Making Decisions with Confidence
Making decisions is a part of daily life. Decisions come in all shapes and sizes, from small and relatively insignificant to large and life-changing. Making decisions on a constant basis can be exhausting. It can also be stressful if we don’t have a method for making those decisions, leaving us in a constant state of second-guessing ourselves and wondering “What if…”? What if I had taken the other path? What if I had made the decision differently? The “What ifs” of life can keep even the strongest of us up at night.
What if…you had a strategy to help you make decisions? Learning to be at peace with the decisions you make can relieve stress and lead to a more fulfilling, in-the- present way of living.
The 10-10-10 Rule
Author Suzy Welch, coauthor of the book Winning (Harper Business), put her ideas about decision making into a three-step process called the 10-10-10Rule. Her approach goes like this: when faced with a decision, analyze the effects of that choice in three time frames –10 minutes from now, 10 months from now and 10 years from now. By looking at the way choices will affect life in the near term, mid-term, and long-term, she presents us with a process to not only make decisions, but be at peace with the choices we make.
Putting 10-10-10 into Practice
So how does it work? Let’s take a look at this story:
Dan, a hardworking father of two loves spending time with his family. His job is fairly stable and has regular hours, but occasionally he gets stuck at work later than he’d like and has to rush to make it home for a late dinner with his family. On one occasion his oldest daughter was preparing to start Middle School and there was a Parent Information Night that he wanted to attend with her. As luck would have it, Dan’s boss approached him that very morning with a new project that required him to attend a meeting that was happening late in the day, late enough that it would cause him to miss the parent meeting with his daughter.
Using the 10-10-10 Rule to help make his decision, Dan looked at his options. What were the immediate repercussions if he chose to stay at work and miss the parent meeting? His daughter’s disappointment would be palpable and heartbreaking. But she would still attend the meeting with her mother and get the information she needed. In 10 months, his daughter would no doubt be doing fine at her new school, having his support from nightly chats and attending what events he could in the future. In 10 years she would be well on her way to college and beyond, not even remembering this one parent meeting (out of many more to come!). In the meantime, making the decision to stay and work late would show Dan’s employer that he was capable of handling the new project now, and possibly build trust with the company for future opportunities.
Had his daughter’s event been a once- in-a-lifetime moment, or something that would be a central experience for his family’s life, Dan’s decision may have been different. But looking at all his options made Dan’s decision to stay at work that night one that he and his family could live with and not regret or resent.
Decisions come in all shapes and sizes, from small and relatively insignificant to large and life-changing.
The Flexible 10-10-10
Sometimes decisions aren’t made by analyzing decades of time, but smaller scales in the same method. For example, making decisions about prioritizing one project over another may mean your consequences are analyzed in hours, days, and weeks, not months and years. But the process is the same. Look at the benefits and costs of both sides of a dilemma. This leads to stronger decision making skills. Could postponing a meeting to take a new employee out to lunch be the right choice? Is saying no to your child’s request for a new phone reasonable? Is now the time to approach your supervisor about that career discussion? All these questions would have different consequences in different time frames, but the process of making the decision is the same.
Making decisions is a constant dance where we are pulled from one possibility to another. Knowing why we are making the choices we are making gives us the inner strength to be confident and at peace with those choices, and to be able to stop asking “What if…?” We no longer need to second-guess ourselves, fret over outcomes or lose the gift of living in the present.
“It’s not hard to make a decision once you know what your values are.” ~ Roy Disney
Did you know that the EAP is available to help you talk through options when making a decision, examine your values and priorities? Call PAS to speak with a life coach or arrange services for a wide array of life event needs.
Unnecessary fear of a bad decision is a major stumbling block to good decisions.” ~ Jim Camp
Featured Service: Life Coaching
Life takes many twists and turns. Everyone experiences times when they want or need to change something in their life. But we also may experience a lack of confidence and clarity about how to pursue our options. PAS Life Coaches can help. Life coaches provide personalized guidance to help you:
- Identify and achieve goals
- Make changes that improve your overall well-being
- Consider options when making a significant decision or life transition
- Focus on your core values, priorities and passions
About Your EAP
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a benefit set up by your employer to assist you in dealing with personal concerns that may affect your work or home life. Use of the EAP is confidential and free to you and your immediate family members.
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