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Can’t Decide? Four Ways to Become a Better Decision-maker

With each step we take, we move forward. But sometimes we may worry we are making a wrong move. This uncertainty can stop us in our tracks. If you are facing a difficult decision and don’t know what to do, consider implementing the following:

  • Reflect on Your Risk and Your Benefit: Imagine you’re considering starting a second career. You may at first feel concerned about the time commitment. At the same time, you’ll be encouraged when you see the potential financial progress it will give you. Assessing both the positives and negatives of a decision is an important step forward. Sometimes, our brain can only see the negative outcomes of a decision. Or, it may jump back and forth, overwhelmed by the elements at play in our two (or more!) options. While we may not always have the luxury of time, if it’s possible, find a way to write down all the positive outcomes, as well as the potential negative ones of your decision. Some people make lists, while others prefer spreadsheets or graphs. It may sound like simple advice, but it is effective.
  • Check the Clock: Assess if it’s the right time to make the choice you are leaning toward. For example, you may be considering buying a home and feel financially ready to do so. However, some people forget to take the additional, regular expense of property taxes, insurance, and maintenance into their calculation. Once you add these expenses and more, you may decide the strain may be too great and that you want to wait until you are more financially secure before you make the decision to buy the property.
  • Outside Perspective: Try to view your decision from someone else’s point of view. Pretend to be a friend giving yourself advice or play devil’s advocate with yourself. If you still don’t know what move will be the right one, you can reach out to receive a wise friend’s insight. It is also important, however, to remember that not all advice may be right for us, and that we must learn to make our own decisions when the moment calls for it. A major part of the ability to move forward and take a decisive step is self-confidence.
  • Minimize Regret: Don’t get distracted by what-if’s or second guessing. If you’d made a decision based on the best information you had on-hand, then you’ve moved in the right direction. Sometimes, however, forces out of our control affect the outcomes of our decisions, or we simply made the wrong choice. We should learn from these moments if possible, but it also important not to dwell or let them stop us from moving on to make decisions that take us in the direction we want to go.

To learn more ways to make positive change in your professional and financial life, visit the Syncis blog at