When you make a decision and truly commit, you can overcome every obstacle. By committing to a decision, you are making a statement. You’re telling the world, “This is how it’s going to be.” Knowing how to be decisive projects confidence and charisma and is a trait of true leaders.
We can get so caught up in the desire to make the right decision that we end up making no decision at all. Learning how to be more decisive, however, takes effort and a level of commitment all its own. How many times have you thought to yourself, “I’ll do this,” only to second-guess your decision, eventually backing away from making a decision at all?
That’s no way to go through life. As Tony Robbins says, “It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped” – and we all want to shape our own destinies.
We make decisions every day – what to wear, what to eat, who to associate with and how to relax. Those are easy decisions that are often determined by our habits, saving our brain power for the decisions that really matter. It is these big, bold decisions that affect the entire trajectory of our lives. Learning how to be decisive when it matters leads us down a path of confidence, fulfillment and joy – while being indecisive will cause us uncertainty, pain and suffering.
Being a decisive person isn’t about always being right. It’s about knowing that even when you’re wrong, you will come out a better person. You will learn a lesson, feed your mind and get back up and keep going. That’s why the number-one trait that makes a decisive person is confidence: a deep belief in themselves and their abilities. They tend to make up their minds quickly and stick with their opinions, although they also learn lessons along the way. Decisive people are resilient, with a growth mindset and a lot of inner strength. They are excellent problem solvers, great leaders and masters of their emotions. They naturally attract others two them with these strong qualities.
The good news is that decision-making is a skill you can practice. Like any other skill, knowing how to be decisive comes more naturally to some people than others. If you find yourself procrastinating, overanalyzing or deferring to others when it comes time to make a decision, there are a few steps you need to take – starting with your own mindset.
Here’s a secret: If you’re wondering how to become more decisive, you’re probably held back by fear. Any decision, no matter how small, means a change of some sort, which could lead to a significant difference in our lives and the lives of people we care about. This fear of change can consume you and be destructive, paralyzing you right when you need to be most decisive. How can you break this negative pattern? Be open to change instead of fearful of it. Acknowledge that life itself is always changing, and that by making a decision, even when you’re uncertain about it, you are taking control of your own life.
You’re not alone – no one is completely certain of everything all the time. Those who have learned how to be a decisive person are just as uncertain or nervous as you; they’re just willing to make the choice. Maybe the decision they make turns out to be the wrong one. So what? They can learn from a wrong decision, and they usually learn quickly. A poor decision leads to a better one down the road, whereas no decision at all leads to stagnation. Nothing is going to get better. It may not get worse, but you certainly won’t improve matters by sitting where you are and doing nothing. Over time, failing to make a choice becomes a choice in itself.
True leadership comes from the ability to make decisions even when you aren’t sure if they’re right. If you want to lead – at work, in your life or anywhere – you have to be ready to be decisive even when you have no idea what the right path is. So stop overthinking and start practicing being decisive!
Visualization is often used in setting and achieving goals, and you can apply the same concepts when you’re learning how to become more decisive. Go through each option you have and visualize what can happen for each. Don’t just think of negative outcomes – think of positive as well as neutral outcomes. Make a mental pros–and–cons list for each option. This strategy will not only help you make a final decision, but will condition your mind to make decisions faster in the future.
The only way to know you’re making steady progress toward the life you want is to harness the power of decision. It’s a muscle like any other, and sitting around without putting it to work will not help it – or you – improve. But when you commit to strengthening this muscle, you commit to learning how to be more decisive. Soon enough, you’ll know how to be more decisive without even thinking about it.
Give yourself a time limit when you’re making a big decision. Often, our early impulses are our best ones, and we know what we want to do after just five to 10 minutes. However, if a decision feels big, don’t get stuck. Be decisive by breaking that decision down into smaller decisions. You can even create a decision tree that takes you through every step, forcing you to pause, consider each smaller choice and not give in to fear. Thinking of a big decision as a series of smaller ones takes the pressure off so that you can choose wisely.
We’ve all heard the expression “done is better than perfect.” This can be especially true for decision-making. Successful people in every field have to master how to be decisive every day. They have the same obstacles as you; however, they’ve learned to avoid the pursuit of perfection – sometimes, “good enough” is perfect. Perfect is just another way that fear controls your choices.
Instead of focusing on perfection, ask yourself how this decision relates to the big vision you have for yourself. Which option will get you closer to that goal? Can you accept the consequences if everything doesn’t go as planned? When you stop thinking of them as life-or-death and think of them as stepping stones and learning experiences, the urge to make every decision perfect will fade.
Those who are wondering how to become more decisive often have their careers in mind. Whether you’re starting your own business or climbing the career ladder at your company, being decisive makes you appear confident and competent – two traits of great leaders. Use the five tips above plus these three additional tips to be more decisive at work.
Goals are good for your brain. They give you something to work toward, and tend to make you feel more inspired than if you didn’t have goals, especially if you tell those around you about them. Don’t be afraid to dream big. Think of something you have always wanted to achieve for yourself. Chances are fear was holding you back. Make it your mission to move forward boldly by being decisive and setting yourself up for success.
Perhaps you want to double your sales, but you’ve resisted setting the goal because it felt impossible. Now that you have released fear, you are free to recognize that you just need the right tools for the job. Maybe that means hiring a new marketing director or reexamining your current strategy. Whatever you consider, use the tools you’ve learned about how to be decisive. Remember, when you back your new decisions with action, you will unleash alignment. If you can commit and sustain that commitment, you will find it more rewarding and less daunting to be decisive.
Often what’s keeping us from making a decision, especially in business, is that we feel like we don’t have all the information we need. One thing that can help you stop overanalyzing and feel ready to make a decision is to collect that information. Don’t be shy about asking questions, reaching across the aisle and seeking out different opinions. The more information you have, the better prepared you are for all outcomes.
The best leaders seek constant and never-ending improvement, including in their decision-making skills. A mentor is always there to answer your questions, help you take all the information and experiences you’ve gathered and shape them into valuable skills you can use in the future. Finding a mentor is a must for those who want to learn how to become more decisive. You can also join a mastermind group or a professional meet-up in your area.
Remember that a decision is only worth anything if you take massive action on it. Or as Tony says, “A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.” Let’s go back to the goal of doubling your sales. It may feel impossible, but you’ve decided to do it. Now how are you making it happen? If you haven’t taken any steps to hire the right people and give yourself the tools you need, you’re just treading water.
The biggest key to how to become more decisive is to stop letting fear of failure hold you back. Decide that you want to live an extraordinary life. Decide that you will exist in a beautiful state, not a suffering one. The quality of your life is the quality of your emotional home. Listen to Tony describe this concept and then choose – what will yours be?
Discovering how to be more decisive is life-changing – and it’s a skill that you can master. Commit to greater decisiveness and a more fulfilled life by attending Unleash the Power Within. Then apply these concepts to your own life, and watch your decision-making abilities have a positive effect on your career, relationships and more.