How to Get Good at Making Decisions

If you want to figure out what you want, make decisions, even bad ones. Don’t be so worried about “doing everything the right way”. You don’t even know what that is right now. If you’re in a place you don’t want to be (literally or emotionally), you won’t want to replicate your decision making process for getting to that place. So make other kinds of decisions, even ones that might feel irresponsible or frivolous.

After years of career dissatisfaction and trying to figure out what I wanted, it became clear that saying yes a lot is also a way to not have to figure out what you want. Once a bunch of my friends were out and trying to figure out our next move. People were shouting out lots of suggestions. They all sounded good to me. And my friend, Josh, who is one of the most rooted, self-assured people I have ever met, just looked at me and said, “Now you’re just saying yes to everything.”

He did not mean it as a compliment. And he was totally right. Saying yes that much, to lots of things indiscriminately, had become a liability. It was not helpful (to anyone), and it made my word less trustworthy.

Movement is the antidote to stagnancy. And when we haven’t made a decision in a long time, sometimes we just need to practice. It might mean making some not great ones in the beginning, but the good news is that phase rarely lasts long.

Decisions build trust and confidence in yourself, and if you feel like that’s too much right now, that’s why we have coaches.

Saying yes to everything is suspicious. Discernment means you are paying attention. Rarely does anyone want to do everything exactly the same. There is usually a hint of preference. People trust people with informed opinions. Doesn’t meant we have to listen to them all the time (or ever), but it shows you’re both paying attention and telling the truth. Both of these are key to getting out of the dark side. People who say yes to everything cannot be trusted – it means they are not paying attention and/or they are not telling the truth.

Being nice does not always mean you are acting from a place of integrity. Being nice does not always mean you are being honest. Being nice does not always mean you will be liked.

If you just want people to like you, you will end up sacrificing yourself. If you want to like yourself, you might have to sacrifice other people. I believe that the choice between being honest and being nice is not a choice. Our dark sides are much more inclined to take care of other people before we take care of ourselves, because it still thinks we don’t deserve what we want.

But we do.