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So you always make the right decision for you!

Another way of looking at decisions

Have you ever thought that your decisions not only provide an answer to the question "What to do?", But also say something about who you are?

In my experience, this view of decisions is completely new to most of us. Some only see a connection at all after a long period of thought. Because decisions are often just a reaction to something that is happening to us in life. So they are “forced” on us from the outside and we are on the defensive. That alone creates discomfort for most of them. And that makes it a difficult decision.

If you reflect on yourself in order to get to know yourself better and to develop yourself further, then you can collect some important information about yourself here:

  • Are you a person who waits in his life for what happens and only then acts?
  • Or do you often take the initiative yourself?
  • How do you feel in such situations - e.g. powerful and joyful or rather insecure and doubtful?

This information could be very helpful to you. But this consideration of yourself is not my concern today. Rather, it should be about showing you that you don't have to make your own decisions just as a cost-benefit analysis. You can also decide based on who you are and what is important to you in life. It's not just more honest. It usually feels a lot better for you too.

I would like to explain this using an example from everyday life:

You go through a pedestrian zone. Suddenly you see a stand on your way, where money is collected for an aid project for needy people in your city. Helping those in need is very important to you, but financially it is a bit bad right now. This presents you with a difficult decision: what should you do now?

Decision as a cost-benefit analysis

From a cost-benefit perspective, your decision-making could look like this:

You mentally visualize your financial situation. It's a little tight right now because of an unforeseen car repair. But you could do something else. In principle, you like to help such projects because you have already experienced very bad times in your own life. If you support the project, you will definitely have a good feeling about it. You help the needy and could deduct your donation from tax. And do a little self-promotion in your circle of friends to show again that you are a good person. A friend recently accused you of being an egoist.

But if you donate something now, the present for your mother's upcoming birthday will be smaller than planned. You wanted to spend more this time because your parents are always so generous. This time you wanted to show that your mother is worth just as much to you. Last year you already had the impression that she made a long face.

In the end, you decide that there are good reasons not to take the risk of having a mother annoyed again. You quickly steer your steps in a different direction, but it doesn't feel easy. Because your parents are doing very well financially and they don't really need anything. Your money would actually be better off with the project. You know exactly what it's like when you don't have one. But who knows what the future will bring? Well-meaning parents are definitely a good thing if things go bad again.

If you look at this decision-making, then you can now discuss a lot about false ego or the importance of the personal image in the circle of friends. Or to understand because it is okay if a good relationship with your own parents is worth more than strangers. And that was a pretty difficult decision.

From my point of view, the point here is different: The decision in my example was not made on the basis of an honest inner attitude. Reasons such as "my parents were there for me my whole life and are therefore more important to me when in doubt" did not play a role. Rather, she fell out of fear that the mother might be upset and not feel valued. Fear that bad times might come again. And then the relationship with the parents is clouded and they help less or not at all. In addition, there is probably a bad feeling (maybe of shame or guilt): "I have not helped needy people out of self-interest, although it is actually important to me."

Not a nice result, is it? What do you think:

  • Would that have been your decision too?
  • If so, how long would you think about whether it was the wrong decision?
  • Would you feel bad about that decision? And if so, how long?
  • Or is that clearly the better decision for you, because everything else is not a good alternative?
  • And last but least: Are you one of those who believe that there was no alternative at all and therefore never a real choice?

Question after question. My tip: Don't just ignore it, take some time for it. Because you can learn a lot about yourself through the answers.

Decision based on what is important to you

Now, as an alternative, the same situation with a decision-making process based on what is important to you and what defines you as a person:

You mentally visualize your financial situation. It's a little tight right now because of an unforeseen car repair. But you could still do something. In principle, you like to help such projects because you have already experienced very bad times yourself. Since then, helping others has been a very important aspect in life. Seen in this way, a donation for the project is no question for you. But if you donate something now, the present for your mother's upcoming birthday will be smaller than planned. You wanted to spend more this time because your parents are always so generous. And they have been very supportive of you in your bad times. You would like to give something back this way as a token of your appreciation.

