How to Make a Decision (with Pictures)

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How to Make a Decision (with Pictures)
How to Make a Decision (with Pictures)

Our every word and action is the result of a decision we make every day, whether consciously or not. Regardless of the size of the choices we have to make, there is no specific formula to make it easier for us to make decisions. The best thing you can do is to consider each option from various points of view and then make a rational and proportionate choice. Maybe you feel overwhelmed when you have to make a big decision. To make the decision-making process easier, read some of the following practical tips, starting from preparing scenarios to anticipate the worst case scenario, putting together a worksheet, and listening to your heart.


Part 1 of 3: Knowing the Source of Your Fear

Make Decisions Step 1
Make Decisions Step 1

Step 1. Write down what scares you

Keep a journal by jotting down what triggers your fear so you can figure it out and make an informed decision. Start by writing down any decisions you want to make. After that, explain or make a list of all your worries because of the decision. Express all your fears without judging them.

For example, start a journal by asking yourself, "What decisions do I have to make and what am I afraid of if I turn out to be wrong?"

Make Decisions Step 2
Make Decisions Step 2

Step 2. Prepare for the worst-case scenario

After writing down all the decisions you are about to make and your fears, move on to preparing the worst possible scenario for each decision. Fear will decrease if you dare to see the worst that can happen if your decision is wrong.

  • For example, if you want to make a decision whether to work full-time or part-time in order to have more time to care for your children, think about the worst-case scenario of each option.

    • If you choose to work full time, the worst case scenario might be that you will miss important moments in your children's growth and there is a possibility that they will be angry with you when they are older.
    • If you choose to work part time, the worst case scenario may be that you can't pay your monthly bills.
  • Determine if this worst-case scenario could actually happen. We like to imagine disaster or look for the worst that could happen without having time to think about it. Test the worst-case scenario that you have prepared and think about what conditions could lead you to this scenario. Is this what you will experience?
Make Decisions Step 3
Make Decisions Step 3

Step 3. Think about whether your decision is permanent

Once you've considered the possibility of going wrong, think about whether your decision can be reversed. Decisions can usually be overturned. So, you can still change it if you don't like the decision that has been made.

For example, say you choose to work part-time to have more time to spend with the kids. If you find that you can't pay your bills, you can reverse this decision and find a full-time job

Make Decisions Step 4
Make Decisions Step 4

Step 4. Talk to a friend or family member

You don't have to make difficult decisions alone. Try to find a close friend or family member who is willing to help or at least listen to your concerns. Describe your options and your fears in detail if your decision is wrong. In addition to feeling better about being able to express your fears, a friend or family member can offer good advice and/or advice to reassure you.

  • It's also a good idea to talk to someone who has nothing to do with the situation and can offer a neutral opinion, such as a therapist.
  • You can use the internet to find people who have experienced this kind of problem. If you want to choose between working full time and working part time with more time for the kids, try raising your concerns on the Ayahbunda or Ayah Edi website. You can get answers from people who have made similar decisions or tell what they have done in this situation.

Part 2 of 3: Considering the Decisions You Will Make

Make Decisions Step 5
Make Decisions Step 5

Step 1. Stay calm

Allowing yourself to be controlled by emotions, both positive and negative, can affect your ability to make rational decisions. Before making a decision, try to calm yourself first. Don't make any decisions until you have calmed down so you can think clearly.

  • Taking a few deep breaths will calm you down. If you have free time, find a quiet place and do this breathing exercise for about 10 minutes.
  • To practice deep breathing, start by placing one hand on your stomach just below your lower ribs and the other on your chest. As you inhale, you should be able to feel your stomach and chest expand.
  • Inhale slowly through your nose for a count of 4, if you can. Focus on feeling the breath as your lungs expand.
  • Hold your breath for 1-2 seconds.
  • Exhale slowly through your nose or mouth for a count of 4, if you can.
  • Repeat this breathing technique 6-10 times for 10 minutes.
Make Decisions Step 6
Make Decisions Step 6

Step 2. Get as much information as possible

Decisions are usually more appropriate if they are made with a fair amount of information in mind. In addition, important decisions must rely on logic. Seek as much supporting information as possible during the decision-making process.

