Making Decisions: Living With Loss and Compromise

Making a decision means planting a flag on one of your options but it also means accepting the loss of all your other options.

How are decisions made? It isn’t clear anyone has the definitive answer to this question. Some therapeutic approaches, such as motivational interviewing, can help facilitate a change process. Therapies such as CBT can help identify the cognitions and behaviors that can block change processes. Psychodynamic therapies can help patients develop insight into their conflicts about specific changes and decisions. But consider some of the decisions you have made in your life, and you might note that it is difficult to pinpoint what precisely prompted your moment of decision. You may have weighed the pros and cons of your options but oftentimes, making the actual decision can feel to many like a leap of faith. What renders decision making difficult for many is that a decision entails a loss; it means bidding farewell to all the other options you were considering before you made that decision. Decision making is however also self-defining because your choice is where you decided to plant your flag in contrast to the other possible options available to you before you made your decision. After making a decision, some may however second guess themselves and try to undo their decision and in such cases it is arguable whether a decision has actually been made yet.