When we have to make difficult decisions, the first thing we usually do is to go ask somebody for their opinion. The funny thing is, that what that person tells us doesn’t really help us make the decision. It just gives us an idea of that person’s perspective through the lens of their own life experience.
I recently had a big decision to make. One that would change the direction of my career. I asked friends, colleagues and mentors for their opinion on what I should do. In the end, while I received some great advice and insight, it didn’t really help me make my decision at all.
In fact it made it more difficult to make the decision because everyone else’s opinions kept adding more and more complexity to the situation.
I think the best way to make a difficult decision is to think long and hard about what you want to do. Look at all the information you have in front of you and realize that you may not know the right choice to make. But you have to make a choice. Make your decision and stick with it.
Also, keep in mind that you will at some point regret your decision. Not because it was the wrong course of action but because it is human nature to doubt ourselves. When you feel that regret, be firm that you made that choice for a reason.
I heard a great quote once (I forgot who said this) about making decisions. “I’ve never made a wrong decision in my life. When I faced a decision, I made a choice and then spent the rest of my life making it right.”