Tell yourself you will revisit this when you need to and then release it. And assure yourself that you’ll be much farther down the path of knowledge and wisdom at the time you have to decide, than you are now.
It’s important though that you commit to doing what’s necessary to gain the added experience and knowledge you need to, to be well-informed about the issue when the time comes to make the decision. Identify what you need to learn in this period, and how you will gain this additional learning and know-how so that when the decision must be made, you’ll feel ready and equipped to do it.
Looking back, if I had made a decision about the post-graduate direction when I had been agonizing most about it (one year before graduating), it would have most likely been the wrong choice, given the degree of information and learning I was missing.
#3: Is it any of your business anyway?
Finally, ask yourself if what you’re agonizing about is really something that’s in your control or something that’s truly in your bailiwick to weigh in on or act on. So often we become embroiled in thinking about other people’s lives and choices, we often forget that the issue at hand isn’t really any of our business in the first place. If our boundaries aren’t sufficient, for instance, we become enmeshed with others, taking on their challenges, choices, problems and pain as if it’s ours. And we have a very difficult time understanding where we end and others begin.
For instance, in the example above, I might go into a swirl when I hear that one of my Masters program classmates has decided to pursue a direction that I had rejected for myself. Then, I might become consumed with the idea that I’ve made a mistake in my thinking and should be pursuing this other person’s choice.
What other people do is interesting information, but it’s a mistake to assume that what others do is automatically the right choice for you. What they do is their business, not yours. Great decisions and sound choices for you need to be aligned with your unique values, your talents and passions, your goals for your life, who you like to collaborate with, the way in which you want to lead, and so much more.
The second aspect of this question touches on the common habit of obsessing about other people’s lives when really, we shouldn’t be involved. For instance, imagine that your friend shares that she’s been fired without cause. She asks your advice on what to do, and you give it, but you can’t stop thinking about what she should do and say and how you think she should react. You get swept up into an emotional vortex, somehow forgetting that it’s not your dilemma to solve.
In the end, when you’re struggling with making an important decision, it’s essential to pull the viewfinder back and examine more clearly the process you’re engaged in, in trying to land on the best course of action. Get the decision-making process straight, and your final decisions will satisfy and support you in a much deeper way in the future. And your mental health and emotional well-being will thank you as well.
Written by: Kathy Caprino Originally appeared on: Forbes.com Want to dramatically boost your power, confidence and impact in your career? Check out my Kathy Caprino's new book - The Most Powerful You: 7 Bravery-Boosting Paths to Career Bliss - today! To order in Australia and New Zealand, click here, in the UK, click here, and elsewhere outside North America, click here. Thank you!