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Making Decisions in Crisis Mode

In the field of economics, the ideal decision-making process involves seven steps. Each step is supposed to eventually lead you to the best choice one can make in an environment of limited resources. It’s a simple process, really, one that involves gathering evidence, reviewing the choices you have, making a decision and then evaluating the decision you made. Sounds simple enough. But what if you’re in crisis mode?

For many people it’s not so easy, especially when they find themselves alone, afraid or dealing with a mental illness, such as depression. To these people, their world is something of a natural disaster, and they find themselves instead in flight or fight mode. For these people, it’s nearly impossible to make up their minds when they find themselves in this situation. 

The reason it’s tough for most people to make up their minds is because they suffer from the perception of perfection. In their minds, they’re not looking for the best decision considering the circumstances and limited resources they’re operating under. Instead, they’re opting for the perfect decision that will result in no errors. That’s where their minds freeze up, because under normal conditions, the average person will know that there is no perfect decision.

So what is one to do when you’re in a crisis and you have to make a quick decision? First, consider your options. Next weigh each option as to its benefit or cost. Next, make a decision and make it fast. If you discover later on that you have made a mistake, when you’re in a safe place – mentally, emotionally, and physically – take time to understand what went wrong and why. Then start the process all over again. When the crisis is over and all is said and done, be brave enough to get the help you need through a qualified medical health provider.

Most importantly, make it a goal to stop hating yourself when things don’t turn out as you anticipated through the decision-making process. Even the best of us, in all our experience, expertise, and wisdom, make mistakes. The decision-making process is not about what’s right and what’s wrong – it’s about what’s best under the current situation. Besides, it’s important to understand that eventually, you will learn to make better decisions through trial and error.

I know that all of this is easier said and done when life is good and everything is going your way, but sometimes this scenario is not an option. So get into the habit of being okay with making the wrong call, and in time, you’ll find yourself a master decision-maker under every and all circumstances. You have my word.

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