  • For example, if you want to decide between staying full-time or looking for part-time work in order to have more time for your kids, you should calculate how much money you will lose each month as you change jobs. In addition, you should also calculate how much extra time you can give the children. Record all this information and any other relevant information to support the decision you are about to make.
  • Also consider other options and gather supporting information. For example, you could ask your boss if you can work without having to come to the office several days a week.
Make Decisions Step 7
Make Decisions Step 7

Step 3. Use the technique to identify the problem by asking “five whys”

Ask five “why?” questions to yourself will help you pinpoint the source of the problem and determine whether you are making the right decision. For example, when you want to make a decision whether to stay full-time or want to find a part-time job to make more time for your family. Five “why” questions you can ask, for example:

  • “Why would I want to work part time?” Because I don't have time to see my children. "Why don't I have time to meet my children?" Because often I have to work late into the night. “Why do I have to work late at night?” Because there is a new project that takes up a lot of my time. “Why is this project taking up so much of my time?” Because I want to do my best to get a promotion. “Why would I want to get a promotion?” Because I want to earn more money and provide for my family.
  • In this case, five why questions can show that you are willing to reduce your hours even if you want a promotion. There are conflicts that should be investigated further so that you can make the most appropriate decision.
  • Five why questions can also indicate that this problem may be temporary, for example, you work late because you have a new project. Think about it, are you going to keep working a few hours a day once you're comfortable because the project is already going well?
Make Decisions Step 8
Make Decisions Step 8

Step 4. Think about who will be affected

First and foremost, consider how your decision will affect you. In particular, how do your decisions affect you personally? What is your outlook on life and goals? Decisions made without “conformity with your outlook on life” (such as not being in line with your underlying beliefs) can leave you feeling unhappy and disappointed.

  • For example, if your most important outlook on life, an important aspect of your identity, is ambition, switching jobs for part-time work will create a misalignment because you can no longer pursue your ambition of getting a promotion and being at the top of your company.
  • The views on life that are important to you may conflict with each other. For example, the outlook on life that matters to you is ambition and family-oriented things. You have to prioritize one in order to make a decision. You can make the most informed decisions once you understand that your outlook on life can influence your decisions.
  • Also consider how this problem or decision will affect other people. Will your loved ones suffer the negative consequences of your decision? Consider other people when you make decisions, especially if you are married or have children.
  • For example, the decision to switch to a part-time job will have a positive impact on your children because they will be with you more often, but it will negatively affect you because your ambitions for promotion cannot be achieved. In addition, this decision has a negative impact on your family due to reduced income.
Make Decisions Step 9
Make Decisions Step 9

Step 5. Write down all available options

At first, you might see only one option, but that's usually not the case. Try looking for some alternatives, even if they taste very little. Write it all down and don't judge until it's finished. If you can't find an alternative, try asking a family member or friend.

  • You don't need to physically make a list, just think about it!
  • You can cross out options from this list, but crazy ideas can sometimes provide creative solutions you've never thought of before.
  • For example, you could find a full-time job at another company that doesn't demand too much overtime. Hire a maid who can help you with chores around the house so you have more time to spend with your family. You can also create a "work together as a family" activity at night. This way, each family member can help each other in the same room so that they feel more connected to each other.
  • Research has also proven that too many choices create confusion and make decisions more difficult. Once you've made your list, eliminate alternatives that are definitely not working and leave five choices.
Make Decisions Step 10
Make Decisions Step 10

Step 6. Create a worksheet to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of your decision

If your problem is complex enough and the many possible consequences make you feel overwhelmed, use a worksheet to guide you through the decision-making process. To create this worksheet, you can use the Microsoft Excel program or write it on a piece of paper.

