How to make a decision that will change your life

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Louise Hay
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How to make a decision that will change your life

Last update: July 04, 2017

Very often we know when there is an important aspect in our life that needs a change. Sometimes we even know what change it is: ending a couple relationship, leaving a job, changing city. Still, we can't find a way to go from words to deeds. We continue to be lazy and postpone the decision indefinitely.



A radical decision is essentially composed of two elements. First of all, you must have identified a really serious problem in your life. In a second step, you must have understood that it is necessary to change a certain aspect in order to overcome the problem. At that point we understand that we cannot continue like this, because the time has come to make concrete and, often, radical decisions.

“In every moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right one, the second best thing you can do is the wrong one; and the worst thing you can do is do nothing. "

-Theodore Roosevelt-

Faced with a serious problem, almost all of us come to understand that we need to change. But then we let ourselves be distracted by other things, or let time pass to "see what happens." We fail to fully complete the steps we know we need to take. Perhaps what we need in these cases is a method to help us move from thought to action, or simply accept that we don't really want to change that situation.

Today we want to give you some tips that can help us in the difficult process of making a radical decision. This is not a step-by-step list of instructions to follow, but some do-it-yourself guidelines that need to be done before making a radical decision.



1. Eliminate the belief that that decision will eliminate all difficulties

Everyone would love to make a perfect decision. One that, in a better eye, solves all our problems. That cancels any inconvenience and makes it disappear completely. A good decision, like a bowling pitch where the ball knocks all the pins down in one fell swoop. Unfortunately, however, such a decision does not exist.

Any decision involves one or more losses. We must not make a decision thinking about solving all the problems, but because it will lead us to a significantly better condition, because it will improve an aspect of our life that is important to us. The decision solves a crucial problem, but leaves other elements unchanged which, perhaps, we will have to deal with later.

A radical decision, then, always implies a dose of dissatisfaction, suffering or deprivation. This is why it takes courage to take it. Think that, if we do it, it is because the problem we want to solve has such a negative influence on our life that it compensates for the sacrifices necessary to overcome it.

2. Identify the risks and dangers involved in the decision

Every radical decision also involves a series of risks and, at times, dangers. Before taking the next step, we must try to identify what traps we can fall into. This will not only give us more strength to move forward, but it will also increase our awareness and decision in the choice we are making.


To do this, a good idea is to use the old list trick. Take a piece of paper and write down all the risks that your decision entails. Be concrete. Try to be as precise as possible. Identify each risk and its possible consequences. Do not leave out anything, even if you believe it is a minimal, absurd or unimportant risk (it is better to work with it consciously, rather than ignore it). When we are about to make a final decision, nothing is irrelevant.


Try to do the same with the dangers. The difference between a risk and a hazard is that the former involves relatively less harm, while the latter may compromise one's health or life in some way.. It seems exaggerated but, for example, for some people leaving a partner or a job, when financial issues and debt are involved, can be a real danger. This is why it is good to identify these problems and evaluate what the role of emotional dependence may be.


3. Examine your emotions and establish a plan of action

Before making an important decision, it is normal to have a lot of doubts and fears about it. The worst thing is that these fears very often distort reality. Something tells you it's time to change, but a little voice within you also whispers that it's best to let it go. If you want to move forward, you have to resolve this contradiction.

It is important to be clear about your feelings and emotions about the problem you want to solve through the radical decision. Is it the desire to get better or is it a whim or an intense passion that moves you? Did you not complete your decision out of prudence, method or fear? If you can answer these questions, you have already come half the way.


When you are relatively clear about your emotions, you are aware of the risks involved in the decision and of what you will lose and gain, you will be ready to take action through change. Do not postpone anymore. Set a date to do what you need to do. And do it. Then don't look back anymore: it's done now.

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