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How do I get better at problem solving and decision making?

Updated: Feb 3

Are you one of those people who prefers to let other people make decisions for you in case you get it wrong ?

Or maybe you feel like you never seem to make the right choice.

Don't worry, you are not alone. I speak to so many people who are overwhelmed with anxiety at the thought of taking responsibility for their lives or don't know where to start when a problem arises.

The first thing that you need to know is that life is an adventure, we gain the skills we need to navigate it through the experiences we have. If we don't have experiences, we can't grow and our world becomes a very small and frightening place. This is where anxiety, depression and low self worth lurk. If we can stop measuring our success by other people's idea of who and how we should be, we can start to see every experience as an opportunity to be true to ourselves, learn, grow and be happy.

So we're going to look at how to problem solve and make decisions.

1.Be honest about the problem that you are dealing with. Most of us spend so much energy trying to convince others that its not fair or shouldn't be like this instead of dealing with the problem. The fact is that regardless of what we think, we are still going g to have to deal with the problem in front of us. Unless of course we bury our head in the sand and wait for it to go won't! You might find yourself with so many more problems if you put off solving the first one.

2. Write it down. It's very difficult to think clearly when thoughts and emotions are bouncing around in our head but, once a problem is written down, its much easier to see what we are dealing with. Then if its a big problem, break the solution down into small manageable tasks.

3. Create space. Unless it's an emergency, you don't need to react in that instant. Give yourself some time to think it though so that you can choose how to respond. Phrases like "Just give me a moment please? Or "Can I have a think and get back to you? "When do you need an answer by? Can all help

4.Stop worrying! Worrying won't solve the problem. You might make a decision that doesn't turn out as well as you hoped but that doesn't mean it's wrong. It may open up new possibilities that you hasn't previously considered or at the very least ,you will know what NOT to do if you are in a similar position again

5. Weigh it up. After you have written it down and given yourself time to think. Do some research. Ask a friend or Google it. But before you make a decision check where the information is coming from and whether it may be biased. Then listen to your gut. Does this solution feel right?

6. Put your plan into action and have faith that things will work out for you. After things are resolved evaluate the decision you made and see what you could do differently. For example. What do you want from the takeaway? Huge choice so do you get a consensus of opinion ? Do you always get it from the same place and not really enjoy it? Do you try a different place? Do you already know what you want but are scared to say so?

7. Ask yourself, what is the worse thing that could happen of you choose something and you or someone else doesn't like it? It seems to me that you might have wasted some money- unfortunate but not the end of the world. You might end up eating something that you're not that keen on but you will know not to order that or from there again. You might have an amazing meal and have found something and somewhere new and everyone is grateful.

8. If you don't like the outcome, be proactive and try problem solving it differently. You have no way of knowing whether you made a good or bad choice only that things didn't go the way you expected. Try to be open to the new situation and look for the opportunities and manage what you feel you could have done differently

9. Use this exercise for the really big problems to gain some clarity. Thin of the problem. Close your eyes and listen to what all the voices in your head are saying. Try to ignore the lid ones and listen for he more subtle ones. When you have that, leave it and sink into your heart, do the same again. You'll probably find that your heart says something very different to your head. Once you have it, leave it there and drop into your gut. What is your gut saying to you? Once you have that take the answer from your gut and step back up to your heart, take that answer and step into your head. You have now made your decision and can act on it.

10. Have faith and trust yourself. Once you understand that no one is perfect and we all make some interesting choices sometimes, you are taking responsibility for your own life. Start with the small decisions and gradually build up your independence. You can always run your ideas by someone else, just don't be swayed by their opinion if you don't feel it's right for you.

You can do this.

You are capable.

Have faith.

If you would like to work with me on building your confidence and problem solving effectively, please get in touch.

This would be a really good decision :-)

Speak soon.


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