We make decisions all the time. Salad or Nandos for lunch? MacBook Air or MacBook Pro? Chicken or fish for dinner?
But BIG LIFE DECISIONS (BLDs) are a bit different:
- They usually impact heavily on one of the big three life stabilizers (work, relationships, home)
- Often means saying goodbye to life as you currently know – CHANGE
- Outcome of the decision you make is largely unpredictable – UNCERTAINTY
So this type of decision-making is complex. The big three life stabilizers as I like to call them, are clouded in societal expectations and sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between what you really feel and what society thinks you should feel. This is often exacerbated because there isn’t really one correct solution to the problem. Moreover, we HATE change and uncertainty. All this usually leads to indecision, decision paralysis and a feeling of powerlessness.We look for signs instead that tell us what to do. Cue “How do I know – he’s not the right one / if I should change jobs / if I should quit my job” questions.
But at some point, we all need to make these decisions. I’ve had to make several of these in my life and no, it doesn’t get easier. But what I’ve realized is that it helps when you stop focusing on the pros and cons list of the current situation and instead focus on what kind of life you want. I’ve found that writing that down usually provides the situation with a clarity.
Also, list the fears as well because your fears won’t go away. You need to acknowledge it and plan for it. So for example, when I was trying to decide on where I should quit my job, one fear I had was that I wouldn’t get another job and wouldn’t be able to afford my mortgage. So I planned for it. I asked myself how many months savings I would need to have before I felt comfortable taking this leap and then I went about saving this amount and told myself I’d only consider quitting only once I got this amount saved.
So here’s my chart for helping you make BLDs. Hope you find it useful as well.