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Making big decisions, and dealing with the consequences

Have you ever made a decision and later regretted it?  Something more significant than choosing a salad for lunch and then wishing you’d gone for the pasta and garlic bread instead!  Something that at the time you knew was potentially life changing for you and/or others.   Something that would be difficult to reverse once made.  Something that was tied up in a lot of emotions as well as rational logic.  Something, that when the dust settled you had a nagging doubt about whether it was actually the right way to do.

Making big decisions always carry an element of risk, that’s what makes them big decisions.   We shouldn’t forget, however, that big decisions also carry and element of opportunity.  A possibility that the situation could be better as a result.  decision making 3

With most decisions we don’t truly know whether the outcome will be as good (or as bad) as we anticipate and so there is also an element of trust required when we make big decisions.

So, who or what should we trust?

The timing of this post and the topic are not coincidental (in case you hadn’t noticed!).  In the UK we have all just been part of making a big decision, an historic decision.  The decision to leave the EU has been met with an array of emotions and if you listen to the media, the majority of those emotions seem to come from a place of fear.  There is talk of people who voted to leave now saying they regret it.  There are accounts of politicians retracting claims they made about what a vote for their side of the debate would mean.

The truth is we don’t truly know what the impact will be (yet) and we don’t know what the impact would have been if we had voted differently.  And that is the point with decision making……we never truly know because none of us has a crystal ball.  We can only make decisions based on two things:


  1. a strong awareness of what is fundamentally important to us
  2. a trust that we will make the right decision at the time based on the information we have, at the time


Having a strong connection with your personal values (and if the decision is a work based decision perhaps professional values too) will make it easier for you to make big decisions.  Knowing what is important to you about how you live your life and the kind of society/workplace/family you want to be a part of will give you a sense of direction, an anchor point from which to test out different scenarios.

Trusting yourself is also key.  We have seen the danger of trusting other sources with their own agenda’s played out beautifully pre and post referendum here in the UK.  Doesn’t it then make sense to trust one source you can rely on…..You!  It’s true that with hindsight we can all think of decisions we’ve made that we might later regret because new information comes to light but the reality is that we can only make a decision based on the facts or assumptions we can reasonably make right now.  Trust that the experience you have of making decisions all though your life up until this point will influence you in the decisions you make in the future.

Trust that you know what is right for you and that with a strong connection to your values you will be able to make those big decisions and you’ll be able to deal with the consequences from a stronger more confident place, regardless of the outcome.

If the outcome turns out to be very different to what you hoped it would be useful to see that as an opportunity to explore a different reality.  Nothing changes unless something changes.  Change is the only way we move on, develop, evolve and grow.  So, if the outcome results in a change, perhaps there is also an opportunity lying within that.   Your values are your core, your foundation and the outcome of the decision doesn’t change that, it may serve to highlight the strength of your values even more.

Asking yourself, “how can I still live my values?”, “how can I continue to live the kind of life that’s important to me now?”, “what choices do I have in this new reality?” are all helpful and empowering and will enable you to continue to trust yourself to make the best decisions for you and the people around you.


What other big decisions are you facing right now, at work or in your personal life?  If you feel it would be helpful to talk it through with someone to help you get that deeper connection with your values, why not get in touch for a free introductory coaching session?


Or take a look at some of my other blogs:

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