Making Hard Decisions

At some point in life, making hard decisions becomes a necessity. These difficult choices vary depending on a person’s age and other factors. The first thing to realize and accept is that life is all about making choices. Some of these will be easy and others will be difficult. The more choices we face the more difficult it becomes.

How to Make Good Decisions for You


When making difficult decisions, whether about work, family or one’s life some people find it difficult to act. They keep putting it off for as long as they can. Doing this does not normally help as in some cases a rush decision becomes the only solution. This may not lead to making the best choice for the situation. Some useful steps in making hard decisions are:

  • Make sure that you understand the situation or problem clearly before acting. If you have any doubt, it is best to ask questions or try to explore the problem from different angles before acting.

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  • Analyze the choices you have and see which one seems to be the best fit for the situation. Having an idea of the potential impact of your choice is important. When analyzing, ask yourself some questions such as what could happen if you choose one or the other, what is the worse that could happen and what is the best that could happen.
  • Create a plan of action outlining the necessary steps, if any, to carry out the decisions and the time it will take. Knowing how much time you have before having to decide will lessen the pressure and give you more breathing room. Some people simply find it difficult to make snap decisions regardless of the nature of the problem.
  • Follow your instincts as in most cases this will lead you to make the right choice. Sometimes, coming from an emotional standpoint can help to guide the choices we make. That said, situations occur where emotions have to be set aside when making certain types of decisions. An obvious challenge exists for many people in differentiating between these two circumstances.
  • If possible, talk to others to get their views and insight. Unfortunately, you will likely be on your own in some instances when making hard decisions.
  • After making a choice, an assessment of the outcome is helpful in guiding decisions in the future. If you cannot make any changes, learn from the experience. If you can continue to make changes for a better outcome, then do so.

Having to deal with tough choices occurs at varying stages of life. Even children sometimes find themselves making hard decisions. The good thing is that each occasion can create a learning experience that will serve them well later in life.

It is necessary to realize that decision-making is a management process that we all experience. Whether you are a CEO of a major corporation or a recent college graduate you will have decisions to make, and some will be no-brainers while others will be difficult. Your overall approach to life will come in handy when these situations arise.

Since it is not always possible to avoid making difficult decisions, learning how to handle them is the better option. It is never a good idea to allow anyone to pressure you into making a decision. If you make the choice yourself, whatever happens, you will be more likely to accept and deal with the consequences.

This attitude toward outcomes of your choices, whether good or bad, will help you in dealing with life’s major challenges. When faced with the task of making hard decisions, whether professional or personal, this quote from author Tom Robbins is worth remembering, “Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.”

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