Making decisions

We often face a time in our relationships and indeed in our lives when we have to make difficult decisions. These sometimes seem to be too complicated, too damaging - and lets face it - it's sometimes easier to just put off making the decision altogether as something is bound to shift at some stage and then it will just fix itself. But what happens if it gets beyond that and we find that we are really unhappy in the situations in which we find ourselves? How do we then help ourselves to make a difficult decision? Here are a few helpful tips that should at least start you on the path to deciding what is best for you.


Making key decisions

Here are five points with some notes to identify and help to make decisions, also some of the common problems that we face when doing this.

1. Identify what you want. Your goal. Make sure you keep checking you are on target for that and that it is still what you want.

2. Gather information for weighing up your options and choices.

3. Consider the consequences of what you decide.

4. Make your decision.

5. Evaluate what you have decided to do.

Some notes on the decision-making process

1. Why do you want this? What is the problem you are dealing with? Why do you need to solve it?

2. List every alternative, however silly. Talk to people if possible regarding the decisions you are making. What do they think?

3. This looks at the impact of your decision on you and others, and how it will affect you now and in the future. Effectively you are reviewing the pros and cons and you have to know what you are choosing is the best option.

4. Does the decision you have made feel right? Does the decision you have made work best for now and in the future?

5. Evaluate, once you have made and put into action the decision. Remember you may not see the final outcome straight away. If the first decision is not working for you you may have to go back, re-evaluate and make a second choice.

Common problems

  • Misidentifying the problem is a question of working out exactly what you want and what you are saying the problem is.
  • Having a single source or too many sources.
  • Are you overestimating what will happen i.e. the outcome?
  • Poor timing. Give yourself time to make the right decision, do not rush into a decision when you are in an emotional state.

Do not give up if you find that it is not as easy as you thought to make a decision.  Remember that you have to identify what you are looking to achieve by making any change in your life. Sometimes it is better to just let the water around your feet settle rather than rush at something without properly thinking through the implications of what this means, not only to you but also to those around you.

If you'd like some support making decisions consider speaking to a therapist. A professional therapist can guide you through the decision-making process whilst offering guidance in reaching your desired goals. You can search Counselling Directory to find a professional therapist and arrange an initial consultation.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

Share this article with a friend
Staines-upon-Thames, Surrey, TW18 4AX
Written by Clare Francis, M.A. PG dip BSc (Hons) MBACP
Staines-upon-Thames, Surrey, TW18 4AX

Clare attained her masters degree in relationship and family therapy from the University of Hull in 2011. Clare works with families, young people, couples and individuals. She manages a thriving private practise which she currently runs from Staines and Twickenham. She also worked for Relate from 2008 to 2020. She is a Member of the BACP.

Show comments

Find the right counsellor or therapist for you

All therapists are verified professionals

All therapists are verified professionals