What’s worse than making a bad decision? Making no decision at all.
This month 29-year-old entrepreneur David Skinner from Bask Aerospace was speaking at a networking event I attended and shared with us some fantastically eye opening wisdom on decision making, something many of us struggle with.
It is a fact of life that in our personal lives, and in business, we will need to make a lot of decisions.
Almost every aspect of our day will confront us with a myriad of choices, some as small as deciding what to have for breakfast, while some have much greater risks, such as wondering whether or not you should go back to studying.
For many of us it can be uncomfortable being faced with having to make a decision and sometimes the decision process can be so overwhelmingly daunting that we end up not making one at all.
David Skinner holds firm the belief that making a decision, even a bad one, is better than sitting on the fence wondering what could have been.
He broke this concept down into three aspects of decision making designed to get us to put aside the fear and look at the benefits of just making a decision.
1. Firstly, just make a decision!
If it turns out to be a good decision then that’s great! If later on you realise you made a bad decision, it isn’t the end of the world.
By making a bad decision you would have learned something, whether that is learning what not to do in the future or maybe discovering that going down a particular road will not make you as happy as you thought it would.
Bad decisions are some of the greatest teachers and the lessons learned beat sitting on the stagnant fence of indecision and not learning anything at all.
2. Sometimes the decisions that make you feel good are not always the best for you.
It is better to make a productive decision that may be a little uncomfortable rather than making one that keeps you in your comfort zone.
The payoff for making that uncomfortable decision will be far greater later down the track than taking the easy way out now.
Try to make a decision based on what will help you achieve your goals, not what is easy or convenient for you in that moment.
Always think about where you would like to be in the future and keep pushing towards that vision with every choice you make.
When you reach your goal you will look back on the decisions you made and be glad you made them, even if it did make you uncomfortable at the time.
3. An easy decision is not always right.
If anything, an easy way out will likely backfire and cause you to put in more time, effort and energy later down the track.
The only person you are fooling when making a decision is yourself.
Hard decisions may involve certain levels of confrontation, which can be extremely difficult, but you are better off addressing these situations upfront.
Not only will you learn how to handle difficult and uncomfortable situations, but the payoff for actually doing the hard work and making those choices is far better for your development than dancing around the problem hoping it will disappear.
So what does all this mean for you going forward?
Being able to effectively make a decision will require you to really assess what your goals are and where you would like to see yourself in the future.
Once you know where you want to be one year, five years or even ten years from now, it will be easier for you to tackle various obstacles and make decisions along the way that will help you get to where you want to be.
Make a decision today to be strong and tackle decisions as they come, never losing sight of where you want to be and what your goals are.
A little discomfort today will lead to a better future for you tomorrow, and remember that even a bad decision will teach you something and help you to grow.
Don’t let fear hold you back from your dreams.
Your future self will thank you for it.