Making a decision often means consciously choosing to give up something we want to get something even better. Stephanie has the answer:

Once you discover and define your values, they dictate priorities, which in turn help you make decisions with peace. You’ll make good decisions, and bad decisions. But both can be made with serenity knowing that neither one will ruin your life (assuming they’re legal, moral, etc.). In fact, a series of poor decisions are desirable, because they lead to making good ones in the future, by honing in on your core values.

People often ask me how to make a quick decision. Ironically, it takes a lot of time–time spent exploring, discovering, defining and refining your goals and priorities. Time spent reminding yourself that you can’t have it all. Prepare ahead of time and you’ll be ready to zip through any future barrage of decisions.

What are the stumbling blocks that make it hard for you to make a decision? Have you found a focus that helps you make quick decisions?

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