We make decisions every single day, sometimes without even knowing it, these are often the easy and simple decisions that are part of our routine of daily life. Decisions that are of a more complex nature, involve more risk, or a decision that must be made under challenging circumstances can certainly cause us and those around us a bit of stress … this is normal!
Being in a position to make a decision is a good thing. For many people making decisions may not be an issue; I’m sure we have all met someone who seems confident, sure of themselves and likes to be in control and take charge of situations and the decisions that go with it. While others may be a little more indecisive, seek advice or approval first, or maybe just need a little more time to think things through. Regardless of which end of the scale we are at, it is a positive to be able to make decisions, as this means at least two things; 1. We are in a position to have a say, make a choice and be in control; 2. We are not procrastinating.
Why do some of us struggle with decision making and what factors can impact this? There are many things at play that can influence and impact on our decision making and listed below are a few examples:
- Uncertainty: No matter who we are or what we do, none of us know which way the dice will roll. None of us want to make the wrong decision, but sometimes this cannot be avoided (weather, fires, floods, droughts, bureaucracy);
- Complexity: This can depend on the nature of our business or situation, i.e. farming involves many different interrelated factors that quite often need to be considered (financial, weather, equipment, labour, cost/price);
- Consequences: Something we have all tasted at one stage or another, both good and bad. We still need to consider the consequences – Risk vs Reward;
- Alternatives: Have we considered them? Where do we get our information from to inform us of all available options?
- Interpersonal issues: Who else is affected by our decisions, how will others react? What frame of mind are we in when making decisions? What else do we have going on in our lives, what are our priorities?
So, what can we do to help this process?
- Try and create a positive space;
- Remember the 6 Ps – Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance;
- Be realistic and look at all the factors impacting on our circumstance;
- The grass is not always greener. Don’t be influenced by what others are doing or will think;
- Stick to a plan/process that you are comfortable with.
It’s important to remember that when we make a decision it’s often based on the best information we have at the current time. Letting go of making a wrong decision is vital. This can be hard for some people however over-thinking the could of/should of/would of does not get us anywhere.
Stay committed to your decisions but stay flexible with your approach.
The Regional Men’s Health Initiative Team