In life, we all face hard decisions. These decisions transform us and push us until the unknown. They can change our lives for the better, and open us up to a world we never imagined possible.
But that doesn’t make them easy to choose — or follow through with.
In this step-by-step guide on how to make hard decisions, I’m going to walk you through:
- My personal journey and a very hard decision I recently faced
- How to gain clarity on what you want (and why)
- 5 steps you can take to follow through with your decision
Leaving an old life behind
A few months ago I made the decision to leave my long-term relationship. It was an agonizing choice, especially because we share a small child. But the relationship as it was had run its course. Neither of us was happy.
We were together for five years, and the last two were chaotic and toxic. Many times an internal voice told me to leave. Yet, I resisted. After all, how could I be sure leaving was actually that “right” thing? What if I was making a mistake? Would I regret my choice?
That’s the thing about humans. We get so comfortable being uncomfortable that we would rather cling onto our discomfort than jump into a new world, filled with new possibilities. And on my end, there were many events that I considered the “final straw”, yet I persisted with the relationship — waiting for it to change.
Of course, it never did. At least not while we were coupled. But something crazy happened when we went our separate ways — all of the tension and toxic emotions disappeared. We started to get along REALLY well and developed a true friendship.
And that’s not all… other pieces of life fell together beautifully. Weird coincidences happened, freelance opportunities flooded in, my online courses saw an uptick in sales (with no additional effort on my end), and I won a book contest! It was as if I was receiving affirmation for my decision to leave, and the Universe was saying, “We’ve got you. There’s no need to worry. You are safe and cared for.”
And if you’re in a similar situation or need to make changes in your life, but don’t know where to begin then rest easy, my friend! I’m going to walk you through how to find clarity about what you want (if you’re still undecided) and then how to follow through once you know your answer.
How to find clarity
“If prayer is you talking to God, intuition is God talking to you.” – Wayne Dyer
In my situation, I knew for a long time — at the depth of my being — that my relationship was no longer serving my highest good (or his). Yet, I fought against the internal voice urging me to leave. I waited and waited for ‘another sign’ or for things to get better. Well, the signs kept coming. And I kept overlooking them and waiting for the next one.
Don’t make the same mistake.
Trust your inner guidance, and train yourself to go inward, rather than outward, when you’re seeking answers related to your highest good. There are countless people who will offer advice, and most of them are well-meaning, but your truth can’t be found in someone else. People can only offer advice based on their limited insight into your situation, how they *think* they would react if they were in your situation, or based on the circumstances you share with them. Only you can tap into your feelings, and get to the root of YOUR truth.
I wrote a 3 step process for how you can tune into your intuition, which will ultimately bring you clarity, and you can find it here.
5 steps to follow through with your decisionThat's the thing about humans. We get so comfortable being uncomfortable that we would rather cling onto our discomfort than jump into a new world, filled with new possibilities. Click To Tweet
1.) Surrender to the unknown
One of the hardest aspects of following through with a decision, especially one that is life-alerting, is the fear of the unknown. Even when unhappy, we feel more comfortable being uncomfortable because we know what to expect. It can feel scary and intimidating to surrender the direction of our lives to the unfamiliar.
But big changes require surrender. And one of the first challenges you will have to overcome to follow through with your decision is your ability to surrender and know there are many things you won’t know. Have faith and know life will work out.
2.) Create a new vision for your life and be adaptable
Now that you know what you want, spend time visualizing yourself after you’ve taken action and followed through. Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? How do you FEEL? Sink into the feelings and emotions that surface.
Make plans for your life, but don’t get attached to those plans. Life will change in unexpected ways, and you will be rerouted from your original path. That’s okay. Remember, there are MANY paths that lead to where you want to be. Focus on the unfolding of life, and have patience as your life transforms into everything you want it to be.
Need help creating a vision for your life? Click here to enroll in my best-selling course, How to Create a Vision Board that Actually Works.
3.) Set boundaries (and stick to them)
Boundaries are SO important because they represent what we’re willing to tolerate, and what we’re not willing to tolerate. When you create loving, authentic boundaries for yourself you make your own self-love rule book.
For example, if you’re working too much overtime and make the decision to reduce your work hours, your boundaries might include:
- Not being available for phone calls or emails on the weekends – no exceptions
- Maintaining a strict 40-hour schedule and clocking out at 5:00 pm on the dot
- Learning to say “no” to additional projects, after work events, or anything else that would interfere with this decision
Once you set your boundaries, be consistent and stick to them. When you make one exception, everything becomes an exception. Remember that.
4.) Drown out the noise
Some people will favor your choice, others will condemn it. But the reality is, as long as you’re making a decision that’s aligned with your highest good AND you are making it for yourself — not someone else — then you are doing the best thing for YOU.
Don’t worry about what other people say or think about your choices. They don’t live your life and don’t know your purpose or reasons. Drown out the external noise, and focus on creating an uplifting environment for yourself.
Here are some ideas for how you can create a positive space for yourself:
- Organize your home
- Spend time in the bookstore or library
- Meditate for 5 to 15 minutes daily
- Listen to uplifting music (such as classical, spanish guitar, or anything upbeat that makes you feel good!)
- Move your body (stretch, exercise, practice yoga)
- Listen to audiobooks that are inspirational or will help you build new skills
When you focus on what you can control, and tune out what other people say or think about your decision, you put yourself back in the driver’s seat of your life and your decisions.
5.) Take action
Finally… take action! Once you know what your decision is, take the steps necessary to action it. This might be an instant, one-time action you take or it may encompass several steps over a period of time. There is no right or wrong way to do this (so long as you are not in danger), do what feels right for you.
For example, if you feel called to move to a new city you’ve never been to then your steps might include:
- Researching the area and figuring out where exactly you want to live
- Mapping out the best route to get to your new destination
- Finding housing
- Checking out the job market and applying for jobs
- Making the move and starting a new life!
In this example, once you make the decision, the process starts to unfold. You might start by researching the neighbors and figuring out which area would suit your needs best. From there maybe you map out the best route to get to your destination, and so forth.
Above all, trust yourself and the direction of your life. You CAN do this. I believe in you. Do you believe in yourself?
About Antasha Durbin: Antasha is a spiritual writer and life-long student of the universe. Her website, cajspirituality.com, is dedicated to simplifying the spiritual experience and making it attainable for everyone. Follow her for free, easy-to-digest, and highly actionable advice on spirituality, mindfulness, and empowered living.
One thought on “How to Make Hard Decisions: A Step-by-Step Guide”
I’ve known a few relationships where once their actual relationship ended, just like yourself there became a friendship. It would have been such a big decision to end the relationship. I really like your point of “drowning out the noise”.