Hello Again Lovely Lady
We all make decisions constantly every minute of our lives. But there are some that are so important they are considered to be Pivotal Life Decisions. Here’s why you should make them and 9 Important Reasons to help you improve at decision-making.
1. Why Making Pivotal Life Decisions Is So important.
I have a confession to make. I am absolutely terrible at making decisions.
I’m a Libra, and anyone who knows the traits of the star signs will understand that the ‘Scales’ symbol for Libra is extremely appropriate.
Most Libras vacillate, weigh up the pros and cons, the dos and don’ts, the what ifs and maybes, before deciding on any course of action. Then, they can spend even more time worrying about what happens if it doesn’t pan out.
It’s a nightmare!
And guess what, my husband is also a Libra…so you can imagine that making any decisions in our household is almost impossible.
Me – “What would you like for dinner?”,
Rene – “I don’t mind, whatever is easiest”
Me – “What do you feel like?”
Rene – “I don’t know, you decide”
Totally exasperating…and I can’t complain because I’m just as bad. These are just mundane decisions. Can you imagine how excruciatingly hard the major ones are?
Struggling with indecision is just no fun, and it’s a problem faced by so many people.
“More is lost by indecision than wrong decision. Indecision is the thief of opportunity. It will steal you blind.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
While there are countless reasons why decision-making is difficult, and some might be logical, the good news is that making decisions is a skill, and anyone can learn it.
2. Learning How To Make Pivotal Life Decisions
So, over the past 3-4 years I have had to learn how to make decisions, big and small, and how to accept the consequences.
Just as well otherwise we would still be living our unhappy, overworked life back in Australia and would never have made the life-changing decision to leave it all behind and travel. (related post you may like)
The problem with decision-making is that, as humans we are predisposed to fear. Fear of what happens as a consequence of a decision.
Take for example, jumping off a tall building. It’s not the sensation of falling that’s the issue…it’s the fear of being injured or killed as a result.
Maybe it’s the terror of holding a Tarantula spider. Our fear is that it will bite (unlikely…they make very docile pets) but we are conditioned to think that spiders are poisonous and therefore too dangerous to handle.
…and it’s a big spider!
However, I can imagine that if we knew for certain that we wouldn’t be injured when jumping from a building, we may actually look forward to the sensation of flying through the air…like a adrenalin-junkie but without the death-wish!
My point is, decision-making is only scary because we don’t KNOW the consequences.
3. Taking The Plunge Can Be Life-Changing
The problem with being too afraid to make those pivotal decisions is that you will stand still in life.
Making a significant choice about your life, whether it’s changing jobs, relocating, choosing to travel, or ending or starting a relationship may be daunting, but what’s worse is not achieving all the possibilities that your life has to offer.
A pivotal life decision is one in which you purposefully choose between two or more alternatives, knowing that the outcome will likely have a substantial and often long-term influence on yourself or others.
It will be the key to being the person you want to be, and living the life you’ve always imagined it could be.
Something to understand is that most things in life are in a state of constant change. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying:
“Only two things in life are absolutely certain…Death and Taxes” (and maybe FB)
Sad but true.
Everything else is changeable. This means that if something doesn’t work out the way you want, it’s not set in stone…so you can change it! Make a new decision and enjoy a new outcome.
When you accept this, it’s easier to approach decision-making with a more open and positive attitude.
4. You Can Learn From Bad Decisions
As humans, we are imperfect and prone to making mistakes. It’s unavoidable to have poor judgment now and then.
The only way to truly know if we made a good or terrible decision is to make those judgments, accept responsibility for the outcomes, and make efforts to fix any bad decisions we’ve made.
This is a natural process throughout our lives.
It’s interesting to watch kids learning to make decisions. They make bad ones all the time…but they don’t see them as bad. They just carry on with the next choice to see what outcome that brings.
Granted, our adult decisions are bigger and have greater consequences, but we could learn a lot from thinking like a kid again and explore decisions rather than panic about them.
The next time you’re at a crossroad and you’re making a tough decision, your best bet might be to do your research and then take a break before choosing.
We all learn constantly throughout life. Some decisions are completely right, and some are a total disaster. We don’t have a crystal ball, so it’s got to be trial and error to a certain extent.
5. Be Educated About Your Pivotal Life Decisions
The secret to effective decision-making is to educate yourself to ensure that you are aware and realistic about the possible outcomes.
