Why do people sometimes struggle to make decisions? Could it be too much choice, or something deeper than that – perhaps fear of making a wrong decision or not trusting oneself, to make a life-impacting change? In the words of Gary Vaynerchuk “If several options seem good, try them all”. This seems sensible, but in a world where there isn’t always time to explore every single avenue, this may not always be practical.
It’s said that gut feeling is a person’s inner intuition which arises and helps to steer them on the best course of action. Some people trust theirs more than others, which shows that as a nation – if everyone believed in themselves, they would learn that the impossible can actually be possible.
Entrepreneurs and business leaders go through many situations, perspectives and challenges along their journey, that they come to realise that decisions need to be made fast and confidently. As people look up to them as market leaders, it’s down to them to be bold in the face of adversity and see these decisions as opportunities – for change, improvement or learning.
Interestingly, when people find that they have trusted their gut and things go well, they applaud their instincts and give themselves a pat on the back for ‘just knowing’ what was right. However, when the outcome isn’t as they had hoped, they can be hard on themselves.
Therefore, we need to trust ourselves and understand that we have the tools and resources within us to be decisive. Nevertheless, with all that being said, why do successful people choose to go with their gut instinct over anything else, every-single-time?
Melissa Lewis, qualified HR practitioner and founder of ML Property Venture, a property investment and services company which requires calculated decisions to be made daily, shares her tips on why following your gut instinct is the way to go.
There is no such thing as a bad decision
Entrepreneurs and thought-leaders know that a ‘bad decision’ which leads to ‘failure’ is in reality, nothing but a learning curve. People sometimes get a ‘feeling’ about whether to act on something, but then discount it as it may feel like too-high of a risk. Successful leaders know that failure is an opportunity for improvement, so they aren’t afraid of what the outcome could be.
Believe and trust in yourself
You’ve got to this point just fine! Your life journey, regardless of how smooth or bumpy the road gets, has been made up of choices. Each choice has been down to the individual, regardless of how much external factors have influenced. Successful leaders recognise that whatever arises, they can trust themselves.
Stick to the decision that has been made
It can be tempting to make a decision, but then go back on it (‘erm…actually I’ll order the side of chips instead of the side salad’). But part of trusting your gut is looking at what decision you got too, in the first place. Whatever you said first was what you felt, so stick with it. See it through and over time, this decisive action will improve your confidence in your own instincts.
Weighing up the risk versus reward can be easier for some in comparison to others. Write out a pros and cons list if it helps to be able to visualise the decision. You could read through the list and find the answer is staring you in the face. Gut feelings can be instant, but especially if you’re a visual person – seeing the potential risks in front of you, helps steer you forward.
Be aware of your emotions
There are many influences which can affect your natural instincts and strong emotions can be a big driver. As humans, it’s possible that if we’re in a negative mental space, this can influence our inner decision-making process. Aim to be as clear headed as possible! Your inner voice changes based on how you feel so ensure that any decision that is made, feels objective.