How to Make Decisions

Stop Making Decisions Based on Other People’s Opinions

Values based decisions

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” ~Roy E. Disney

One of the worst things we can do is to base our decisions on other people’s opinions. Most decisions we make have a ripple effect – sparking a chain of events that can affect others.

As a business coach, I often find that when we come from a place of fear, we hesitate to make a decision. We allow this fear to spiral into an endless game of “what if?” – worrying that others will dislike our idea, that we’re not qualified to make the decision, or in the worst case scenario, that the decision will blow up in our face.

Making Decisions as a Leader

In a Forbes article on making better decisions, author Mike Myatt says “nothing will test your leadership mettle more than your ability to make decisions.” Myatt goes on to suggest that leadership cannot be separated from decision making – they are forever linked.

Quoting Cyrus the Great, Myatt explains that while successful leaders do seek the counsel of others, they maintain control over the final decision.

Yet, so many of us – leaders included – allow caution over the decision-making process to paralyze us. Through my work coaching business leaders, I get behind-the-scenes access to the decision-making process. When I witness avoidance to making a decision, I find that it’s usually fear-based, not because there isn’t enough information to aid in making the right choice.

Banish the Fear

When you’re making a decision and the “what-if’s” start, did you ever notice many of the “what-if” scenarios that play out in your mind are rooted in what other people might think of you?

We’re human. Most of us do seek approval from others. We want to be part of a group, appreciated and liked by our peers. When we think of the “right choice”, too often we allow our decision to be guided by our perception of what other people might think about our choice, or what someone else might believe is right.

The truth is, we all make bad choices from time to time. When we rely more on what other people think than our own values, we increase the likelihood of making a bad decision.

If you want to really get over the fear of what everyone else thinks of you, check out this article, which includes tips you can start using immediately to live more authentically.

Decisions Based on Your Values

Start making better decisions today by first developing a vision of your work and life that represents your strongest values. Think about what’s important to you, what you love, what you value.

Click here to download the Uncovering Your Values process to get to the heart of the matter.

When the big moment comes and you need to make a decision, go back to the exercise above to come into alignment with your values. Knowing what matters most to you can give the clarity necessary to reduce the stressful “what-if” factor of decision-making.

Leader Facts3 Tips to Make the Right Choice

  • Stay true to yourself. Define what’s really important to you and outline the impact that your decision might have on your overall vision of your work and life.
  • Remain well-aligned with your values. Remember that other’s opinions are based on their own limitations and limiting beliefs. Relying on someone else to make a decision for you diminishes your own power and confidence in your abilities.
  • Consult with experts or others who have accomplished similar goals. While you should never allow anyone else’s opinion to cloud your judgment, it’s important to gain all the insight and knowledge you need to help you make the right choice.

Whether you’re a leader in the corporate world or the head of your own household, you’ll be asked to make many decisions during your lifetime. Some decisions will be so straightforward, making them will be a no-brainer.

But when you encounter a more difficult decision, put your values first and don’t worry about what others will say or think about your choice. Consulting with the right people can aid you in gaining the facts you need to make the decision, but in the end, it’s you who must rise up confidently and declare your choice. Now that’s leadership.

Leave a comment below and let me know what holds you back from making immediate decisions. I’ll bet the group of us has more in common than we think!


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