How do you know if you made the right decision?
Whether the decision is concerning a new strategy for a business, whether to sell your home or buy a home, whether to leave a job or start a business, whether to end a relationship or take the next step in a relationship, or even something as simple as where to go on your next vacation, there’s one issue that comes up for everyone:
How do I know if I am making the right decision?
You don’t know.
There’s No “Right” Decision
The idea that you can make the “right” decision is an illusion.
There’s no such thing.
When you ask whether you are making the “right decision” what you really mean is
how do I know if the outcome will play out according to what I desire?
You don’t know.
Bad Decisions vs Good Decisions
Often, clients will lament to me about a “bad” or “wrong” decision they made in the past.
You probably have one that you can bring to mind.
If you have enough “bad” decisions, you might have a story about how you aren’t “good” at making decisions. As a result, maybe you don’t trust yourself when it comes to decisions.
What you call a “bad decision” is one where the outcome did not play out the way you expected or desired.
That’s not a bad decision; it’s an undesired outcome. These are two separate things.
If the outcome matched or exceeded what you desired, you would call it a good decision. You’d call yourself a genius.
Just because things didn’t play out as you desired doesn’t mean you made a bad decision.
Decisions and outcomes are two different things, and they are often unrelated.
The Right Decision is to Decide
Nobody can tell you whether you made the right decision. You won’t even be in a position to determine whether it was the “right decision” until you’re looking back on it with the perspective of time and distance.
Life is a long game.
Sometimes the short-term outcome doesn’t play out as you expect or desire, but in the longer arc you realize you got a better outcome.
The “right” decision is the choice you feel is best in the moment, based on the information and resources available to you.
You make the wrong decision by not deciding at all — that’s a choice too.
This comes down to how much you trust yourself.