Making decisions can be hard, even if they’re small ones, like where to eat lunch or whether you should wear a blue or red shirt to work. When those decisions result in bigger life changes or other lasting consequences, like where to go for college or whether to accept a particular job offer, the process of weighing the possible outcomes and factoring in various details of your life before deciding on the right choice is obviously even harder.
This is part of the reason why many people don’t make truly independent decisions. Instead, they seek other people’s input to help them and even make their final choices based in large part on what others see as “normal.”
Input From Others or a Crutch?
Other people can help you with decisions to some extent by serving as sounding boards while you work out what you want for yourself, but it’s important to avoid letting them effectively make your decision for you.
If another person is too involved in your decision-making process it can keep you from making a choice that will actually make you happy. This is true even if the other person is one who cares for you deeply. In their desire for you to be happy and have a good life, they may push you towards a decision that they see as “safer,” but that doesn’t hold any meaning for you or align with your values.
Depending too much on other people’s advice means following their more limited and perhaps inaccurate perceptions of you. Their assessment of whatever situation you’re facing will also be based more on what their personal experiences are rather than how you might experience it.
For example, they might discourage you from working at a particular company because they hated the company’s culture for being too formal. But that formal atmosphere may be what allows you to better focus on your work and thrive there.
Learn More About Yourself and Make Your Choices
Being aware of who you are, what your priorities are, and having confidence in yourself is one of the best ways you can make future decisions more easily and accurately for you, not others. There isn’t really an objectively right or wrong decision for you to make, just multiple courses of action that either do or don’t contribute to what you want for your own life.
If you have an important choice to make, instead of going to ask advice from all your friends and family, spend some quality time thinking over your options yourself. As you do, make sure you’re not leaning towards any one of them just because it’s what other people are doing. You’re not “other people,” and your one life to live should be one that is true to yourself.