  • Begin creating a worksheet by setting up a column for each of the options you're considering. Divide each column again into two columns to compare the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Use the “+” sign for positive/beneficial effects and “–” for negative/adverse consequences.
  • You may also assign a value to each item you record in this worksheet. For example, you could score +5 on the option “Looking for Part Time Work” for the effect “to be able to have dinner with the kids every day”. On the other hand, you could assign a value of -20 to the same option for the effect of “will reduce your income by Rp. 1,500,000 per month”.
  • When you have finished creating the worksheet, add up the values and determine the decision with the highest number. But remember, you can't make a decision using this method alone.
Become a Physician Assistant Step 1
Become a Physician Assistant Step 1

Step 7. Pause in your thoughts

Creative people may not realize it. However, ideas, decisions, and solutions often come when they are not thinking or thinking slowly. This means that creative and intelligent solutions come from being aware when you are not thinking. This is the reason why people meditate.

  • Before making a decision, you do have to ask and collect information first. However, if you want to come up with a really creative and clever solution, you have to stop thinking or at least slow down the thought process. Breathing meditation is one of the unstructured methods of giving the mind pause that allows universal intelligence and creativity to emerge. This method has no structure as it doesn't take much time, as long as you can be aware of your breath flow during daily activities like cooking, brushing your teeth, walking, etc.
  • Consider an example: a musician may have knowledge and information (tools) on how to create music, by playing an instrument, singing, writing songs, etc. However, it is creative intelligence that drives him to use the tool. Of course, knowledge of musical instruments, singing, etc., is important, but the essence of a song lies in the creative intelligence of its creator.
Calculate Texas Unemployment Benefits Step 1
Calculate Texas Unemployment Benefits Step 1

Step 8. Learn to distinguish between impulses and smart decisions

The impulses usually go away after a while. For example, impulses to eat, shop, travel, etc. However, smart decisions will not fade from consciousness for a while, it could be days, weeks, or even months.

  • Smart decisions may appear as impulses, but notice if you still feel the same way after a while. This is why taking a break after gathering information by asking questions will help make smart decisions.
  • Experiment: pay attention to the quality of your actions after taking a deep breath as opposed to just following an impulse.

Part 3 of 3: Making a Decision

Make Decisions Step 11
Make Decisions Step 11

Step 1. Give advice to yourself as if you were a friend

Sometimes, you can make the right decision by looking at the issue from a different perspective. Just imagine what you would say to a close friend if he or she wanted to make the same decision. What decision would you suggest to him? What consideration would you give him to make this decision? Why are you giving this advice?

  • Do role-play when using this method. Sit next to an empty chair and pretend that someone else you are talking to will take your place.
  • Instead of sitting down and talking to yourself, you can also write yourself a letter of advice. Begin this letter by writing, “Dear ______, I have considered the problem you are facing and I think it would be best if you _____.” Continue your letter by explaining your opinion (from the point of view of another person not directly involved).
Make Decisions Step 12
Make Decisions Step 12

Step 2. Play the bad lawyer game

This game will allow you to really feel the influence of a decision on yourself. As you play, you have to make decisions based on opposing viewpoints and try to keep them as your own. If the arguments against your wishes turn out to be sound, try to find new information that you can consider before making a decision.

  • When playing the bad lawyer, try to go against every reason that supports the choice you want. If these supporting reasons are easily challenged, you should consider other options.
  • For example, if you tend to prefer to work part-time to spend more time with your children, stir up the conflict in yourself by showing that there is plenty of quality time you can make available to your kids on weekends and during time off. Also point out that the reduced income and possible promotions lost due to family dinners will do more harm than good for the children than working a few hours of overtime each night. This choice will also affect your ambitions so it is worth your consideration.
Make Decisions Step 13
Make Decisions Step 13

Step 3. Find out if you feel guilty?

Making decisions out of guilt is common, but guilt can't be a good motivator for making the right decisions. Feelings of guilt often distort our perception of the problem at hand and its possible consequences so that we cannot see it (or our own role in this situation) clearly. Guilt is common among working women who have to face a lot of social pressures while balancing work and family life.

