Business Women Connect: Trust Your Gut... Go for it!

What kind of decision-maker are you? Do you get paralysis from analysis? Or do you fly by the seat of your pants? With some new strategies, you can learn to become a skilled, quality, and informed decision maker.

The bridge that leads from analysis to action is effective decision-making -- knowing what to do based on the information available. While not being critical can be dangerous, so too can over-analyzing or waiting too long for more information before making a decision. Being able to take in the scene and respond quickly and effectively is what separates the doers from the wannabes.

Which job should you take? What car should you buy? Should you ask him to marry you? Are you ready for another baby? Is this house right for you, or should you keep on looking before you make an offer? Life is full of hard choices; the bigger they are and the more options we have, the harder they get.

As is happens, our brains are fairly binary. They can react very quickly when presented with two options, especially when one is clearly better -- stay here and drown in the rising waters or climb onto that big rock and be safe? Easy choice, easy decision.

When presented with more options, though, we choke up. Jump onto the rock or climb the tree? We don’t know which is clearly better, and research shows that most people will not choose at all when presented with several equally good options.

Practice, experience, and rules of thumb can help us to make those split-second decisions. Fortunately we don’t normally face immediate, do-or-die decisions--we usually have the luxury of working through a decision.

Research shows that people who make decisions quickly, even when lacking information, tend to be more satisfied with their decisions than people who research and carefully weigh their options. Some of this difference is simply in the lower level of stress the decision created, but much of it comes from the very way our brains work.

The conscious mind can only hold between five and nine distinct thoughts at any given time. That means that any complex problem with more than (on average) seven factors is going to overflow the conscious minds ability to function effectively, leading to poor choices.

Our subconscious mind, however, is much better at juggling and working through complex problems. People who “go with their gut” are actually trusting the work that their subconscious mind has already done, rather than second-guessing it and relying on their conscious mind’s much more limited ability to deal with complex situations.

Simply knowing that every decision is a choice, and taking the responsibility for our choices -- accepting the consequence, whether a benefit or a price -- is the freedom and liberty all humans desire.

You can trust your instinct when faced with a decision - ask yourself, “How can I make this happen?” Your subconscious mind will go to work to find the way to make it happen!

Need to make a quick decision? Ask yourself three questions; “What is the worst that can happen if I do this?” What is the best possible outcome? What is most likely to happen?” If you can live with all three answers -- then go for it!!!