Okay, let’s get right to the point: How would you rank your problem solving skills on a scale of 1-10? Is decision making more of a walk in the park for you, or do you often find yourself going down a rabbit hole of endless possibilities with no solution in sight?
The thing is, as humans, we’re forced to make decisions every day that impact all areas of our lives. Some decisions are big, some small, some happen in our careers and relationships, and some are more important than others. Building up our decision making skills helps us navigate daily life, but also helps us feel less stressed and more confident when making big decisions at pivotal moments.
While the idea of tossing a coin for an answer is the best strategy some, for others, there may be much more time, effort, and resources spent in coming to a final decision.
If you lean toward leaving things to chance, your attitude may feel something like:
“I don’t care what happens” or “Let’s just see what happens.”
And if you have trouble getting to a solid decision, you may be wondering things like:
“Will I make the right choice?”
“How will my decision affect me?”
“Will I fail if I choose the wrong thing?”
If you find yourself relating to any of the above statements and want to boost your decision making skills, then read on! Below, I share three simple yet effective ways to boost your problem solving skills and make better decisions for success!
#1 – Identify the problem
If you find yourself hitting a roadblock when it comes to making a decision or solving a problem, it’s important to first identify the problem itself (and get really clear about it!).
An easy example:
Let’s say you want to make a purchase, but you’re a bit tight on money. So the problem here is you want something but you really just can’t afford it right now. Therefore, it’s important to get in the habit of asking yourself the right questions, specifically, “why?” and “what?”.
Why do I want “X”?
Why can’t I afford “X” right now?
What am I doing that may be contributing to not having enough to purchase “X”?
By asking yourself these kind of questions you are better able to uncover the source of more deep-rooted issues that could be catalyzing poor decision making. Use past experiences to help get to the bottom of why you’ve found yourself at these crossroads.
Instead of glazing over the problem, face it head-on and authentically to make sure you’re being honest with yourself. Sometimes honesty is a hard pill to swallow but laying everything out for you to clearly see is going to help guide you toward the most practical decision and amplify your success overall.
#2 - Simplify and get back to the basics
Sometimes it’s the pressure of wanting to make the right decision that leads us to feel stress and anxiety over the decision-making process itself. We can become overwhelmed and worked up by the anticipation of trying to solve a problem and lose sight of the problem altogether.
Give yourself the opportunity to take a deep breath and get grounded before leaping toward a decision made out of panic. Now that you’ve uncovered the problem or “the why” in step #1, it’s important to simplify in an effort to not let minuscule details muddy the waters in your decision making.
Sometimes the decisions we need to make have much simpler answers than we think, so try not to linger too much in overthinking or making the decision more complicated than it needs to be. I love leaning into meditation or grounding in nature to help silence the chatter within, allowing for my intuition to bubble to the surface for a clear answer.
#3 – Shift your focus to “Solution-Solving”
In the parameters of what we teach at Mind Movies, we know that it’s the things we focus on that materialize the fastest for us in our lives. And when it comes to solving problems, having the right mindset is crucial.
But unfortunately, the word “problem” can sometimes have a negative connotation, making “problem-solving” seem like a daunting task. But now that you know how to uncover the root of a problem, you can start to adjust your mindset to the solution or “solution-solving”. When we shift our focus to the solution, we are actually making room for even more beneficial possibilities.
At the end of the day, we all have choices to make. For example, will you choose to wake up every morning feeling excited and ready to tackle the day? Or will you wake up dreading the day ahead before it’s even started? So think of all the things that are possible when you wake up with a can-do, solution-solving attitude?
The psychology around decision-making has a lot to do with choice and the ability to choose what’s best for us. And sometimes you’ve got to intercept the course of your thoughts to choose to see the positives or possibilities instead of spiraling down a path of problematic “what-ifs.”
This is all part of the gratitude mindset we teach, and tuning into that gratitude frequency is what’s really going to help you amplify your decision-making skills. This lateral way of thinking, or shifting your focus to that of your future self, is going to keep you headed in the right direction on a path to more happiness, gratitude, and better problem solving down the line.
And to keep you on that frequency, I’m offering special access to our Rich With Gratitude System. It’s packed with deeply immersive mind tools to help keep you in the gratitude mindset every minute of every day. So when faced with a problem or a big decision, you’ll learn exactly how to change the narrative here to be grateful for problems and see them as opportunities.
Get instant access to all the tools you need to retune your mind to the frequency of gratitude. Soon, there will be no problem you can’t solve!
Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.