How I Make Big Decisions in Life & Business

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In episode 42 of Creatives Crushing Anxiety, I talk about the questions I ask myself before making big decisions. These simple questions help me feel more grounded and snap me back into reality when I’m going down the rabbit hole of analysis paralysis and self-doubt. They really just help with keeping yourself centered and not overthinking or freaking out.

In this episode:

  • The questions I ask myself when struggling with a big choice.
  • Two examples of this method in action.
  • Why we often get stuck in choice paralysis.

Listen Here:

I am an extraordinarily cautious person. Ask my friend and former editor M.L. Scarbrough I have been emailing her for years about everything from researching where to buy my car from what to name my blog. I like to think before I act. I can admit that sometimes I’m cautious to a fault.

One thing I hear and read online a lot is, “just do it.” We get so in our heads that we use being cautious as a procrastination technique.

I want to live stream, but I need to make sure I have all the points outlined first.

I want to start offering services, but I have to decide every single step of the process before I do. I don’t want to get a client and look dumb.

I want to start dating again, but I don’t want to attract the wrong men, so I need to make sure my dating profile is perfect.”

And so on…

The thing is sometimes you just need to dive right in. The problem is deciding when you need to test the waters and when you need to jump in head first.

The thing is sometimes you just need to dive right in. The problem is deciding when you need to test the waters and when you need to jump in head first. Click To Tweet

There are so many options nowadays. In The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz; the author talks about how a world full of options can be more confining than it is freeing. Yes, you could blog, you can start a youtube channel or a podcast. You can host in-person events or webinars. So many choices to basically do the same thing.

We get frozen when faced with so many options that we procrastinate deciding and never move forward.

We get frozen when faced with so many options that we procrastinate deciding and never move forward. Click To Tweet

I came up with a few questions to ask yourself when you get stuck in choice procrastination.

  • Is there a smaller way I can test this out before diving in?
  • What is there to lose if I do this? What is there to gain?
  • Will doing this limit me in the future if it doesn’t work out?

Example 1:

Now to break that down. Let’s say you want to host your first webinar. You’re terrified that no one will show up or worse someone will, and you will be horrible.

Is there a smaller way I can test this out before diving in?

Yes, I could announce a live stream on Instagram, periscope or Facebook and give the talk. That way there is no major setup, and I can practice speaking live.

What is there to lose if I do this?

I die of embarrassment. No one shows up. People show up, and I get trolled.

What is there to gain?

I gain new subscribers or clients. I realize it’s fun.

Will doing this limit me in the future if it doesn’t work out?

No. If it goes bad, I can try again later or try something else.

It’s not some super complicated formula it’s just about checking yourself.

Example 2:

Now let’s say it’s something a little less black and white. In this example, you want to take a job in a new city.

Is there a smaller way I can test this out before diving in?

I could ask if I could work remotely for the first six months.

What is there to lose if I do this?

I could hate it and end up in a city where I know no one.

What is there to gain?

This would be a huge increase in pay. It could propel my career. I can start over fresh.

Will doing this limit me in the future if it doesn’t work out?

Maybe. If I quit my current job, I may not have a position to come back to if the new job doesn’t work out. I could always get another job, and I could try to sublease the new apartment and move home if the move is too hard.

See how you could just calmly look at this. Often when you sit down and write the “obstacles” associated with moving forward you discover they aren’t that scary.

Often when you sit down and write the “obstacles” associated with moving forward you discover they aren’t that scary. Click To Tweet

I recommend doing this after taking 5 or 10 minutes to sit in silence and just focus on your breathing don’t let your thoughts overtake you. Then sit down and ask yourself these questions. The point of them is to make you move forward regardless of your reservations. Maybe you’ll discover you aren’t ready to take the step or that you can take a different one but this way you aren’t stuck.

Stop being stuck. The questions I ask myself when I can't make a big decision. Click To Tweet

Mentioned in Episode:

8 Thoughts Girls Have Online Dating

Episode 26: Processes For A Great Client Experience 

The Big Leap By Gay Hendricks 

The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz 

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Thanks for listening! <3

Did you enjoy this episode?

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Now tell me:

  • How do you make big decisions?
  • What was something you recently had to decide?
  • What keeps you stuck?
  • Do you know your upper limit problem?