Let’s face it — making a big decision can be tough.
Which is a big reason why far too many people follow through on their longing to change course.
For starters, whether you dream of opening a bakery or relocating halfway around the world, dreams require a big GO-NO-GO decision.
Assuming you say yes, then you’re faced with quite literally hundreds of other decisions…
What to name your business… where to find good freelancers… which way to get the word out about what you have to offer… where to live… to name a very few.
You probably have your own way of making decisions.
Maybe you carefully consider the pros and cons.
Or you consult with experts.
Or you ask a trusted friend, colleague, or family member what they think you should do.
If none of that has worked so far, there are more creative methods you can try.
As you read through the list, check off the ones you’d like to try.
1. Flip a coin
When faced with the decision to act on your dream or to maintain the status quo, your rational mind will do its best to protect you from the unfamiliar.
A fool-proof way to override that protective mechanism is to flip a coin.
Then pay close attention to your gut response to the outcome. Are you relieved or disappointed?
Either way, there’s your answer.
2. Use a dartboard
Like with the coin flip, the point here is to tune into how you feel when the dart hits its mark – or misses.
If you discover you unconsciously try harder to hit a bulls-eye when thinking of going with option A over option B – pay attention!
(Bonus of using a dartboard is you can do it over a beer at the pub 🙂 )
Let each person or thing represent a different aspect of the decision.
What does each perspective have to say?
What would your pet tell you to do? Einstein? A wise tribal leader? A historical or contemporary figure you admire?
To make it even more interesting, imagine what perspective a thing might bring to the decision.
What might a flowering plant or a far-off planet say?
Would the constant waves of the ocean see your decision differently than a say a still lake or a raging river?
When you quiet your mind, the answer may bubble up easily. We know this is true.
Yet we rarely quiet our minds long enough to allow the answers to come.
Instead, we run from friend to friend, or we hop on social media to get everyone else’s take.
When, much like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz discovered, often the answers are right there in your own emotional backyard.
5. Make a drawing or collage
Even if you’re not visual by nature, consider each option pictorially.
Your most attractive option may become obvious.
And don’t worry whether you’re creative or an “artist.” You can also cut images out of a magazine to create simple collages.
Stick figures drawn at different scales and using different colors can reveal which path to take just as well as any Rembrandt.
6. Sleep on it
Before you go to sleep, write out the issue you’re grabbling with.
When you awake, consider any dream to be an answer to your query—or the question behind the question.
Make sure you have something to record your dream on right next to your bed and make sure you capture even the essence of your dream before you get up.
7. Dance each option
If you’re the kind of person who responds to things physically then this approach may prove helpful.
Trying to decide whether to move near the ocean or a bustling city? Or whether to become a speaker, a chef, or a tour guide?
Which feels better in your body? Which flows through you more fluidly?
Make up a song about the decision.
Before you discount it as silly, you might also be really surprised by what comes out of your mouth.
You can do this while you’re in the shower or driving alone in your car or on a walk. And as with drawing, don’t fret about writing a Top 10 hit.
Instead, go for something you’d sing to a three-year-old.
What matters is how each song tells you about what you truly think and feel about your decision.
Deciding Not to Decide
You may be so terrified of making the “wrong” decision, that you do nothing.
Deciding not to decide, IS a decision.
My friend Suzanne Evans says indecision is a form of self-abuse.
Think about that for a moment.
Few decisions are irreversible.
When it comes to changing course, often a single decision is the first step to a whole new life.
You don’t have to use all eight creative decision-making techniques. But one of them just might lead to the exact right decision for you.
Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications