Updated: Nov 28, 2021
Here is a process for facing challenges and making decisions
Source: Deposit photos
As a coach and counsellor, I see my role as assisting clients to weigh up options, to access their ability to resolve personal challenges, to assess the path that meets their current needs and take them closer to their goals.
It may be that you are faced with a challenge, a difficult decision, or simply you are stuck and unclear about what to do next in your life.
In this blog feature, I share some of the considerations I put to clients when making a difficult decision.
How to face challenges and make decisions?
1. Understand your intended objectives and goals
The initial step to facing decisions and challenges is understanding what it is you want the outcome to be.
The initial step when facing decisions and challenges is understanding what it is you want the outcome to be.
By understanding and being clear about the outcome, you can work your way backwards and map out a path.
Do you recall as a child working on a maze or labyrinth in a puzzle book? Initially, your approach could be to follow the line at the start of the picture and find dead ends as you haven’t thought about the endpoint.
Then it dawns on you that working from the endpoint towards the start offers a better chance of getting through the maze.
The same works with challenges and seeking a solution, we often need to start by considering what it is we want to achieve.
2. Determine what you need to do to get there
You have a better idea of what you want to achieve, so how do you get there?
Let's look at another analogy, a road junction, where the challenge is to get to a particular destination and you have no prior knowledge of the roads or routes, no map and navigation system.
So what will you do? Stay where you are? Take stock of what tools or resources you could use?
Most of us will feel stuck, or even conclude the task is almost impossible. The idea of getting lost makes many anxious, and some may even turn around and give up. However, in life, we can't always hide and hope the problem will go away.
You need to take some form of action and determine what you need to get to your goal.
Here are some questions to put to yourself:
What skills do I have which I can tap into to find my way?
What existing knowledge do I have to help me get closer to my goal?
Is there anyone I can turn to for assistance?
Identifying your tools and resources to hand enables you to take control of the situation and gather more information to make decisions.
For example, if we refer to the road junction analogy, you could opt to go blind and take a chance on choosing a route that ultimately may or may not be the most efficient or well thought out route. Opting for this is more stress-inducing and leads to a sense of panic or uncertainty.
Alternatively, you can do your research and think of ways to gather information to aid a more efficient route to your destination; creating a sense of control and reassurance whether the route you choose to go on, has been considered in line with your needs.
3. Know there are no right or wrong turnings
I recently assisted a client who was feeling stuck about their career options, they feared moving from their current role was risky, even though they were unhappy.
In their mind, success was only possible in their current role and feared that this would be compromised if changed. So, we took to identifying potential routes to success outside their current role. By identifying what success means to this individual, it was possible to create several career routes that achieved this outlook of success.
What was key here, was the realisation by the client that success was possible for each of these options.
So instead of fixating on one idea of success, outlining different career routes enabled them to feel no idea was wrong and each route offered means to achieve their goals, which was simply to feel they can achieve a sense of success in life and their career.
4. Always time to cause correct
We may indeed choose a route or path that doesn’t achieve what we set out to; this doesn’t mean there is no way back. Part of the journey is gathering information and using this to steer us on route to what we need and want at that time.
Our needs evolve and change with time and choosing to stay stationary in the fear that our decision can lead to failure, causing greater anxiety and leading to what I refer to as ‘decision paralysis’. I have worked with many clients, who feel stuck, and part of the issue is their inability to make decisions out of fear of being wrong.
The great thing about life is the adventure that comes with it but also our ability to try different routes and options until we find the right fit for us.
Life has its twists and turns, and the adventure may be bumpy, but choosing to have options can offer an opportunity for growth and enlightenment.
If you are currently struggling to make a decision in your life and looking for support and assistance, get in contact with Kemi (Wellbeing Counsellor & Coach) - Kemi@wellnesslink.co.uk.
Kemi Fadero is a Wellbeing Consultant, Counsellor and Coach based in Cambridge, UK. Kemi works with individuals and organisations offering, virtual and in-person coaching and counselling services, helping individuals seeking to overcome emotional distress and effectively tackle life challenges. She provides wellbeing consultation and coaching for organisations and implements wellbeing programs.