How To Improve Your Decision Making Skills

Did you ever make a choice that you regret now? Are you wondering how to make future choices with minimum regrets? Then read on to know more about becoming good at decision making.

Before we understand how to make good decisions, we need to understand why confusion occurs in the first place while decision making.

Some of the reasons why one gets confused while taking decisions:

Unclear thoughts

There are so many thoughts that go through our head every second. We aren’t even aware of some of these thoughts.

Some of these thoughts never completely materialize no matter how important they are to us. Sometimes we don’t let a thought completely form in our mind, the thoughts become unclear to us and hence leads to confusion while making a decision.


Each choice has its own pros and cons. We face a dilemma because we need to accept the cons of one choice and let go of the pros of the other choice. This will always be difficult and hence we stall the decision-making process.

Head vs heart

Sometimes, our emotions point us in one direction and our rational thinking points us in the other direction. In other words, our desires influence us to lean towards one choice and our rationality favors a different choice. This leads to a large amount of confusion and struggle, especially when you are not clear about your priorities.

We don’t give importance to our thoughts

While making a decision, every single reason and thoughts we have regarding the decision is important. But given the plethora of information we have and out of a fear of what others may think, we sometimes don’t listen to our inner voice and then we feel uncomfortable with a decision that we make.

The most common advice we hear and how to actually use it?

When we are confused and seek other’s help, most people use the following phrases “It’s up to you to decide which way you want to go” or “That totally depends on you”, or “You should decide which one you want”.

It brings us right back to the starting point of the whole decision-making process. But somewhere, there is a fundamental truth in that advice that we often overlook.

The key is to start looking within yourself, your emotions, your goals, and your thought process. Once, you understand that you can begin making decisions that will have a positive impact on your life.


How to improve your decision-making skills?

So now that we know why we get confused while making decisions and how to use the advice that we get. We can look at some strategies to improve our decision-making skills.

1- Accept the confusion

First, accept that you are not sure about what to choose or what you want. It will push you to search for more defined answers about the choices and about yourself.

2- Focus on the aspect of certainty

Every choice has some uncertainty associated with it. So, don’t worry about the uncertainty and focus on what you know for sure, regarding the decision. Focusing on the uncertainty will only hold us back and keep us worried.

3- Listen to the response of your body

Think of each choice and just observe how your body responds to each of the choices. Do you feel a pit in your stomach when you think of a certain choice, or does your breathing rate rise due to excitement?

Positive intuitions and vibes manifest in the following way – breathing becomes easy, chest and shoulders are relaxed, the gut is calm, feels safe, and energized

Negative intuitions and vibes manifest in the following way – Sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, shoulder muscles tighten, sense of darkness, pressurized, agitation, feeling drained.

4- Get creative

We may be limiting ourselves to choice A and choice B. We think we have no other choice other than these. But we tend to forget that we can create a choice C that has the good parts of both the choices.

5- Take a small step in one direction

Take a small step in one direction and evaluate your thoughts on the developments. Your state of mind could change after acting on one of the choices. Your thoughts may be clearer and the new developments will make it apparent which choice you actually prefer.

Finally, you have to remember that every confusion is a challenge thrown at you to better define yourself. Most of our confusion is not between the choices, it’s between the different people we could be while making those choices. 

Give importance to every small desire that your inner self-tells you. You can never be sure that a choice is going to be perfectly right for you in every way. But make the choice after putting your best effort to understand yourself and your choices. After all according to the famous Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard – “Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forwards.”

Making a choice isn’t easy, but choosing what works for you and makes you happy will minimize the chances of regretting your decisions.

9 responses to “How To Improve Your Decision Making Skills”

  1. I’m so bad at making decisions. I start a new job next month and now I’m second guessing my decision to change jobs. Hopefully I made a good decision.

    1. Well since you are doing something new, its natural to have some apprehensions. But make sure your apprehensions are from facts and not from imaginations. You did have some reason for the job change. Go back to that reason, and see how you feel about it. And do try the body method mentioned. All the best!

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  8. […] you found this interesting you can check out how to improve your decision-making skills using the concepts of self-reflection. Also, Kristine Carlson has a great podcast on the art of […]

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