Its OK to Take Your Time for Big Decisions

big decisions

Today’s big idea is that there are many big decisions that can take a really long time to figure out. Things like, should you move, change jobs, break up, have kids, or anything that feels like it’s going to change your life. 

These big decisions require taking your time, being patient, and thinking things through. But it’s really hard to be on the verge of figuring out what to do next. Our brains really hate having an open loop, or a situation where you don’t know what the outcome is going to be. It can be overwhelming to contemplate a few different outcomes. So how do you find some peace during the decision-making process?

You’re reading the transcript of an episode of the How to Be a Better Person podcast. If you’d rather listen, click the play button below.

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I find it very helpful to decide NOT to decide. At least for a certain amount of time. 

Meaning, you take yourself off the hook and stop feeling bad about not knowing what you’re going to do next. And you do it by telling yourself that you’re going to put off making a decision for the foreseeable future. 

This is similar to deciding when you’re going to decide, which I covered in yesterday’s episode, but it’s a much longer time frame. Maybe you decide to not make a final decision for six months, or a year, or even two years. 

Deciding NOT to decide for a big chunk of time helps your brain find some rest, even though you still don’t know exactly what you’re going to choose. But relieving yourself of the pressure to figure out your decision, you free up some brain space and energy, and you give yourself permission to marinate on your possibilities, which is a key part of the decision-making process for those things that will have a big impact on your life!

Today’s tiny assignment is really simple

Think of that big decision you’re facing, whether it’s something that you’re in the middle of right now, or something that you are already starting to anticipate even though it’s not totally here yet. 

You know, something that’s started to kind of nag at your consciousness or give your gut a little bit of a twist whenever you think about it. 

And then say out loud, to yourself, I’ve decided not to decide for the time being. 

For good measure, add, I trust myself to know when the time is right to make this choice. 

I think you’ll find that you feel a little or a lot lighter afterward. It’s like drawing a boundary against your ego, which will try to tell you that you’re behind, or you’re doing it wrong.

And then tell someone else that you’ve decided not to decide this right now

It’ll make it more real in your own mind, AND it can also help broadcast the message that you don’t need to be asked, “So, have you decided yet?!”

And if you’ve already been noodling around with this decision so long that you can feel it’s time to just make it and move on, go back and listen to yesterday’s episode, because it will help you decide WHEN you’re going to decide, which helps because sometimes we can veer into overthinking that the urgency of a deadline can help us avoid. All the episodes from this week can help, actually, so if you missed any, they start at number 552. 

Thanks for listening, and I hope you have a great weekend!

And I hope you’ll come back next week we’re going to be taking a look at perfectionism

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