Do a reality check.
Which of your remaining alternatives are most likely to happen? Cross off those alternatives that most likely will
not happen to you.
Which alternative fits
you? Review your remaining alternatives and decide which ones feel most comfortable to you. These are your wise
decisions. If you are very happy about a decision, but are not as comfortable with its possible outcome, this is a
clue that this is not a wise decision for you. On the other hand, you may dislike an alternative, but be very
excited about the possible outcome. This decision would probably not be wise for you either. If you feel you can
live with both the alternative as well as the possible outcome, this is the wise decision you should
Get started! Once you
have made your decision, get moving on it. Worrying or second-guessing yourself will only cause grief. You have
done your very best for the present; you always have the option of changing your mind in the future. Remember, no
decision is set in stone.
How is it going? Be sure
to review your decision at specified points along the road. Are the outcomes what you expected? Are you happy with
the outcomes? Do you want to let the decision stand or would you like to make some adjustments? If the decision did
not come out the way you planned, go through the complete decision-making process again. In the process, answer the
following questions: Did I not have enough information? What values actually came into play? Were they my
values or someone else's? Remember, you can always change your mind!
Common Decision-Making Mistakes
As much as we would like to
believe that we do not have any prejudices or biases, the fact is that everyone does. The more aware you are of
yours, the better off you will be. The main reason everyone has their own way of viewing the world is because
our brains simply cannot take in everything, at least not on a conscious level.
Have you ever tried to learn ten new things all at once? If you have, you know that it is very easy to become
overwhelmed and end up learning very little at all. That is because of the way the brain works. Our brains screen
and categorize information so that we can understand the world around us without being overwhelmed by it. We get
into trouble when we fail to realize that many of the perceptions we hold are based on what society (i.e., parents,
teachers, the church, all institutions, etc.) teach us, not what we actually know to be true.
Below is a list of the most common decision-making mistakes. By learning about these pitfalls now, you will be able
to avoid them in the future.