  • Anything we do because we feel guilty will be detrimental because we will make decisions that are not in harmony with our own view of life.
  • One way to identify a guilt motivation is to look for “should” or “surely” statements. For example, you might think "Good parents should spend all their time with their children" or "Parents who work X hours are definitely not good parents." Statements like these are made on the basis of external judgments, not on your own view of life.
  • So, in order to determine whether your decision is based on guilt, try to be objective and try to figure out the problem actually while listening to what is right according to your outlook on life (fundamental beliefs that guide your life). Are your children really suffering because you work full time? Or do you feel this way because someone else taught you what you “should” feel?
Make Decisions Step 14
Make Decisions Step 14

Step 4. Imagine the future

In the end, the best way to make a decision is to imagine how you will feel in the next few years. Think about what you will explain to your grandchildren. If you don't like the long-term consequences of this decision, think again about your options.

For example, is it possible that you will regret your decision to work part-time in the next 10 years? What would you accomplish by working 10 years full time that you could not achieve by working 10 years part time?

Make Decisions Step 15
Make Decisions Step 15

Step 5. Trust your heart

Maybe you can already feel the best decision. So, follow your heart, if other means can't help. Make a decision because it feels right, even if your worksheet says otherwise. Research has shown that people who make decisions based on how they feel tend to be more satisfied with their decisions than people who have thought about their decisions carefully.

  • Ask yourself what you want to do. It's possible that you can get a feel for what decisions will make you the happiest and you can rely on in making those decisions. Unknown changes and discomfort are the cause of difficult decisions.
  • Taking time for quiet reflection can make you more in touch with your intuition.
  • The more you practice doing this, the better and sharper your intuition will be.
Make Decisions Step 16
Make Decisions Step 16

Step 6. Prepare a backup plan

Thinking about the future can free you from feeling disturbed when negative consequences occur. Have a backup plan for the worst-case scenario. While you may not need this plan, having a backup plan will provide a sense of security in the event of a worst-case scenario. People in leadership positions will usually be asked to make a backup plan because there is always the possibility that things won't go well. This strategy can also be used when making small decisions.

Having a backup plan will also give you the opportunity to see challenges or setbacks with flexibility. Your ability to adapt to unforeseen conditions can have a direct bearing on the success of your decisions

Make Decisions Step 17
Make Decisions Step 17

Step 7. Make your choice

Whatever decision you make, be prepared to take responsibility for any possible consequences. If your decision doesn't work out, it's always better to make a conscious decision than to ignore it. At least you can say that you did your best. Make a decision and be prepared to live it.


  • No single scenario is perfect. Once you've made your decision, do your best with all your heart without feeling disappointed and worrying about other possibilities that you didn't choose.
  • Consider the possibility that all options might be equally good, if you've thought about it for a long time. Thus, there will always be pros and cons of each choice. You would have made a decision if one option proved to be much better than the other.
  • Keep in mind that the information you have may not be sufficient to make the best decision. Gather more information if you still can't reduce your selection. Also realize that the information you need may not always be available to you. After studying all the available information, you should make a careful consideration and make a decision.
  • After you make a decision, there may be new important information that needs to be adjusted or changed altogether. If so, repeat the decision-making process again. Flexibility is an excellent skill.
  • Set a time limit if the decision must be made immediately or is relatively unimportant. There is a risk of what is called “analysis paralysis”. If you're looking to rent a movie for a weekend, don't spend an hour making a list of movie titles.
  • Dont think to much. You won't be able to think objectively if you push yourself too hard.
  • Don't let the options hang for too long. Researchers have proven that our reluctance to make decisions results in poor decisions.
  • Make a list of pros and cons! Also make a list of choices and select again until there are two possibilities left. After that, discuss it with other people so you can make a decision.
  • Remember that in certain situations, not wanting to make a decision will turn into a decision to do nothing that ends up being the worst decision.
  • Think of every experience as a lesson. By making important decisions, you can learn to deal with the consequences. In addition, if there is a setback, you can also learn from this experience so that you can grow and be able to adapt.


  • Don't stress yourself out because this will only make things worse.
  • Stay away from people who act as if they know what's best for you. Let's just say they know and you don't. The advice they give possible Of course they're right, but if they don't want to take your feelings and concerns into account, they're wrong too. You should also stay away from people who try to shake your beliefs.

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