The Decision Crisis Playbook
In this book, a decision crisis means you have to make big decisions at a really difficult time but your basic needs for food and shelter are met, and your personal freedoms and security are intact.
- Don’t make decisions in panic mode. Find a hopeful outlook, even if just for a moment.
- Make long-term, values-based decisions versus short-term, relief-seeking decisions.
- Control what you can, if you can.
- Set boundaries, or guardrails, so you don’t run out of time or money.
- Embrace your next normal.
When you find yourself in a decision crisis, be it life altering or momentary, you can use the Decision Crisis Playbook to make no-regret decisions. The playbook works, it’s repeatable, and it will ensure you not only survive your decision crisis but thrive later, regardless of the outcome.
What is a decision crisis?
Difficult decisions in difficult times. When life as you knew it vanishes and your next normal awaits (often without your permission). A decision crisis is very much characterized by the uncertainty about future outcomes combined with the need to make major decisions at the worst possible time.
Just lost your job? Should you take the lesser-paying job right away or wait it out and hope for a different job with a more livable wage? Recently separated? Do you buy out your ex-partner’s share of the matrimonial home or take your half of the sale of the house and move on? I’ve spent the last 10-plus years helping people navigate all manner of decision crises. Major. Life. Decisions. Over the years, I’ve come to identify a decision crisis situation as follows:
Uncertain outcome (loss of power) + high stakes (emotional or financial) + difficult decision(s)
The most stressful part of a decision crisis are the choices, or series of choices, you need to make while stressed out: You’re in a situation that feels bad and scary. Now, add the need to make critical decisions that will have a huge impact on your life, not only in the short run but also the long run. No pressure!
I’m not talking about simple decisions like should you order takeout tonight or not. I’m talking about massive, life-altering decisions. Do you move to England to follow a dream but leave behind your family in Canada? Do you divorce your partner who you respect but don’t love anymore? Do you freeze your eggs to give yourself the option to have kids later? These are complicated questions with complex constraints and multiple outcomes with no certainty of how any decision will play out. Each mega decision comes with numerous micro decisions and high emotional and financial stakes. It is scary. You don’t want to make the wrong choice and have regret. Regret robs you of confidence and peace of mind. And that’s what this whole book is really about: Finding your way out of a crisis and back to a place of confidence and peace of mind.
At some point in life, we all have to navigate a personal crisis. Some small, some life altering. There are two types of decision crises that I work through with my clients on a weekly basis: External decision crises and crossroad’s decision crises.