How to Make Important Life Decisions

Updated: Oct 5, 2021

It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions. Jim Rohn

How do you choose whether to leave a marriage or not? Whether or not to have a child? How do you decide to quit your job and go back to school? How do you decide whether the freedom of entrepreneurship is worth the risk of the uncertainty?

How to make the right choice when facing an important life decision?

All of us are facing those big decisions in life. They are not easy and sometimes not making any decision at all seems like the best option. However, indecision is a form of self-abuse. Not deciding means giving your power away.

But why is it so hard to decide when it comes to life changing choices? Why do we get stuck and overwhelmed?

Why are you feeling stuck?

You don’t really know what you want

There are many ways in which you could establish what you want. One way is brainstorming. Sit down with a piece of paper and a timer. Take 5 minutes to write down everything that comes to your mind, when it comes to the area of your decision.

Once 5 minutes are up, rate each item from 1 to 3, 1 being the least important and 3 being the most important. Look at you 3’s – does that give you a direction of what your heart is leaning towards?

You are a perfectionist looking for the perfect right decision

In the real world, however, there is no such things as a perfectly right decision. Sometimes you need to take a step, any step, and correct the course as you go. Just like with the GPS, it might be unclear what is the right direction, until you start walking.

Even if you take a few steps in the wrong direction, you can turn around and take the right one. It certainly will get you further than just remaining on the spot waiting for the answer. Same with decisions – if you take a move, any move, it becomes easier to assess if you are going in the right direction.

You have a few options and can’t decide which one to choose

This could sound like a luxury problem to have. Having too many options could feel paralysing and might lead to you not making any choices at all. How about trying each option, one by one? This is what I do with testing my portfolio careers.

I have a few careers I am interested in. Instead of staying paralysed not knowing what to choose, I am exploring each one. So far, I learnt I love being a yoga teacher, I tried out my artist career and I am in the process of launching my life purpose coaching business.

As I do that, I am learning what I like and don’t like, what works and what doesn’t. Could you do the same for your decision? If trying things out is too much, could you imagine, visualise each option instead and see what feels most right for you?

You feel uncertain and unsure how your decision will turn out

If that’s the case, you can test the waters with each option, before going all in. For example, if you are contemplating on whether having a child is right for you, maybe you could spend a week staying with a friend who has children?

This is what I did in the beginning of my Life Start-up journey. I spent a week in the village in Portugal helping a friend take care of her 2 children. Living her life for a week gave me a lot of insights into how I feel about having children, without having to go all the way.

It’s not enough to know what you want to do. You have to do it to be what you want to be. Paulo Coelho