The Psychology of Decision Making: 7 Best Practices for Discovering Your Inner Confidence

The Psychology of Decision Making

Life is full of decisions. Small ones, big ones, decisions that take you down a different path, and decisions that can change your life forever. We’re constantly having to make choices – it’s a fundamental part of life – and doing so properly, by choosing the paths and making the decisions that bring us the best result, can be incredibly difficult for some people.

We’re not talking about deciding which takeaway option to go for when you’re sat on your sofa with a boxset (although, let’s be honest, we all agonising over that choice from time to time). We’re looking at those decisions which carry some real weight behind them, and which have the potential to make a considerable impact on what you do, where you go, and who you go there with. These decisions are those which require one thing above all else: confidence.

Trust Your Instincts, Trust Yourself

When you have faith in yourself, and you possess the confidence and self-belief to truly trust your instincts, you’re instilled with the ability to make the right decisions without second-guessing your own mind, wracking yourself with regret, or asking yourself ‘what if’. It’s an incredibly empowering thing to know you’ve made the right choice for yourself and your needs, and it’s something we can probably all do with more of from time to time.

In this blog, we’re going to be taking a much closer look at some techniques, which can genuinely help you to make this positive mental change in yourself. Discovering your inner confidence has the power to help you make decisions that work for you, and can save you an enormous amount of time, energy, and anxiety when faced with choices of all shapes and sizes. Let’s dive right in, and start seeing how these ways of approaching decisions can make a significant difference to your daily life, your goals, and the path that you put yourself on.

Making Your Inner Narrative a Positive One

It’s normal to feel some sense of fear or trepidation when it comes to making a big decision. That’s just your mind reacting to the stimulus of the choice, and that sense of nervousness and hesitation should be acknowledged, and seen as a result of the importance of what you’re facing. However, all too many of us slip into a negative inner narrative at this point – something which can have a truly damaging effect.

When you’re facing a big decision, take a moment to recognise what your inner voice is saying to you. If you’re running through a thousand negative scenarios, you need to ask yourself just how realistic those scenarios really are. Is there a positive angle to take? Are you able to focus on the good things that your decision will bring? If so, bring those positive thoughts to the fore, and make them your driving force.

Be Incomparable

We’re living in an age when so many people are wracked with self-doubt for one reason above all others: they’re unable to stop comparing themselves to others. This can seriously damage your ability to make the right decisions for yourself, as your mind can become clouded with what others might think, or how you’d measure up against some unachievable ideal projected through the warped prism of something you’ve seen on social media.

Social comparisons are poisonous when it comes to decision making, and they’re also utterly pointless. Every single person you might compare yourself too has also struggled with this exact same dilemma at some point or another, and comparing yourself to others does nothing to help move you closer towards your goals. You are who you are, and your mind is your own… and for that you should be proud.

Be Clear in Your Goals

Being clear in your mind regarding your goals and objectives is the most obvious way to facilitate good decision making. If you know what your destination is, and can envision it in your mind, it shouldn’t be particularly difficult to chart a course that heads straight towards it. What’s more, you’ll be able to anticipate the obstacles you’re likely to face along your way, and will be capable of planning how to cross those bridges once you reach them.

Work With Your Strengths

Every journey begins with one step. However, if your legs aren’t in the best possible shape to begin with, it’s possible that you won’t get so far. We all need to work from a solid foundation, and basing your decisions on your strengths is never a bad way to go about things. Take a moment to identify your strengths: think carefully about what it is you do well, and where you have room for improvement. This should allow you to make your choice based on whatever it is you are successful in, or avoid following those paths which will expose your weakness or lack of preparedness.

No More ‘What-Ifs’

What if I make the wrong decision? What if I embarrass myself? What if I fail? ‘What-Ifs’ are difficult to avoid, and come about as a result of our fear of failure. When we’re based with a difficult decision, we naturally focus on the negative; it’s a normal survival instinct, which sets us up for the worst case scenario.

However, it’s not something we have to succumb to, and actively tuning out these negative thoughts can help us focus on the positive instead. What-ifs cause us to destabilize our self-belief, and have the potential to knock our confidence in devastating ways. Turn a what-if into an ‘I will’, and give yourself the push you need to overcome the barriers your mind can place in your way!

Perfectionists Never Prosper

Ah, perfectionism – it’s a curse that all too many of us suffer from, and plenty has been written about those successful people who have struggled with this affliction!

The problem with perfectionism is that most of the time, one’s concept of what is ‘perfect’ is, in actual fact, unattainable. We apply the loftiest ideals and most unreachable goals, because in a strange way, they act as a kind of mental safety-net. They give us the perfect excuse for failure: if you don’t succeed, it’s not because you didn’t work hard enough, or didn’t focus well enough… it’s because the destination you were trying to get to was, actually, unreachable and impossible to achieve.

Forget about being perfect when it comes to making decisions, and acknowledge that the perfect choice is something which most likely doesn’t exist. Focus instead on making the decisions that will get your further along your path to success, and step-by-step, you’ll be able to come as close to perfection as it’s possible to be.

Use Your Voice

Struggling with a decision, or ruminating over a choice? Simply open up and talk about it. Our minds so often condition us to believe that our goals are those which we must fight alone for… but actually, this simply isn’t the case.

Whether you need some friendly advice, a second opinion, or need help writing an essay or producing a paper, there are people and services out there primed and ready to give you assistance. It can be scary asking for help when it comes to making personal choices, but it’s something which every person in the world has grappled with at some point or another. Use your voice, speak out, and take the kind of risk that can bring about wonderful results.

Decisions, Decisions: Know Yourself, and Get Results

As we’ve seen, there are plenty of fantastic ways out there to find the confidence and self-belief to make the right choices, and to avoid hesitating and deliberating over getting what you want. By implementing some of these techniques, and finding your inner confidence and courage, making choices suddenly becomes a whole lot easier.

We’re not suggesting that all of your dreams will come true straight away. Nor are we saying that these approaches will help you discover a well of confidence overnight. However, they are sure to help you take those all-important first steps along your path to success, and they’ll allow you to begin trusting yourself and your choices as you move towards your goal.

About the Author
Jilian Woods is a freelance journalist and a contributing writer having more than two years of writing experience. As a writer, she sees her purpose in producing and sharing relevant content with people who are willing to learn something new. Apart from her day job, you may find Jilian engaged in volunteering or doing yoga.

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