How To Be More Confident In Your Own Decisions

by Raven Ishak
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Jessica Peterson/Tetra images/Getty Images

Every day, whether we like it or not, we have to make choices for our future selves. Whether it's about where you'll be living next year or how you'll spend your money, making tough decisions is something that is bound to happen. Before you make a big decision, though, there are a few things you should consider.

I'm a very indecisive person. It's a quality that I'm not proud to have, but I'm aware that it exists regardless. Recently, I've been trying to be more assertive in life by not asking others for advice before choosing to do something (or not do something). And it's been great. There's no doubt that making choices on your own can be a very scary thing. What happens if you make the wrong one? That's the question goes through my head every time I'm faced with a huge choice to make. But it's best not to live in fear, so here are some ways for you to make better decisions without the help of others. While it's tempting to ask for advice for every big decision you have to make in your life, you need to practice making decisions by yourself and trust your own thoughts and actions. Once you start loving the decisions you're making, you won't need the approval of others.

1. Be Aware Of What You Want

The best way to make a decision is by knowing what your goals are. When you're more aware of what you want out of your life, you may be able to make better choices. According to The Huffington Post, David Welch, PhD, professor of political science at the University of Waterloo in Ontario said, "People who aren't self-reflective are going to end up making bad decisions because they don't really know what they want in the first place." When I try to make a decision, I always think about where I want to be in a year. Will this affect my life in a negative way? Is this the direction I want to go? If the answer is against what I'm working towards, then I'll try to change my decision, even if that means taking the harder route.

2. Ask For Advice, But Make Your Own Choice

Depending on the situation you're in, this one can be hard to follow through on. Whether you're making a decision about your relationship, your job, or your general well-being, every decision you'll make includes one thing in common: you. No one else is living your life. No one will understand what your day-to-day is like and what your gut instincts are telling you. Still, it's never a bad idea to ask for an outsider's perspective. According to LinkedIn, Dr. Travis Bradberry, president of TalentSmart, mentioned that the most successful people seek for outside counsel. "Their perspectives help you weigh your options more objectively and to spot your subjective or irrational tendencies," said Bradberry. Remember though: Advice is just advice. While it's OK to get help from others, not listening to your own instincts might deter your life towards a less empowering direction.

3. Listen To Your Gut

Whether you believe it or not, you probably already know yourself better than you realize. But sometimes, you ignore what your gut is telling you because you may not want to face the reality of the decision you have to make. According to Psychology Today, Suzanne Degges-White, professor and chair of the Counseling, Adult and Higher Education department at Northern Illinois University, said, "When you are confronted with some difficult decisions, it is important to be clearheaded and objective in your decision-making process." When you're making a tough decision, write down everything that you're thinking and why you think you're feeling the way you do. Once you have an internal dialogue with yourself, the pieces may start to unfold and everything may seem clear.

4. Make Sure You Are In The Right Frame Of Mind

It's easy to make poor decisions when you're in a bad mood, especially when you're hungry, sleepy, or stressed. I mean, if you're trying to figure out what you want to eat for lunch while you're hungry, well, that just makes sense. But when it comes to life-changing decisions, try to make sure you're feeling comfortable and at ease before you decide what your next move is going be. Before making the decision, ask yourself these questions from Beth Burgess, a solution-focused therapist. They'll help you slow down and open your views before you make any rash decisions.

5. Learn To Trust Yourself

Don't be afraid to trust yourself. According to PsychCentral, Cynthia Wall, LCSW, a psychotherapist in private practice in northern California, explained in her book, The Courage to Trust: A Guide to Building Deep and Lasting Relationships, “The person you need to trust first is yourself. No one can be as consistently supportive of you as you can learn to be. Being kind to yourself increases self-confidence and lessens your need for approval. Loving and caring for yourself not only increases self-trust, it also deepens your connection with others.” Having the confidence to trust yourself is a task on its own, but once you have more confidence in yourself, you may feel better about making big decisions in the future.

6. Practice, Practice, Practice

The only way you're going to get better, is by practicing making decisions every single day. If you start making this part of your daily routine, you may feel more confident in your actions and decision-making skills. According to Psychology Today, Abigail Brenner, M.D., psychiatrist in private practice stated, "Learning how to make good choices and wise decisions depends upon several factors: a person’s developmental stage/age, having a general idea of right and wrong... understanding what the decision-making process entails, and practice!" It might sound silly at first, but try making all decisions in your life for a week (without asking others for advice or help). Soon, you may feel more in control without the influence of others.

With these tips, you may able to make better decisions in your life. It'll take a lot of time and practice, but once you get the hang of it, you can be your own #girlboss in no time!

Images: Jessica Peterson/Tetra images/Getty Images; Giphy