Limit the amount of info you take in:
It is a widely accepted idea that the more information you have, the better decisions you can make. However, at some point, you cross a threshold where you have too much information. When this happens, we start to fill in gaps and add weight to information that doesn’t matter. Another important consideration is the source of your information. Is it unbiased, is it credible or does the person feeding you the information have an ulterior motive?
Reverse your assumptions:
Challenge your core assumptions. It might sound crazy, but you’re so prone to making the same kind of choices throughout your life, that challenging yourself and doing the exact opposite is often the best way to test your decision making. The idea here is to confront your default behaviour, step outside your comfort zone, and use your imagination to test some completely new ideas. For example, I used to always go to the gym in the evenings, because I didn’t think I would have enough energy in the mornings. One week I decided to test that theory and in fact, I found that not only was I able to exercise in the morning, I also had greater energy levels for the rest of the day as a result. And I started the day with a sense of accomplishment and an endorphin buzz.
Consider the devil’s advocate answer:
Go to someone who you know will disagree with your decision, then listen to their perspective to challenge your own thinking. Don’t make permanent decisions based on temporary emotions: When you are experiencing extreme emotions, there is truth in the advice, ‘sleep on it’. When you step away from something for a while and allow emotional equilibrium to be restored in your mind and body, you can see things more clearly. This also works when writing a strongly worded email. Once you have it written, save it and come back to it once you have ‘calmed down’. Re-read it and then decide if you want to send it. ‘Deciding not to decide’ is also a decision: A life lesson I learned from camogie is this — if you spend too long mulling something over, someone else will make the decision for you, or worse still, the opportunity may pass you by. If you don’t know what you want, you will just take whatever you get. Take back the control.
When you have committed to a certain direction don’t revisit it in your head, second-guessing yourself. The decision has been made. Be proud, as sometimes the hardest part is actually making the decision. Don’t instantly doubt yourself and think you have made the wrong call at the first sight of an obstacle. Don’t go over and over the decision in your mind trying to justify it, it won’t change it, it will just waste precious energy. You can always make another decision to rectify things down the line, if necessary.