I have a hard time making decisions. And, in life, which is full of choices and decisions, that could be a real setback. While some decisions are minor – so much so that we aren’t even aware we are making them – others are significant and make you feel like they carry the weight of the world. And, as we face these decisions, we can often feel regret over the road we didn’t choose. I have experienced it quite a few times throughout my life, and it is difficult to navigate. So, can we make decisions without feeling regret?
In my life, like I’m sure in yours too, I can think of multiple times in which I felt regret over a decision I made. For example, when I chose my majors in school, when I skipped a friend’s birthday, or most recently when I chose one job over another. I would find myself questioning my decision, thinking what would have been if I were to pick the other option. Of course, I also try to look at the silver lining of the situation I’m in, but I still want to know, is there a way for me to make decisions and experience less regret?
The first tip that I found helpful during the years is trusting your intuition. Sometimes, although we debate a few options, we have a feeling that one is more suited for us. Our intuition can present itself in different ways, and once we figure it out, it’s important to follow it. We know what is best for us, as we know ourselves best. Speaking of listening to ourselves, another helpful tip is to listen to your body. Notice how your body reacts to each of the options in front of you. Your body is a compass that steers you towards what you desire and suits you, so it is important to listen to it.
Another thing you can try is to evaluate the pros and cons of each side. Consider the possible positive and negative aspects or consequences of your decision. Write down a list of pros and cons for each possible alternative. Then prioritize these points with the most important considerations at the top of the list. What are the possible implications of the cons? Do they outweigh the pros? Another piece of advice that I found to be helpful is asking for help. Sometimes you need more than just a sounding board; you actually need advice. Carefully select two or three trusted friends whose opinion and judgment you value, and ask for their input about your decision. Of course, don’t blindly accept advice, but receiving another point of view can be a great contribution to making up your mind.