9 Tiny Habits Of People Who Make Good Decisions

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girl deep in thought

Fear is usually what stops us from making decisions, as humans tend to make decisions in the pursuit of pleasure or the avoidance of pain. When we make decisions that are fear-based, it usually doesn't align with what we truly want. Fear is our mind's way of keeping us safe and we ignore that idea that we're making up the danger if we were to make the decision. Not sure where to start? Here are 9 things that can help you learn how to make decisions, confidently.

Here are 9 habits of people who make good decisions:

1. They question their doubts

It's normal to be hesitant or think of things that could go wrong. But what could also go right? What do you need to do to make sure that good things happen? If it is easy for us to imagine the worst thing that could happen, we can also imagine positive outcomes. Jumping to the conclusion that the outcome of your decision will be wrong is a setup to back out of the decision, walk into a self-fulfilling prophecy, or default to another decision for you.  



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2. They break the decision down into more bite-sized decisions or actions

Start with baby steps towards your goal and gain momentum in the process. This can make it much less intimidating and overwhelming. For example, if you were going to clean out the basement, start with one corner, and focus on one item at a time. Laser focus helps to reduce distraction as well as help you feel accomplished when you complete that one thing. 

3. They zoom out from the minutiae of the decision

Does this give you a different perspective? What are other perspectives or views of the situation that could sway your decision? Is it as difficult as you're making it? Will this matter in a week? A month? A year? Three years?

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4. They don't believe everything they're thinking

You may be going through a laundry list of negative thoughts, but it doesn't mean they are true. If you focus on those doubts and fears, they will get bigger. If you challenge their validity with other outcomes, focus on how to gain traction in that direction. What you focus on expands.  



5. They breathe

Breathe some more. Breathing slows down the system in our body that pumps adrenaline, fuels anxiety, and makes us react to fear. Take time to breathe and get the rational side of your brain back online. Don't believe me? Google it. There is a ton of research on the multitude of benefits of breathing

6. They give themselves permission to think about it, take a break, or impose a deadline

You will know what permission you need when you answer: "If I could just have/do _______, then I'd know the right thing to do."

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7. They stop worrying about what everyone will think 

Stop polling all of your friends and family about their opinions. It's not about them, it's about you and your intuition. In most cases, their approval will not change the outcome of the decision in terms of how it affects your everyday life. 

8. They remember that indecision is a decision

Not acting is choosing avoidance. Avoidance means you are checking out of your life and not participating in as much as you could be. Maybe you're just not ready and working on the aforementioned steps. But if you're worried about failure, go back and re-read 1, 2, 3, and 4. Commit to a practice of adjusting your thought patterns by breathing, journaling, finding an app for that, or reaching out for support.

9. They break the decision down into smaller decisions

Want to move to another place? Decide to visit 3 possible locations. Or find social media friends from those places and talk to them about their experiences there. Do your research. Call a realtor. Look at your budget. Decide what to do about your job if you move. See? One decision has tons of smaller decisions wrapped up in it. Break it down and take one piece at a time. 

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Anya Surnitsky is a licensed clinical social worker and a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator. She has been featured in PsychCentral, the Unapologetically Sensitive podcast, TherapyDen, and more.