Decision-making is tough at the best of times. But making a decision that goes against the norms of society, popular opinion, or the beliefs of those closest to you, can feel downright impossible. Whether you’re deciding to leave a successful career to follow your true passions, or choosing not to have children despite the pressures to start a family, there will always be people around you who will tell you that the choice you are making is wrong.
But just because your choices don’t fit the traditional mould, doesn’t mean that you should be too afraid to do what is right for you. Here’s four steps that can help you make those big decisions that go against the grain.
1. How does it make you feel?
Imagine making the difficult decision and taking the unpopular plunge. Picture yourself in the scenario and then ask yourself how it makes you feel. Make sure that when you do this self-reflection exercise you’re as honest with yourself as possible. You may be surprised by the feelings that come up.
2. What does your future look like?
When making any decision, it’s important to look forward and have a vision of what your life will be and also what the implications of that choice will be, as opposed to simply focusing on how the decision will impact you right now. Try to picture what your life will be like in five, even ten, years’ time. Where will you be financially, geographically, emotionally? Will the decision you make today have a positive or negative impact on your life?
3. What are your regrets?
Imagine yourself as an old person looking back on your life and reflecting on it. Will you have regrets later on about a decision you make today? Will you have bigger regrets if you don’t make the tough decision that goes against the norm. It’s sometimes easy to get caught up in your feelings and emotions, but taking a reflective look on your life can help you to get some perspective.
4. Who is in control?
The most important thing to remember when making any decision that may go against the grain, is that it is you, and only you, that will have to live your life, so why should you allow others to control it? Make sure that you’re prioritising your own happiness and investing in a life that you want to live. And remember, that if people truly care about you, they will support you in your decision even if it means your life will be different to the one they imagined for you.
Hopefully these steps will make it a bit easier to make that decision that goes against the grain. If your decision is about starting a new career, then watch our free masterclass 'How To Create A New Career Where You Thrive'. It will outline the steps you need to take, and make your decision a little bit easier. You can watch it here.
Remember it is never too late to create a life you love!
HANNA GIRLING, wife, mother, business owner, mindset coach, sport enthusiast and forever an optimist.