Decision-Making: No-Win or No-Lose?

Have you ever felt paralysed by the fear of making mistakes? Or making wrong decision?

Maybe you write down a list of the pros and cons, go over your prioritisation grid and then put weightings next to each decision to see which one is the “right” one to make.

Then you think you have the “right” one, however you start second guessing yourself and are almost back to square one.

What if there was another way?

Well, there is and it is something I use when I’m working with clients. Before I share it, lets see how we are often taught to make decisions.

In the book, Feel the Fear… and Do It Anyway, Susan Jeffers indicates that we are taught to “Be careful! You might make the wrong decision.” We are then afraid that this wrong decision could “…deprive us of something – money, friends, lovers, status or whatever the right decision is supposed to bring us.”


The No-Win Decision Making Model

Suppose you are at a choice point in your life and you have a decision to be made. The No-Win Model looks like this –

If you have ever made a decision, looked back on the decision and thought “If only I had done that…” or “Maybe I should have done that?” Alternatively, if you are looking at the decision and feel the consequences could be a matter of life and death (i.e “What if I do go this way and that happens”), you have probably been using the no-win model. There is a lot of valuable energy lost using this model. The no-lose model looks at little differently.


The No-Lose Decision Making Model

Now go back to the Choice Point you were at in your life. This time the model looks like this –

As you can see in the No-Lose Model, you are standing at the choice point and you can choose either Path A or Path B. Which ever choice you make, you trust yourself to be able to handle it and both choices are “right”.

Depending on the choice you make, you will receive ‘goodies’ along the way – despite the outcome. Jeffers refers to goodies as “…opportunities to experience life in a new way, to learn and grow, to find out who you are and who you would really like to be and what you would like to do in this life.”  

It is not possible to lose using the No-Lose model as you will learn and grow irrespective of the choice you make.


Over to You

Next time you are standing at the choice point of life – which decision-making model will you use? The No-Lose Model or the No-Win Model?

Feel free to share your comments or questions in the section below or on our Facebook page here.


Reference –

Jeffers, S. (2006). Feel the Fear… and Do It Anyway. London, United Kingdom: Vermilion.

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