The butterfly effect states that that the flap of a butterfly’s wings might ultimately cause a tornado. In short, it is the idea that small things can have non-linear impacts on a complex system. The smallest occurrences can lead to the biggest outcomes due to rippled effects. Decisions are not weightless. They can change the course of everything.
Life is all about choices. In the morning, we are faced with a choice to get out of bed or to snooze the alarm. There are decisions on whether to eat or not to eat. We choose to go places or to stay home, to spend money or not to spend it. Throughout the day, everything you do, act, or think is based on the choices that you make. Each of these decisions reflects on your character. The small decisions lead to both small and big outcomes.
We need to make the right decisions. But, this does not mean lingering on a dilemma for hours that could have been spent productively. Being decisive is crucial in saving your time and money, and remaining organized. It will give you peace of mind and reduce your anxiety because you will be content with your decision, even when it turns out to be the wrong one.
Here are 7 ways to become more decisive.
1. Stop overanalysing everything
Becoming decisive has a lot to do with choosing something even when you know that there’s a possibility that it could go south. When you overanalyse everything you try to fill in answers that aren’t always available. You spend time calculating probabilities and you may end up wasting time.
You’re not alone. No one is completely certain of everything all the time. Those who have learned how to be a decisive person are just as uncertain or nervous as you; they’re just willing to make the choice. Maybe the decision they make turns out to be the wrong one. So what? They can learn from a wrong decision, and they usually learn quickly.
2. Avoid perfectionism
Nobody likes to make mistakes. You want to be the best version of yourself, and it’s not a bad thing. However, attaining perfection is close to impossible. The very nature of being human means that you can’t know everything and you can’t do things perfectly. Becoming more decisive requires that you avoid perfectionism.
Sometimes good enough is perfect. When you only seek perfection, you miss the time element. Sometimes you just have to make a call and say, “This is good enough.”
3. Escape the status quo
We all want to be accepted by society. We want our decisions to be wowed and for everyone to believe that we know it all. But sometimes this need for validation is what comes in the way of us making decisions. Because then, for every decision you find yourself wondering what other people will say about you. After some time, you realise that they will always have something to say, both positive and negative. The sooner you accept this, the easier it becomes to make the decision and take the leap.
All decisions have a cost associated with them. Usually what holds you back is either fear or a lack of information. Get the data you need and never fear betting on yourself.
4. Understand the root cause of your hesitation
What is the reason behind your indecisiveness? Is it the fear of the possible outcome? Or is it past mistakes that you have made? Once you really establish the thing that is holding you back, it becomes much easier to work on it.
If it’s fear, proceed with one easy-to-accomplish step at a time. Learn from each and iterate quickly. This gives you progress to learn from and time to acclimate, allowing you to build true confidence. If it’s anxiety, then jump into a position where you have to execute without the luxury of time to overthink. Make a public commitment. Accept the project you are anxious about. Burn your boats.
5. Trust your gut
Sometimes, when a decision is too difficult to make, just learn to trust your gut. We all have intuitive moments where it may be hard to explain why we have chosen something, but it’s simply just your gut telling you something.
According to life coach Susie Moore, learning how to be more decisive really boils down to self-confidence and trust in your intuition. “Logic has a place in the world…but the most important decisions in life are seized by instinct.”
6. Stop living in regret
“Trust your heart, and do not be afraid to try out new things. Even if things turn out differently than you had imagined, you will have tried. You will have learned, and you will never have to live a single day regretting.” ~Anonymous
Like we have said, life is all about choices and these choices are not guaranteed a good outcome. Regardless of this, we must wake up and move forward, taking the lessons with us and carrying them forward. Line up fully with your decision. Fall in love with it. That’s a decision you get to make, too.