Decision-making tool I: The Law of Percentages

Making a Big Life Decision usually involves lots of uncertainty and as a result, there’s a high chance you will get paralysed resulting in you not taking any action. This tool helps to clarify the situation but forcing you to assign a percentage probability to each fear, outcome, thought or action surrounding situation. 

Example 1: 

You are thinking of leaving your job but you biggest fear is that you’ll never find another job again. 

  • I am unhappy at work situation right now – 100%
  • This is not what I want to do – 100%
  • I might never be able to find another job again – 50%
  • I might have to sell my flat – 10%
  • The stress of my job is affecting my health and happiness – 100%

You then make a decision based on the factors that have the highest percentages. This is a more straight-forward situation though. 

Example 2: 

You are wondering if you should break-up with your boyfriend of two years. It hasn’t been going well for awhile and you’ve both tried to work it out and have had various conversations about what to do but still nothing seems to be changing. You are scared to break-up and also, you love him deeply.

  • I love him – 100%
  • I am not happy right now i this relationship – 90% (we still have some happy moments)
  • He will change – 10% (I’ve been waiting to see a change for months)
  • There is nothing further I can do in this situation. I’ve tried everything within my power – 70%
  • He is the one for me – 60% (just not sure anymore)
  • But if I break-up with him, I might never find anyone again – 50%
  • I really am exhausted. I can’t go on like this – 100%

In this case, there’s no overwhelming direction beyond “I need to do something,” but what this does is also tools to monitor the situation over time and once the balance tips (e.g. when there’s nothing further I can do shifts to above 95%) you then give yourself permission to break-up. 





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