THE BLOG
10/10/2014 12:23 pm ET Updated Dec 10, 2014

5 Steps to Making Difficult Decisions

Image Source via Getty Images

We face dozens of decisions each day. "Should I have the bagel or the fruit bowl, do I stay at this job for a year or take a risk and leave now, should I move to a foreign country to find true love?" (Yes, I've wondered this.)

With bigger life decisions it's easy for fear, doubt and insecurity to creep in and keep us stuck in limbo, endlessly mulling over a plethora of options, not a single step closer to actualizing what we truly desire.

I've made some pretty big decisions this year. I moved, started a new business, left a relationship and invested a ton of money in courses and trainings with no guarantee that any of it would work out.

Was I scared? Heck yes! But so much of my previous anxiety has melted away now that I see decision making as an opportunity to enhance my confidence and strengthen my trust muscle.
Here are the steps I take when feeling indecisive or really stuck between two options:

1. Weigh the Pros and the Pros
Most decision-making models have you look at the good and the bad, the pros and the cons, but that adds a lot of unnecessary stress to what's already an overwhelming dilemma.

Instead, take out a sheet of paper and draw a line down the center. Write your two options at the top. Start on one side and write down the benefits, perks, and good that could come out of you making that decision. Then do the exact same thing for the other option.

This exercise relieves the pressure you've been carrying and helps shift your perspective to seeing the good that could come out of either decision, making it a win-win no matter what you choose.

2. Ask The Right Questions
The questions you ask, determine the quality of answers and guidance you'll get from yourself and others. If you're wondering why you can't make your relationships work then your subconscious mind will answer by giving you a list of reasons why.

So start asking yourself better questions. Here are two simple ones to get you started.

"What do I have that I don't want and what do I want that I don't have?"

Write down your answers so you can see in black and white what exactly it is you're wanting. The way out of any negative emotion is a positive decision followed as quickly as possible by action or inaction.

3. Act As If
When I don't have time to dilly-dally and need to make a decision stat, I pull on some power energy and just act as if I'm an über confident big shot who makes billion dollar decisions all day and all night. I put on my Donald Trump or Oprah energy and quickly decide with total authority and assurance. Try channeling your own version of a power persona and see what decision you feel inspired to make.

4. Dig Deeper
If you find yourself still stalling on making a decision, here's a powerful question to ask yourself.

If I were the bravest possible version of myself, I would _________.

Close your eyes and see what answer pops into your head. This will take you one step closer to seeing what's really true for you and where you may be letting fear hold you back.

5. Make It Right
Once you've made your decision, don't look back. Close off all other options and commit 100 percent, even if you can only commit for the day. We lose a lot of our power when we second-guess ourselves, but we gain incredible self-confidence and trust in our own abilities when we honor and respect the decisions we've made.

Making a decision, committing to it and taking action from that space allows all kinds of synchronicities to occur. Once I made the decision to move, put in my notice and was fully committed, the most perfect home practically fell in my lap.

So just know that whatever decision you make, it is absolutely the right one. If you decide to start a business and it's a total flop, you'll learn resilience and build character. If you move cross-country and hate it, you'll know more about yourself, your preferences and what you need to really be happy.

Few decisions in life are final. So take a deep breath and decide. Plus it helps to remember -- you can always change your mind.

Now I'd love to hear from you. What's one decision that's made the biggest impact in your life? Let me know in the comments below.

Carla Holden is the founder of Her Business Boutique, where she teaches women entrepreneurs how to move past the fear, indecision and overwhelm of starting a business online. You can download her free E-guide at herbusinessboutique.com