Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How to Make a Decision about Anything..........

Are you the type who deliberates for days, weeks, months, even years over decisions?  You can call it procrastination, hesitation, fear of the unknown.  Whatever you wish to call it, it's preventing you from accomplishing what you need to do, want to do, affecting your life in a big or small way, and always hanging over you. You inability to make a decision could be holding someone else back from making one of their own. 

I am guilty of this at times.  Years ago I had the most incredible job offer.  It came out of nowhere and it was too good to refuse. Or was it? I was very comfortable in my current office. It was close to home, I got along well with all my co-workers, the salary was good, I had the freedom to come and go as I pleased.  On the flip-side, I had basically reached the top and there was no higher position or income I could strive for.  I scheduled an interview at the other location and was hired on the spot.  All I needed to do was accept the position and report to work.  I loved the job, I loved the office, I was crazy about the location (right in the heart of mid-town), the salary, bonuses, and the health and retirement benefits were more than I could ever dream of.  It was the perfect offer and I was thrilled, honored, and terrified.  It took me an entire month to make a decision! When I finally accepted the offer, I still needed to give my current employer two week's notice.  I am very fortunate the new company wanted me so badly and  was willing to wait.

I am in a similar situation now but it's not a job issue this time.  It's more of a "should I stay or should I go" type of thing.  I have a friend, a close friend.  We have our ups and downs.  Right now, it's mostly downs, as down as it can get sometimes.  It wasn't always like this. It used to be great.  The perfect give and take relationship.  There are certain obstacles and situations making it difficult right now.  I am hoping those situations will change and everything can go back to the way it was.  There are no guarantees that it ever will.  I am afraid it might get even worse! I am waiting for things to improve but in the meantime I am empty, stressed, frustrated, discouraged, and disappointed.  Not all the time--but MOST of the time.

I see a therapist and the subject of my troubled friendship always comes up in our sessions.  I told him yesterday that I am tired of whining and complaining about the same thing over and over.  I am sick of the sound of my own words as they come out of my mouth.  I need to make a decision and I can't waste anymore time. I don't have that much time to waste. I am 48 years old, for God's sake! By some strange miracle, we shifted the conversation to another topic-an even more difficult one but at least I wasn't whining about the other thing! I know what it is I need to do and I am not doing it. I need to make a list.  This is what I have always done when it comes to decision-making in my life.  I write a good old Pros and Cons List!

Do you have a decision you need to make and you keep going back and forth on it?  It can be about anything--from leaving your job, to purchasing a home, staying in a marriage,  buying a new washer and dryer, going out on a blind-date, to ending a friendship.  Write a list.

Take a sheet of paper and draw a line right down the center.  At the top of one column write PROS. Here you will write down everything that is good or will be good. The other column will be your list of CONS--things that are bad, will be bad or could be bad.  Take some time to think and keep adding to your list until you're finished. Don't ask for any help with this list.  These things must come from your heart and you don't want anyone else to influence you.  It has to be your decision or you will never be happy with it.  Add up each column. Then make your decision based on the amount pros or cons on your list. 

I find this to be a very effective way to get a clear and honest picture of things in my life.  I hope it helps you, as well. And now.....I have a list to make............

And this is my Daily Cyn..........


  1. it's evident that you have a BIG decision to make and you feel the need for support and/or advice. Close relationship issues are among the most difficult to resolve as there are sooo many emotions involved. I hope your therapist is offering sound, useful advice. If they aren't able to help you get through this it might be helpful to look elsewhere. MY advice is back away from the situation, if that is possible because while you're in the midst of it objective decision making may be impossible. Can you visit Aunt Jane or make a visit to a nearby attraction by yourself? You know, anywhere you can have enough peace and quiet to think constructively. Best wishes! My prayers are with you.

  2. Hello Cynthia,

    I enjoyed reading your post and saw myself in it quite a few times. At the time I have one of those decisions to make which I have been dragging for years: To move 5000 miles away from family and friends or not!

    It's very complicated and a hard - heck the hardest decison - to make. I have always been considered to be a strong woman but when it comes up to decision making I really can't say that I am able to put any strength into it. I prograstinate, I make my list over and over again, I keep pushing it away but I haven't ended up making a decision yet.
    I am not talking about small things in life as we all make decision every single day of our lifes whether it's to drink a cup of coffee or not, whether its the type of clothing to wear,...

    I know my thinking process will have to come to an end soon...or in a year or two? :)


  3. Thank you so much, THomas and Julia for your input! It's nice to know people actually READ these blogs!! therapist offers sound advice and I do have a tough decision to make but I also love this person very much so that makes it complicated.. Eventually we all must decide what is best for US , however....
    Julia, I think of myself as a very strong woman as well but I happen to be one of the BIGGEST procrastinators out there... In fact, my brother and I joke that the P in our last name stands for PROCRASTINATOR because we are both so guilty of it. Lists are good to make...even if we push it out of the way for awhile. At least we got out thoughts out and down on paper and can keep dragging it out to view when we need to.
    Moving 5000 miles away from friends and family? That's a tough one and one that should not be taken lightly! I pray you receive the strength and wisdom to make the choice that is best for you.....