How To Decide Between Two Options

We’ve all been there before: faced with a decision big or small, seemingly unable to decide which of the two options we face would be best for us.  You’ve ran through the pros and cons, considered every possible angle, but are still unable to get a clear sense of the best road forward.  You feel paralyzed to make a decision.  What to do?

I’ve discovered a solution that may seem odd, but bear with me and read through this thoroughly because it is more complex than it will first appear.  I’ve found, both in my private life and in suggesting this to my clients, that it is effective in helping solve these decisional stalemates. 

As odd as it may seem, I want you to take out a coin and assign one option you are considering to the “heads” of the coin and the other option to the “tails” of the coin and then, you may have guessed it… flip the coin.  Allow this coin flip to decide which option you will pursue.

Now, you may be rolling your eyes and realizing that there is absolutely nothing new about this approach, but here is the rub…  After this deciding coin flip, turn your attention to your gut reaction to the outcome.  Are you disappointed or happy about the outcome?  You will likely have one of these two reactions (disappointment or acceptance).  Something along the lines of “ah, man, I was kinda hoping it would be the other one” or “oh, good.”  Even if your reaction is just “ok, I guess that’s the one,” that falls into the acceptance category.

This quick exercise is an effective way to gauge your subconscious and previously undiscovered leanings in the decision you face.  I have personally used this exercise in decisions big and small; in quandaries ranging from what to get for dinner to major purchases and I have been struck by how helpful this approach is.  And even though a part of you knows the “trick” that you are playing on your mind, it still somehow remains effective in uncovering your subconscious opinion.

So, next time you are debating between two options, try this exercise out and please share your experience in the comments below.


One thought on “How To Decide Between Two Options

  1. Pingback: Decision-Making Tool: The Weighted Pro/Con List | the Search for Balance

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