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Decision making made easy

Wherever you are in the UK and possibly the world it will have been difficult for you to be unaware of the events that have happened here in Scotland over the past few weeks.  The Scottish Independence Referendum was an interesting, exciting and challenging time for the country (and by that I mean the whole of the UK).


Don’t worry, I am not going to write a blog about the referendum, I think we have all had quite enough of that!  But we reflect on the experience, it has highlighted something that I feel is really useful to explore in relation to decision making.decision making 2


Decision making is a topic I have written about before and it is such an important area to explore because every day we each make thousands of decisions from the small to the life changing.


Think about a significant decision you have had to make recently.  One which had significant benefits and/or consequences associated with it (like whether the country you live and work in should become independent!).  Ask yourself these questions:


  • Who influenced you?
  • What influenced you?
  • How did you respond to information that was contrary to your beliefs about the decision or the outcome?
  • Did you change your mind at all in the process of making your decision?
  • How did you feel when you spoke to people who had a different point of view to you?
  • What part did gut instinct play in your final decision?


It is interesting to step out of ourselves when we are making decisions and to observe what is going on for us.  We like to think that we make our own minds up and that we are not easily influenced by others and that we are rational and logical (even when it comes to matters that are very emotional!).


The truth is, that we are illogical, easily influenced and sometimes a contradictory!


When we make decisions we are affected by:

  • unconscious bias (pre-programmed ways of thinking that lie deep in the subconscious)
  • social proof (what other people, particularly people we associate ourselves with are doing/saying)
  • environmental factors (hunger, boredom, fatigue, stress)
  • commitment and consistency (an inbuilt drive to be consistent in our behaviour and between what we say and what we do)


In summary, we make decisions at a conscious level but with a big dose of influence from our subconscious.


Now that can be perfect if you are happy with the decisions you are making (and I guess with the referendum, regardless of how you voted, you are pretty darn sure you made the right decision!).


But what about decisions that you have made in the past that you are not so comfortable with?  What if could you could go back and make a different decision?  What if, you could find a way to be better at making decisions in the future.


There is one simple step you can take to achieve that…..become more aware.


Start to notice.  Notice what you are thinking, feeling and experiencing when you are making a decision.  Notice patterns in your decision making.  Notice what was going on during the times when you say to yourself “I knew that wasn’t the right decision”.


Step back, be an observer on your thought process (watch my video blog to find our more about how to do that and why) and you’ll find that decision making becomes clearer and you will be more in tune with what is right for you.


If you have a tough decision to make right now and feel you’d like some support as you go through that process, get in touch for a free introductory coaching session to see if we can help move to towards a great decision for you.

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