Do you ever feel like the people around you influence your decisions? Or even worse, that people try to make your decisions for you?
If you’ve ever felt like this, let me tell you… you’re not alone.
I vividly remember my senior year of high school. There were a lot of great things about it… the dances, spirit weeks, football games, and traveling. But, there were also a lot of hard things about it, namely, committing to a college.
Choosing what to do after high school is extremely hard due to the fact that there are So. Many. Choices.
Do you stay in school or go straight into the work force? Go to community college or get a job? Stay in state or move out of state? Which major do you choose? What’s your budget?
Choosing a college and major was very challenging for me, because it was hard to narrow my choice down to what I actually wanted. It seemed that EVERYONE in my life had an opinion about what I should do, which was stressful. By March of my senior year, I realized I was committed to a school that I did not care to attend at all. After coming to the realization that the reason I was going there was because I was influenced by what I thought would make everyone else happy, I decided to switch my decision to the school I actually wanted to go to, GCU.
Have you ever been stuck in a situation like this? Maybe you second guess your decision not to go to college because of the stigma attached to it. Or maybe you are apprehensive to enter into a new relationship with a guy you really like because you know your family and friends aren’t crazy about him. Maybe it’s even as simple as wanting to buy a pair of Vans, but now you’re considering Converse instead, because that’s what is in style.
I think a lot of our indecisiveness is rooted in insecurity. The reason we can’t decide what we want isn’t because we don’t know what we want, but because we don’t know what will make those around us happy.
Here’s the truth: You’ll never be able to own a decision that is not your own.
I think the best way to own our decisions can come from evaluating these simple things: WHAT, WHY & WHEN
What does this decision entail? What are the pros & cons of your decision? Do the pros of your decision outweigh the cons?
For example, when I was choosing a college, I made pros & cons lists for each school I was deciding between, and only proceeded with the schools that I decided the pros outweighed the cons. Determining WHAT your decision is about helps your narrow down your decision to factors of importance. If you have reached the point in your decision where he pros prevail, it is important to evaluate the…
Why are you making this decision? What is both your logical reasoning and your emotional reasoning driving this decision?
Determining why I wanted to go to each school helped me land at a firm decision. Once I evaluated both my interior and exterior motives, and weighed each decision in the light of logic and emotion, I was able to decide the school that I actually wanted to go to, not the one that just had the most pros vs. cons.
Evaluating WHY you are making a decision is the most important step in the process, because it helps you own your decision. Once you have owned your decision, you can determine:
When and how are you going to put this decision into action? What are the practical steps you can take to own this decision?
Once I committed to Grand Canyon University, I enrolled in my classes, registered for housing, picked a roommate, and started to look for ways to get involved on campus. Once I felt confident in my decision, I started to take the necessary steps to make it a tangible reality.
Having a WHEN in mind makes sure you stay committed to your decision, and “seals the deal”.
I have found that following this simple decision making process creates an ownership to all my decisions. Now, when people try to sway my decisions or convince me to change my mind one way or another, I can explain to them exactly why I am committing to a decision, because I have taken the time to OWN my OWN decisions.