This question may seem irrelevant. Decisions are made constantly all day long. Some things are easy, some things need more time or information, and some things just don’t matter enough for the decision to hold much weight. But, understanding how you make decisions can change your life.

Like many broad questions, this can be a difficult question to answer if we don’t break it down into more specific categories. Below are just some areas that we can dive into in order to gain a better understanding of our overall decision-making process:

  • Information: Do I usually request more information before I am willing to make a decision or am I often comfortable not knowing all the facts?

  • Time: Do I usually prefer to have time alone to process the decision or am I comfortable making decisions on the spot?

  • Collaboration: Do I discuss decisions openly with others in order to gain feedback and opposing perspectives or am I comfortable making a decision on my own?

  • Value: Do I only look at how decisions impact me or do I focus on how my decision will impact others?

  • Mentality: Do I make decisions based on my emotions or do I prefer to focus on objective reasoning?

Again, these are just some areas we can explore within ourselves. There are many, many more. It can be a little easier to process if we break each area down into a “do I do this” or “do I do that” type of question. However, it is extremely important to accept that there are strengths and weaknesses on both sides.

For example, if I am often making decisions based on how it will impact others, I am most likely not getting my own needs fulfilled. This can cause damage within myself and lead to resentment if I am not careful. Or if I often need more information, I can delay important decisions beyond what is reasonable, leading me to miss out on what would have been a good opportunity.

Each method above is in fact positive, regardless of which side of “this or that” you fall under. But, each side of the spectrum can also have a negative if we aren’t applying it correctly. And, our own method is not always the right method for every decision. The more we understand about ourselves and our personal methods of making decisions, the easier it will be to see how we need to modify our natural decision-making process for each decision we must make.

Agreeably, analyzing every decision is both impractical and exhausting. I don’t recommend that. Focus on understanding your own styles in order to apply them to the more important decisions that have a greater potential for ramifications. Understanding how you generally go about making decisions can potentially save you from making bad decisions that lead to severe consequences.

So, how do you make decisions?