How to make decisions and own your choices

It’s been FOR-EV-ER since I wrote a blog post. Something I promised myself I wouldn’t let happen. *facepalm*

Anyway, it’s for a few very good reasons:

  1. My Entrepreneurial Consulting work has taken OFF so between my IT project management gigs and that I have no life at the moment
  2. I’ve been travelling a bit which has allowed me to have a bit of downtime but unfortunately at the sacrifice of this blog
  3. Sometimes I’m a tad lazy…

Anyway, I wanted to speak a bit today about something that keeps coming up with not just my clients, but my own damn self, which it how to make decisions, own them and move on with life. As of late I’ve found it to be a common theme and definitely something that keeps holding us back so I thought I would share a few ways that to get past analysis-paralysis and into the next stage of your personal or professional life.

Write a pros and cons list

Whether I’m managing a project, helping an Entrepreneur get started, or weighing out options in my head, it always helps to put them down on paper. I find that writing them out makes them more factual and helps me sift through trivial requirements to decide which components are the most important. And at the end of the process it’s usually pretty apparent which decision is the best one.

Identify what’s blocking you

Sometimes we are our own worst enemy so we have to acknowledge what is blocking us first in order to be able to move on. One method used commonly in the Kanban methodology, is called “Blocker Clustering”.  Yes I’m referencing a project management methodology, but it’s actually very useful in day to day life.

Using this method you make a point to review the blockers in your life/project/career and categorize them between “Internal” (e.g. what you can control) or “External” (e.g. factors outside of your control). You do this once a day, everyday, for 1-2 weeks.

This process forces you to assess blockers every day and write them down in a journal/sticky note or whatever, and pretty much always leads to some sort of eye-opening breakthrough. Try it out for yourself! More info on Blocker Clustering can be found here.

Ask a trusted Advisor

If you don’t have a Mentor, get one. If you’re in the process of finding one (I’m actually on this journey myself), then identify a trusted Advisor in your network who you think would be positioned to give you good advice on the topic and seek them out. The good thing about this method is that it is pretty quick and easy. I am obviously a fan of the efficiency of this process, but I also think that sometimes you need to use the above two techniques to work through some questions yourself before setting up this conversation.

Do it

Once you’ve weighed all of your options and analyzed them to death, you need to learn how to pull the trigger. This is usually the scariest part, because it also requires a pretty considerable amount of trust in yourself and your judgement. This has taken me 33 years to acquire, but I think I have pretty sound decision-making capabilities now. It takes time and experience going through some pretty scary stuff to be able to skip any of the steps above and know you’re on the right path, but know that waffling doesn’t make it easier and you will at some point, need to make a decision. So why not do it now?

know that you can always change your mind

Nothing is forever or final. Well, I mean maybe some things are final, but for the most part, you can always change your mind, move back home, tell someone you’re sorry or go back to whatever was the option B was that you didn’t choose initially. But know that if it doesn’t pan out, life will always help you find another path. It’s that faith that has got me through some of the biggest decisions of my life, and I can honestly say I have no regrets.

So go fourth my waffly/equivocating/yo-yo’ing friends and take the plunge in whatever life has ready for you!

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