Spend time exploring your options and carefully weigh up the possible outcomes so you will ultimately make an ‘informed’ decision.
But, don’t get caught up in the education process. When you face a decision, the worst thing you can do is overthink it.
Remember that analysis-paralysis is NOT your friend!
Ooooh, I totally get this one!
My worst trait is overthinking the matter so much that it becomes harder to actually make a decision.
When faced with hesitation, remember that most terrible judgments can be reversed…nothing is irreversible. It may be embarrassing and even humbling, but it can be changed.
6. Consider The Impacts Of Your Decisions
While many decisions you choose will not impact others directly, some may have financial implications for family members and friends.
It’s worth remembering that when you’re encircled by people who depend on you, every choice you make has an impact on them as well.
3 Things To Consider:
* Firstly, determine the importance of the decision and the influence it will have on your life.
* Secondly, make a list of everyone who will be affected by your decision. Not only will leaving your job affect you, but also your life partner, children, coworkers, business partner, and so on.
* Finally, remember that it’s your right to make a choice. Ultimately, it’s your life to live and your right to find contentment, joy and accomplishment.
7. Characteristics Of A Good Pivotal Life Decision
We make so many hourly and daily decisions, ranging from mundane to major.
When it comes to the significant ones, it can help to have some key characteristics we can use to help us make better choices.
A) They Match Your Values
Values are important in making good decisions. We all have different values and goals in life, so this is why it is key to understand ourselves before making important decisions.
If a decision path matches well with your personal core values and aims in life this may be a solid indicator that it is a good choice for you.
As an example, if you are an empathetic person who wishes to do something fulfilling to help others, the decision to follow a career path that matches this is likely a good choice.
B) You Understand The Choice
A key characteristic of a good choice is one that you fully understand. When it comes to clothes and food this is simple because you know what you like, these are simple choices.
When it comes to more complex and impactful choices you need to spend the time to further understanding the implications..
Researching the path, you think you may take will help you understand if it is a good choice for you.
C) The Pros Outweigh The Cons
This is a simple but important characteristic to a good choice. It must have more positives than negatives to your life.
In the simplest format imagine considering wearing summer swimwear to go outside when it’s well below zero and snowing outside. Unless you happen to be a swimwear model and are going to be paid thousands to do this there are no pros.
But, there are countless cons, not the least of which is the risk of hyperthermia!
As decisions become more complicated the pros vs cons list becomes longer and sometimes less definitive. A good choice though will always be clear based on the pros of the decision being more beneficial to you than the cons.
It’s not a problem to have cons on your list. This allows you to have other issues to consider before deciding on the best course of action.
D) The Motivation To See It Through
Any choice we make requires us to have the motivation to see it through.
When choosing clothes to wear or food to eat there may be a lot of options but there is always the motivation to follow through.
This is because we must eat and to go out in public, we generally need to wear clothes (not always considered necessary at Walmart!)
When considering a more complex choice it is key that we have the drive to pursue this it. If it’s a career option that we really want and we feel fully motivated, then this could be a good choice.
If you feel the choice is going to be life-changing you will have the motivation to make sure it happens.
But if the choice leaves you feeling unmotivated and you think it will fail then this may not be the best course of action for you.
E) Flexibility To Change
Choices do not have to be set in stone in order to be good ones. In fact, a characteristic of a good choice is the allowance for flexibility, because things in life change…that’s the one constant.
8. How To Make Pivotal Life Decisions You Won’t Regret
Every decision we make contributes to the present state of affairs. It influences who we are as individuals since we routinely carry out our decisions without even knowing it.
It is not something we are born with but rather a step-by-step process that is generally learned via life experience. Good decision-making is a skill that we learn and must practice.
However, when we get it right, the sense of achievement is super satisfying and empowering.
Here’s how to do it:
Identify Your Objectives
Keeping your focus on your objective is one of the most successful decision-making methods.
This sounds simple, but it involves determining the objective of your decision by asking yourself what issue needs to be addressed.
And why is it necessary to tackle this issue?
Figuring out what is most important to you will make it easier. By understanding why you’ve made a certain decision, you’ll be better able to stick with it and make it happen.
Trust Your Instincts
We frequently take too long to decide because we are frightened of what will happen. So, before making a decision, by all means do detailed research, and weigh up the pros and cons.
