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How to make hard choices

A super helpful TED Talk to help you make big choices
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As coaches, we know that lots of people are making important decisions and planning change right now.

We also know that any kind of adjustment can be challenging for some people. You might be someone who is an overthinker, or someone who makes all decisions feel significant (even when choosing a show to watch on Netflix, or a restaurant to book for dinner). Perhaps you’re someone who makes decisions from a place of fear. You tell yourself that you’ll regret it if you don’t take a certain path, or you automatically go with whichever option feels safest.

Yes, life would be a whole lot easier if we all had a crystal ball to show us how our choices will play out! But what if decision-making didn’t have to be such a gut-wrenching process? In this fantastic TED Talk, philosopher Ruth Chang suggests that hard choices are difficult because we think about them the wrong way. She argues that easy choices are straightforward, because one alternative is clearly better than the other; meanwhile, hard choices are more complex, because the ‘best’ option doesn’t necessarily exist.

Think about a change that you’ve made recently, or something you’re deliberating on right now. Is one option really that much better than the other? Hard choices generally offer equally ‘good’ alternatives; the option you end up choosing might lead to a positive outcome, but so could the option that you don’t choose, albeit in a different way. When you can remove the ‘right or wrong’ narrative around hard choices, it can relieve so much of the pressure that normally builds when you’re called upon to make a tough decision.

So, whether you’re already having to make some big choices in your life, or can feel change coming, we highly recommend watching Chang’s talk. It really can make a huge difference to the way you approach big (or small) decisions and the impact they have on your life.

– The Coach Place Global

Image by Elena Mozhvilo

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