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How to Use Emotions to Make Confident Decisions

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Many people feel that their emotions hold them back from making the right decisions in their personal and professional lives. This may be the case, but there are ways that you can reframe your thinking to use your emotions to your advantage.

Learning to harness your emotions in your decision-making process is the key to making empowered and confident decisions. By following these steps, you can build a strategy that takes advantage of your emotional thinking.

1. Confront the Source of Your Emotions

The first step to taking charge of your emotions is to investigate where they’re coming from. It’s important to think about which emotions can be used to your advantage and identify which emotions won’t serve you.

For example, if you can identify that an emotion is coming from a place of insecurity, you will realize that this insecurity is not an accurate perception of your performance. This emotion can’t help you improve your future decision-making.

However, an emotion such as guilt can be used to improve your future performance. Maybe you feel a little guilty after slacking off for a couple of days and missing a deadline. In this case, your feelings of guilt can be used to avoid making the same mistake in the future. 

“You cannot make progress without making decisions.” – Jim Rohn

2. Strategize Useful Emotions

Once you’ve determined which emotions can help you achieve your goals, it’s time to strategize your future decision-making. 

A tip for working through emotions is to write about your decision-making process and come back to this plan in an hour or so when you can be more objective. This strategy helps sort out whether your emotions are affecting your decision-making in a way that makes sense. 

By being honest in the moment about your thought process, you’re saving time that you would have otherwise wasted trying to figure out if you’re thinking clearly. It’s much easier to get your thoughts out in the moment and revisit them later.

3. Evaluate the Impact of Your Emotions

When you’re making any routine changes, it’s important to frequently evaluate its efficacy. The goal here is to optimize your emotional decision-making, so you need to be able to make adjustments.

Take time to debrief after projects and evaluate whether or not your strategies were actually effective. Think about what you liked or didn’t like about your new strategies and choose to work towards one goal at a time.

It can be frustrating to feel like your emotions are holding you back in your life, but know that everyone has to work to balance their emotions in their decisions. If you’re still feeling a bit lost, check out more strategies below about using your emotions to make confident decisions.

 

Briana Marvell is a content creator from Austin with interests in finance and career development. When she’s not at her desk, you can find her hiking with her dog, Miko, or enjoying a good book.

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