But don’t let become all-consuming. In other words, we get stuck in that analysis-paralysis merry-go-round.
This is where learning to trust your gut instinct can be a total game-changer.
We can often waffle around, trying to decide between different options, but have you noticed how often you tend to come back to your original plan.
There’s a lot to be said for why our ‘gut’ seems to guide us in the right direction. Learn to listen to it before deciding on a course of action.
Make Decisions Based On Your True Self
Sticking to your core values will always make decision-making easier.
You know if something isn’t right for you, and you’ll know when faced with a choice that feels totally aligned with who you are and what you believe.
Decisions made this way have a much greater chance of succeeding as you won’t be fighting against your nature or trying to justify something that doesn’t feel ‘right’.
Be Prepared To Deal With People’s Reactions
Sometimes when we do something for ourselves there may be family members or friends who disagree with your decision.
In an ideal world everyone would support the decisions of others…but the world is far from ideal.
People may try to say the decision is wrong and attempt to make you change your mind. This may come from a place where they are concerned for you, but it could also be jealousy, or a need to try and control you.
Everyone brings their own set of values to the table.
It is important to be prepared that not everyone will agree with your choices in life, and this may cause stress and strain on relationships.
But the trick is to stand your ground and remain positive. Your decisions are right for you and not for everyone else.
This is where making decisions based on your core values will make it easier to stand by them even if others don’t agree.
Consider The Implication Of Your Decisions
Considering the implications of your decisions is an important step. It allows you to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of the many alternatives you identified in your ‘pros vs cons’ process.
It’s also crucial because you want to be confident with your options and the likely outcomes of whatever you decide. In this step, you’ll ask yourself what the potential outcomes of your decision will be.
What impact will it have now? What impact will it have on your future?
Be willing to Change Course
Accepting that a flexible attitude to decision-making is crucial as not everything will always go to plan.
Being able to adapt and change course, without letting the fact that things didn’t work the way you wanted get you down will give you the confidence to make new, better decisions.
Accepting change of any kind isn’t easy for most people…but the rewards are great for those who embrace it.
Choose Your Plan Of Action
Making a pivotal life decision will be liberating and exciting, but that only part of the story. Now you have to come up with a plan to make it happen the way you want it to.
Take the time to really think about the best way to get started, the timeframe you will need and what you need to put into place for things to all go smoothly.
Having a well-thought-out action plan will give you confidence and motivation to get started and see you your decision through to its life-changing conclusion.
Basing your decision what fits with who you are, meets your goals and makes sense for your life is a solid plan. Now, implement a plan for how to pursue this option and make it happen.
9. Be Intentional About Pivotal Life Decisions
You must start with some intention to get what you want and need out of life. Don’t leave it to chance. Chance is a gamblers game.
Here’s a pivotal life decision…
You can either be a Creator of your life, or a Victim of your life. Which one do you want to be?
More than likely each of us are in search of purpose at some point, or some clarity as to what this short life on earth is about. This can be especially relevant later in life when the kids have left home, and we go through a sense of “what now?”
Rather than seeing this as a void, get over the feelings of loss and start to plan the next exciting phase of your life. It’s time to live with intention and purpose.
Some people assume that their purpose will come to them…that the universe will show the way. Others are aware that they need to find their purpose but don’t know where to start.
The problem with this is that you may get lucky, or you may be left very confused as to what you are supposed to be doing with your precious time.
Don’t wait for ‘Divine or Universal’ intervention. This is just an excuse to not take responsibility.
Make that pivotal life decision…you have the tools now to be confident in your ability.
Once you realize the direction you are heading, or want to head, these decisions become much easier to make clearly. It’s not good to feel as though you are flailing about with no real intention or purpose.
Finding a purpose takes work, experiences, and maybe some hard decisions, and with decisions come new obstacles to overcome. But life’s full of obstacles and you are more than capable of dealing with them!
I really hope you enjoyed this post and that it will empower your decision-making process.
Once you learn how to make decisions without fear, you’ll start to enjoy it and look forward to the next challenge…and the next.
Life is to be lived, but without making those pivotal life decisions nothing significant will happen, or events may not be within your control.
As always, I would love to hear your comments about what decisions you are planning to make now and in the future.
Keep your life within your control…