What to do when you find it hard to make decisions (especially good, quick ones)

Oh the hours spent agonising over that decision to go for a new job, move to the country or start your own small business.

It can feel like you can't make a decision without this endless back and forth, constantly running around in your brain trying to see every possible outcome of making this decision. It feels like you always have to go through this process, when it comes to making big decisions effectively. That's just the way you are. It's frustrating, but what can you do?

In the words of Run DMC, 'It's like that, and that's the way it is...'

You know you need to pull yourself together and just get on with it, but you don't know where to start. For so long now you've wanted to feel more confident in your decision-making ability but the mere thought of making this potentially life-altering decision sends you into a spin.

You start to look at what everyone else is doing and begin to feel like you are at the bottom of the pile. Your normal confidence begins to shrink away leaving you feeling like a little mouse in the corner of the room. You wonder how you'll ever get to the level of confidence that others seem to exude from their pores. And they seem to be moving things along at such a pace. You feel left behind and worried your indecision means you won't even get off the starting line.

You start to think about what other people are going to think of your decision. What's she doing?! Why is she doing that?! Who does she think she is?!

And yet... when other people make that big leap what are you thinking about them? I'd guess you are probably curious as to why they made that decision. And you may even think, 'I'd never do that!'. But, I doubt you judge them badly for it.

We are always our own worst critic.

And that slows down the decision-making process. And wouldn't it feel wonderful to not spend those many hours, thinking of all the possible scenarios (most of them negative, right?), trusting your intuition and just getting on with it.

So how do you make good, quick decisions? Ones that you won't regret. And that won't be wrong, leaving you with yet more mess to sort out. How do you get it right the first time rather than flipping backwards and forwards constantly?


I know you are nervous about making the wrong decision. I know that you have thought about the 100000 different consequences that could happen as a result of making this choice. And if you go with what's behind door number one, you risk never knowing what could have been behind door number two.

We can't know this. But the ping-ponging between the two doesn't help either.

What you need is a sense of urgency. Many of our decisions are based on a sense of 'got to do it now'. A work deadline, a closing date, an end of sale promotion, a discount running out. These are time-bound decision factors from external forces.

Imagine a light in the kitchen is broken. You've noticed it. You've ignored it. You've thought about getting it fixed. You've been annoyed by it not being fixed yet. You've suggested your partner sorts it. You've been annoyed by them not fixing it. There's no rush to get it fixed because you have other lights that do the job. But it's irritating you. Then there's the decision about what to replace it with. You've looked at 10 different lights, fixtures, bulb wattages. You can't decide. You've bought two. You are still no closer to deciding.

And now, you've finally called the electrician and here they are standing in your kitchen drill in hand, asking you which light bulb you want.

And so you decide. Just like that. Because there's an urgency to do it. A deadline.

But when it comes to big life decisions and when there's more at stake than a light fitting, it's hard to make them quickly.

So how do you instil a sense of urgency?

  1. Set your own deadline. And then bring that forward! We tend to give ourselves longer to figure something out than we really need. So if you think you want to be in a new job this time next year, bring that back by 6 months and get started sooner.

  2. Prioritise it as your most urgent job. We get distracted by our to do lists which are full of THINGS. Important things, yes, but are they turning your head away from the big decision because they are easier to tick off?

  3. Get an accountability partner. Someone to check in on your progress regularly. A friend, colleague or coach (hi!) will help with your focus. There are great memberships, Facebook groups and online communities that can also hold you to your promises.

  4. Do the inner work. You may be thinking, 'You know what, I can get to that decision by myself' Of course you absolutely can. But clarity is really key. When you work with a coach you get there very quickly. It becomes more manageable.

  5. One thing every day. Something small or something huge. If you can spend some time every day acting on this decision, it'll become easier to take the final big leap. So send out CVs, make contact with people already doing this, look on Rightmove, make a pro and con list, ask for advice, post something on social media, write in your journal. Anything you can do to make this decision feel important but not overwhelming will help you get closer to it, quicker.

If you want to chat more about YOUR big decision and have someone in your corner who can help you with that clarity of thinking, I'd love to talk. Just pop to the booking page below and we can have a no pressure call. I do love a natter, so don't be shy!