But your parents are doing very well financially. You don't really need anything. The people for whom money is being raised here, yes. You feel inside yourself and you feel clearly: "Helping here is very important to me!" More important than an expensive gift for your mother that she actually doesn't need. You think for a moment and you realize: The value of the gift is more important for yourself. You can't say for sure whether that plays a role for her.

It definitely feels very good to you to help. You quickly take the last steps to the stand and donate an amount that you can still tolerate. Then you continue on your way in the awareness that you have done something that was really important to you. That feels powerful and right. And a solution will also be found for the present to your mother. Maybe it doesn't have to be that expensive, but rather something very personal. Something that she really wants because it is important to her ...

If you now look at this solution to the situation:

  • What do you think about it? Is that a mistake or is it the better decision?
  • Would you act like this or more like in the first example?
  • What exactly lets you make your decision? (It doesn't matter which one it is.)
  • And how do you know that this is the better decision for you? (It doesn't matter which one it is.)

Again, take some time for the answers to learn something about yourself. And no matter what comes out - do not judge yourself! It's not about morality. You should only get to know yourself better with the help of these questions.

Decisions from within give you strength

Now there may be those of you who think the second example is constructed. Are you one of them? Are you thinking about things like: “Well, there is a lot more to consider than just my good feeling. That is not rational! And anyway ... "? Yeah almost?

Well, I can understand you well. Because a few years ago I thought the same way. But then I found myself defending and justifying my own fear. After a while, I started trying the alternative with the choices that suit me. Since then, I've personally felt more of a real choice. And I believe for myself that I make better decisions than before. Because now I follow myself and what is important to me - and no longer just fear. That feels very good to me!

In the beginning it was still very unusual for me. It took some time before I could give more space to the good feeling of doing something that suits me than to the fear of possible loss. But it was worth it, because my experiences with it have shown me again and again:

Decisions based on what is important to me as a person are sometimes not easy for me either. But it's faster and it takes less effort! And I always have a good feeling because it feels right and authentic. The result doesn't always come out as I wanted. But even then, the decision still feels right! Even if I have consciously accepted a loss for myself.

My tip for you if you want to try it out

If you want to give it a try, the following questions or the following procedure may help you to make a decision:

“What is important to me?” I ask myself this question at the beginning of the decision-making process. It helps me a lot to know my own values. In this moment, I create an awareness of what is personally important to me. And in doing so, I make sure that it can even be included in the decision.

Then it comes down to what impact my decision will have:

Important decisions with a big impact

Are there important decisions of major importance or are other people besides me severely affected? If so, then in the next step I also have rational considerations and questions such as:

  • What is my aim?
  • What are the alternatives?
  • Which of them are useful?
  • What are the consequences for me and others? " etc.

And a profit-and-loss consideration still takes place in my mind in a certain way. Anything else would be a lie. But no longer exclusively, and sometimes not at all. At the end of the process, in the last step, I ask myself once again: "Does the decision you have made correspond to me as a person with what is important to me?" Loss-contemplation gave too much space in me. And correct the decision again if necessary.

Normal decisions in everyday life

In all other decisions, I consider all possible alternatives for solving the problem. Then I ask myself which of the solutions best suits me based on my values. And then I choose this.

You can see from the length of the text in both sections: The second method is much faster and costs less energy. And from my experience I can add that most of the time it even gives me back energy! That is why I would like to warmly recommend that you just give it a try for your everyday decisions.

I hope I was able to give you another method today to make good decisions for you. However, you should be aware of what is important to you. If you have difficulty recognizing what is important to you in life, I can help you quickly with coaching.

Let it be well with you.


chriswolf on Pixabay (rails with switch)

DanaTentis on Pixabay (Girl in Autumn Leaves)