The Art of Making Big Decisions and Embracing Change

Tara H

Hatched by Tara H

Nov 27, 2023

3 min read


The Art of Making Big Decisions and Embracing Change

"The days are long but the decades are short". This too shall pass. Aim to do something big, new, and risky every year in your personal and professional life. (note: Important advice I've learned: If you can, stagger the big things. Don't move house, job and all that all at once. ).

"Emotions Aren’t the Enemy of Good Decision-Making". The first thing to do is to identify what decision you need to make. Consider your emotions as you contemplate making a big decision. What is the dominant emotion you are feeling? Is it fear? Anxiety? A sense of being overwhelmed or perhaps excitement at the opportunity ahead? Are your feelings based on previous experiences or other sources of information?

Naming our feelings can help create a little space between our emotions and our actions. Gaining that distance allows us to examine the emotion, and to acknowledge feeling it, without letting the emotion drive the decision, replacing our conscious thought and agency.

When faced with an important decision, it's crucial to take a step back and evaluate the emotions that are guiding us. By understanding our emotions, we can better gauge their impact on our decision-making process. Are our emotions grounded in past experiences, or are they influenced by external factors?

While emotions shouldn't be the sole determining factor in decision-making, they play a significant role in our thought process. Instead of suppressing or ignoring our emotions, we should embrace them and use them as valuable information in making informed decisions.

Imagine that you’ve made a successful decision. How do you feel now? Do you feel a sense of accomplishment or relief? Do you have a clearer direction for the future? Have you furthered your career, or perhaps strengthened your relationships?

Reflecting on the emotional aftermath of a decision can provide insights into the effectiveness of our choices. It allows us to understand the impact of our decisions on various aspects of our lives, such as personal growth, professional development, and relationships.

Now that you’ve examined your initial decision and the emotional bookends for it, consider: Have you correctly identified the decision you are making? Emotional bookending helps you name and tolerate your emotions, instead of burying them or running away from them, so that you can better identify — and make — the real decision, the right decision to help you move into your future with clarity and confidence.

Incorporating Emotional Intelligence in Decision-Making:

  • 1. Practice Self-Awareness: Take time to understand your emotions and their origins. Recognize how they influence your decision-making process. By being aware of your emotional state, you can prevent impulsive decisions and make choices that align with your values and long-term goals.
  • 2. Seek Perspectives: Engage in conversations with trusted individuals who can provide different perspectives on the decision you are facing. By considering alternative viewpoints, you can gain a more comprehensive understanding of the situation and make a more informed decision.
  • 3. Take Calculated Risks: Embrace the idea of taking calculated risks in your decision-making process. While it's essential to consider potential outcomes, don't let fear or anxiety hold you back from pursuing new opportunities. Assess the risks, weigh the potential rewards, and be open to stepping outside of your comfort zone.


Making big decisions and embracing change can be daunting, but it is also an opportunity for personal and professional growth. By acknowledging and understanding our emotions, we can navigate the decision-making process with clarity and confidence.

Remember, emotions are not the enemy of good decision-making; they are valuable sources of information. By practicing self-awareness, seeking different perspectives, and taking calculated risks, we can make informed decisions that propel us towards a fulfilling future.

So, the next time you find yourself facing a significant decision, pause, reflect on your emotions, and embrace the opportunity for growth and positive change. The days may be long, but the decades are short, and by making bold choices, you can create a life filled with purpose and accomplishment.

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