A person goes through many crossroads in life. At some point in time, there are bigger crossroads you will encounter that could alter your life altogether. These two options each have their own risk and reward profiles. And the biggest question that you have to tackle right now is, considering all the pros and cons, how do you make the right choice?
For example, if you’re unhappy at work, is it already time to leave and look for a new job, or should you stay because you need to pay the bills? If you’re feeling anxious in a great relationship, is it time to pull the plug or should you work it out no matter how hard it will be? If you’re planning to invest in studying abroad for a new career, will it be worth it or not? If you have a loved one who is on the verge of death and the doctors are already asking you if you want to continue, what do you do next?
We know it’s painstakingly difficult to make the right choice, especially since there’s absolutely no way to know what will work out or not. Both will add value to your life in their own ways and you don’t want to choose a decision that you’ll regret in the end.
But even though it’s hard, you know that a decision must be made. Choosing nothing is the worst decision you could do.
How To Make Big Decisions
Decisions are classified as big in nature when you don’t have a control group for measure and you could never know whether or not you chose the right road.
Naturally, you would want to hear from people who are experts in their fields or those who have gone through many life experiences. But you have to remember that these decisions are usually hinged on situation-specific events. You could take what they give but at the end of the day, it’s still you who will make the decision.
There’s a guideline though that you could follow and here are five things to look at that will hopefully help you decide.
1. Check the probable outcomes of each option and how they matter to you.
Sit down and write what outcomes each decision will lead you to. Of course, these are uncertain but you have to ask yourself about the possible outcomes that you see and could live within each option. Where will you be happy? What will end up a disaster? What will be best for you? What assumptions do you have in mind that is making you conclude these things?
For example, you said yes to your first relationship ever then you suddenly felt early relationship anxiety. Now you suddenly doubt the fire in your relationship and become terribly anxious about where it may lead. You are confused if you are happy or just convincing yourself that you are. Things are going great but your mind just keeps on looking for something wrong that it becomes so overwhelming and you just want to pull the plug. Your partner is on the other side. If you stay and go through all these emotional gymnastics in your head, then you may experience a deep and emotional connection with your partner or you may also drag it out for too long and it will become more painful for both of you. If you leave and decide to face your own battles, you may either be free from baggage or regret forever the relationship that you could have had.
In order to make a sound decision, you have to ask yourself what assumptions are you more sure about and what matters more to you.
2. Check what needs to be true for you so that each option would turn out for the best.
How likely are your assumptions to be true? How could the odds be in your favor?
If you stay in your relationship, you need to revive the excitement you had on the first days of dating to help you deal with the anxiety you are feeling right now. What you could do is communicate to your partner that you are looking for ways to spice it up again. Maybe when you both work on it together, you will be able to get what you are looking for.
If you decide to pull the plug, then you would have to figure out how to deal with a failed relationship for the first time. You may probably ask the help of a therapist to go through these heartbroken days. You look for who you are and dive into a relationship once you’re ready again. But if you gave up prematurely, then you might probably regret not trying to work it out.
3. Look at how you’ll regret what decision you’ll make.
If you want to live a life with no regrets, what path would you take? What does your instinct tell you?
If your instinct is telling you that you love this person, then go for it and take the risk of getting hurt in the future. The future is uncertain but what you’re sure of is the present. And if your gut is telling you that you’re happy, then relax and focus on that.
4. Look for the third option.
As what Maybusch.com quoted, “one option is an option, two options is a dilemma, and three options is a choice.”
If you feel like the only choice is to stay or leave, then you’re wrong. You might be focusing on the wrong choices too much which is making life more difficult for you. If you don’t preoccupy your mind with doubts about a great relationship and fill your time with hobbies and focus on your work, then there’s no problem in the first place. The third option could also be a therapist who can help guide you with your anxiety.
5. Set milestones.
If you already chose one path, set milestones to check whether or not you chose the right track. Once you’ve reached these milestones, you could make adjustments, change priority, or your approach.