How to Make Tough Decisions

We all need to make decisions in our lives and yet often we get concerned and ask ourselves the debilitating question ‘but what if’?

The Latin of the word decision literally means, ‘to cut off’.

Making a decision is about ’cutting off’ choices – cutting you off from some other course of action.

The biggest threat to making decisions is harmful emotions.

So in order to ensure that one feels emotionally sound about the decision they have made, they need to do a two phase process.

1. Learning and 2. Deciding.

Learn from others who may have been there or get opinions from other experts on the subject.

Doing the right learning makes the decision making much easier.

I learnt a 6 step process from Anthony Robbins which is the best I have come across for making the decision.

It’s a six-step process that not only helps me make the best possible decision, but also reduces the downside of any decision, because we all know that decisions have power.

The system is called OOC/EMR (Outcomes, Options, Consequences/ Evaluate, Mitigate, Resolve).

I should mention that all of this should be done on paper so you don’t get stuck “looping” through potential scenarios.

Here’s how to use it:

1. Get clear on your Outcomes.

What is the result you are after?

Why do you want to achieve it?

You must be clear about your outcome(s) and its (their) order of importance to you.

Remember, reasons come first, answers come second.

2. Know your Options

Write down all of your options, including those that initially may sound far fetched. Remember this principle:

* One option is no choice.

* Two options is a dilemma.

* Three options is a choice.

This is where your learning phase gets tested. The better learning phase you have, the better options you have to chose from.

Write down ALL options whether you like them or not.

3. What are the Consequences?

What are the upsides and downsides of each option?

What do you gain by each option and what would it cost you?

4. Evaluate your options.

Review each of their upsides (benefits) and downsides (consequences).

Ask yourself:

1. What outcomes are affected?

2. How important (on a scale of 0-10) is each upside/downside in terms of meeting your outcomes?

3. What is the probability (0-100%) that the upside/downside will occur?

4. What is the emotional benefit or consequence if this option were to actually happen?

After completing this stage, you will be able to eliminate some options from your list.

5. Mitigate the damage

Review the downside consequences for each of your remaining options.

Then, brainstorm alternative ways to eliminate or reduce those downsides.

6. Resolve.

Based on the most probable consequences, select the option that provides the greatest certainty that you will meet your desired outcomes and needs.

1. Select your best option and strengthen your resolve to make it work.

2. Resolve that, no matter what happens, this option will give you a win.

3. Design your plan for implementation and then take massive action.

Remember, it’s better to make a decision and monitor to see if you need to shift your approach than to remain paralysed in indecision.

So now you have the method, you can stop procrastination and make the ‘tough decisions’ on all those things you have been putting off for so long.

Until next time… make it happen


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