How to make a decision

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Decision-making is a skill that often involves some hard work and can be a short or lengthy process.

For some women, making a decision about an unplanned pregnancy might be the hardest decision they’ve had to make so far. Some women find making decisions quite easy. Others feel anxious about the responsibility of decision-making.

Some women use a combination of the following in their decision-making:

  • talk to lots of people
  • write down their feelings or express them to someone else
  • ask trusted people for their advice
  • ask trusted people to listen to them without giving advice
  • take themselves away to a favourite, quiet place
  • lose themselves in a favourite physical or creative activity, which takes them out of their ‘head’ for a while
  • try out each of the options and pretend they are living their life having decided each one for a day or half-a-day
  • write down a pros and cons list
  • read stories of what others have done
  • meditate or try a guided visualisation
  • talk to a counsellor.

Identifying your decision-making skills

Even if you use some of the methods above, you will still bring your own unique skills to the decision-making process. Spend a little time thinking about some of the decisions you’ve made so far in your life – even small decisions. Reflect on what skills you used and what was involved in the process.

Perhaps you are someone who takes a long time and does a lot of research into your options before making a decision. Or maybe you’re an intuitive person who relies on your feelings to guide you. Maybe you make decisions pretty quickly, but you need peace and quiet and time away from others to do it. Or you might prefer to talk to those around you and then take their opinions away to think about.

You will probably find you use a combination of these skills. None of them are more ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ than the others, and you will probably find you use a combination of them.

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