How to Make Difficult Decisions


We all have difficult decisions to make. Job offers, schools to attend, who we want to spend our life with; each has consequences both real and perceived that cloud our judgement. When making a difficult decision, look at your feelings behind your choices. Are you about to do something because you should, because you need to or is it something you truly want? Stick with the “want” and you’ll never be wrong.

Let’s say you have the chance to move to a new city. You have some interesting job opportunities, it’s a place you’ve always wanted to live and you even found a house you love. On the other side, you’d be leaving family behind, you’re afraid to start a new job and think you’d lose a lot of money on your current home. What choices do you have? You feel like you need to stay with your family. You feel like you should play the job and house things safe. You really want to give it a shot though. Once you get past the fear (false evidence appearing real) your choice might be obvious.

Your decision may require you to let go of something that’s holding you in place. That letting go can be difficult. Even if what you’re letting go of isn’t good for you, there might still be a sense of loss, failure or incompletion. You need to keep your vision for the future in mind to move forward. There’s also the potential that you let go of something that truly is important to you merely for the sake of change or because keeping it seems more difficult. (Here it becomes I should change but want things to stay the same.) That’s not good either. Making the right choice always comes back to looking at your motivation behind your options.

Sometimes talking through your choices is all that’s required. I recently had a chat with someone torn about a career decision. I just asked a few simple questions and she was able to come to a decision relatively quickly. Her final comment was really typical of the coaching experience, “Thank you for helping me sort out my thoughts instead of pushing me into a certain direction. Looks like the answer was with me all along.” That’s what coaching is all about!

You’re always at choice and you do have the right answer. Just make your choice for the right reason. Do what is going to make you happy while staying true to your core beliefs.

Photo credit: jonathan.broderick / / CC BY-NC-ND

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