Satisfactory Decision Making

| June 3, 2015 | 0 Comments

by Mrs. Freud

A big part of our adult life consists of making decisions, and the “success” of our life depends on making good decisions. I have always been a fairly good decision maker when it came to the big items in life, but would agonize over the daily little things, like what to make for dinner or whether or not to cancel a meeting due to a dulling headache. Over the years, I have been able to carry over my ability to make satisfactory big decisions with clarity to the little ones. This is already the first tip, to use our own experience from areas that work for us.

When I was recently reading an article in the San Diego Psychologist, I was reminded of the important process of decision making. A local psychologist described helping a client make the decision where to go to college. Being accepted to MIT, he realized that he could not make himself accept it and wondered why. The head said it was the thing to do, but the heart did not want to go. He ended up going to UCSD and being able to start a very happy and fulfilling career and life as an adult. The disagreement of our head (logic) and heart (desire) is often the reason why we wrestle with decisions. What does it take to get from an internal struggle to easily gliding through life with grace and satisfaction?

First of all, awareness of the struggle is essential in order to be able to tackle it. Whenever you notice that struggle, stop for a moment and then acknowledge yourself for recognizing it. Some of us are raised to constantly mind the opinions of people around us, or to apply logic solely to our lives, ignoring our inner wisdom and inner voice. There are many reasons why that might have happened, and it matters not why. Important is that we know that we can change the way we would like to be in life today, as an adult. Ultimately it only matters that we are happy with our decisions, that we can respect ourselves for it and that we are able to back up our decisions.

There is nothing worse than constantly questioning our own decisions. It is the ultimate let down and uses huge amounts of energy and time, as well as weakens our self-esteem. It´s also blocking new good things from entering our lives, since we are tied up in self-blame, obsessive recalculating and lamenting the options that we lost by choosing one thing. We all have a certain amount of “buyer´s regret,” but it should not last very long and ought to quickly be replaced by focusing on what we did decide for and enjoying the outcome of that decision.

Two sayings come to mind that I find helpful here: A therapist once told me that “true agony of life is when we can´t back up our own decisions.” The inspirational speaker Wayne Dyer has been known to say that “true self-realization is to be independent of the good opinion of other people.” I find that these two pearls of wisdom contain the keys to good decision making. Bending to the opinion of others just so they would have something good to say about us is a real loser with no chance to win. We can´t control other people´s minds, no matter how much we try.

The person we need to impress is ourselves. The outcome is rewarding and confidence building. Therefore it helps to have logic to assist but not be the ultimate decision maker. When we continuously decide against our heart, we end up living the life of somebody else. What matters, if not our own heart and desire? That is where the meaning of life lies for each one of us, and that is different for each of us.

Next time you are making a decision, observe the process. What is going on inside you? How do you make your decisions and what happens afterwards. There is real freedom in doing our best to decide and then backing up that decision as opposed to ruminating in all the logical “what-ifs.”

Author Sabine Starr is a psychologist licensed in Vienna, Austria, currently living and working in Mission Hills. She has written numerous articles for professional psychology journals. For further information, visit and follow her blog at; and a new social media offering is

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Life Style

About the Author ()

Certified Life Coach