The moment of truth has arrived and it’s time to decide. You have investigated alternatives, narrowed the field, determined all the positive and negative consequences, figured costs and benefits, and, all in all, done a great deal of careful consideration.
But here it is again – that paralyzing fear of actually choosing. What if you make the wrong choice? What if what you choose to do doesn’t work? You start to sweat and your stomach aches. Then, your head hurts. Pretty soon, you start to wonder if maybe you should decide to not decide, and just call it a day.
There is always the possibility that you “have to” choose. Or maybe you’re tired of feeling paralyzed and you’re going to bite the bullet and actually do something, regardless of the consequences. What you need is a path, a pattern, to follow on the way to making that decision.
Here’s an idea that may help. First, make a list of your choices. Writing them down takes them from the realm of chaotic internal thought and makes them concrete. Then, rank them with number one the most acceptable, then number two, and so on. Now, focus on your number one option. That’s where your energies should go, that’s the one you should pursue – for now.
Once you’ve chosen, commit to it. Really give it your best effort and the best chance to work. But remember that if number one turns out not to be such a good idea, you can always try the next option on your list, or make another choice.
When you’re stuck, any step in the right direction is a milestone. There is more than one route to any destination, and this method will give you the breathing room you need to get going. And it works for individuals, teams, departments and organizations.