By Lauren Fenthum
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Understanding decision-making means that you understand the consequences, risks and undertakings of the specific matter at hand. Decision-making is often driven by motivation and, motivation by feelings and emotions. The mental space that we are in at the time of decision making often guides our thought process, leading us to decide what is important or mundane and when to rely on ‘gut instincts.’ This could also be seen as the reason why some people make irrational or impulsive decisions, because of the psychological efforts involved and how external factors have influenced us throughout the day.
Step 1: Stay Present
The moment we face any critical decision, our blood pressure rises and heartbeats accelerate. At this moment, every possible circumstance regarding the decision will go through our minds. It is very easy for our mental energy to distract us away from the task at hand. It is imperative that one stays focused, concentrate on your breathing. Take yourself to a space of calmness that will ensure you to think rationally and land on the best decision. Step 2: Let Go of the Past
Every time we reach a critical point in our lives, past encounters of similar experiences will come up. We become aware of past mistakes and own deficiencies. It is at this point, where you will be reminded of past failures and how it could be a possibility once again. It is important to realize that the past doesn’t matter, and the decision at hand affects only the present and future. By letting go of the past you are able to enter the decision-making process with a clear, uncluttered and rational mind, enabling the most effective decision to be reached. Step 3: Focus on the Body
Bring awareness to yourself and surroundings, understand how this decision could affect you, your business and your colleagues. By focusing on your senses directed by your body, you generate a feedback loop of what we sense and how we feel. By doing this you are able to clear any mental distractions and take control of the moment. Your ‘gut instincts’ normally help you understand the situation and shape where the decision-making process is going. Trust your instincts and go with what you feel is the right thing, this is usually seen as more successful than basing your decisions on what “sounds right.” Remember to breathe. By allowing your body to relax, you are enabling a space for strategic thinking.
By using these steps, in decision-making, we decide the direction of potential opportunities, developments and learning outcomes. Take a step back. Review the situation from a different perspective and take each factor into consideration. When you approach a situation calmly, one is able to make rational, and confident decisions. Decision-making is a tricky process, whether it is big or small, it affects our daily lives both, in the workplace or at home. It is important to look at the bigger picture and not make decisions whilst flustered or under stress, as these are impulsive and may lead to bigger problems than intended.