We often downplay the role stress plays in decision making and how it affects our frame of mind. As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, it is a good time to take a step back and carefully evaluate situations with a solid game plan. Decision making is never an easy exercise, but it can be empowering as long as you follow a process that promotes maturity and a healthy mental approach.
There will be times you are so driven and motivated to achieve a goal that you may fail to realize how your decisions affect others even though it was not a bad decision. You need to take a step back and with the right frame of mind carefully evaluate the situation.
Turn a good decision into a great decision
To identify possible outcomes in your decision making, ask yourself five questions:
- Will the decision I make affect other people and if so, how?
- What am I sacrificing because of my decision?
- Am I acting in a responsible manner?
- Will there be long-term consequences because of my decision?
- Will the possible decision negatively affect how people view me?
It’s not easy to make a choice between two attractive options. Always remember, a short-term loss will lead to a long-term gain in decision-making if you consider character and integrity in the process. Do this simply by being aware of how your actions and decisions affect others.
It’s not all about you
Let’s look at an example. You have been the backup goalie on the varsity soccer team for the past two years. However, you just joined the Future Doctors of America club and they have a cardiologist speaking to the students at the same time as your soccer practice. You aspire to go to medical school and decide to skip practice to attend the lecture without informing your coaches or teammates.
Your decision revolves around the fact that you are not a starter, it is only one practice, and your absence will not affect your playing time.
Even though the lecture was important to your academic and career interests, you still made the wrong decision. As a member of the soccer team, you had a commitment to your teammates and coaches.
Accountability and responsibility must always be present in decision making, especially when others are involved in the process. One must be “selfless” instead of “selfish.” You must consider everything and everyone else before making an informed decision.
Make integrity your personal brand
Presently, you are beginning to learn about the importance of cultivating your personal brand.
Your personal brand should begin with character and integrity. These qualities must always be present in your decision making. To be a person of high moral character and integrity, you confront tough decisions with clarity, thoughtfulness, and compassion. Decisions should never be motivated by emotions, the fear of missing out, or peer pressure. You must act in the best interests of everyone who will be affected by your decision.
Before you make your choice, Take 5 and ask yourself those five questions. They will point you in the right direction and give you confidence that the decision you make today will serve you well into your future.