Six Truths About Making Tough Decisions

By: Carly Allen, Regular Contributor 

image via flickr

One of the fabulous perks of growing up is that you get to make your own decisions. You don’t have to answer to mom and dad before making plans with your friends, you can stay up until 3am binge watching Orange is the New Black, and if you live near a 24 hour supermarket, you can appease any food craving at any time of day! It’s a really wonderful thing.

While it is freeing to be independent, sometimes it seems like we are forced to make big life decisions when we aren’t prepared for them. It’s hard enough for you to choose what to watch on Netflix; how are you supposed to choose a career path? These decisions also come equipped with a lot of external pressure and notions of what you think you’re supposed to do, and this doesn’t make it any easier on us.

I have had to make a lot important choices in my life, and I haven’t handled them all gracefully. In fact, as a recent college graduate I find myself frequently stuck at crossroads. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I have come to learn a few important truths about decision making. 

Decisions are opportunities, not obstacles. A big decision may seem like a burden, but it really means you are blessed with opportunity. Take advantage of this chance and open new doors for yourself. You have all the power.

Decisions aren’t black and white. There is not always a “good” or a “bad” decision. Obviously there are certain choices that will better supplement your health, safety, happiness and well-being, but it isn’t always so obvious. Sometimes we get stuck in a difficult position and we will need to make sacrifices regardless of what we choose. 

Sometimes you might make the wrong decision and that’s okay. Decision making would be easy if we had a magic mirror to tell us how things would work out in the end. You might fall flat on your face, but at least you won’t be left wondering if you sold yourself short by not trying. The best thing about mistakes is that you can always learn from them. (And maybe even laugh at yourself later!)

It’s never too late to turn things around for yourself. There are very few things in life that are permanent. I changed my major four times throughout college, but I there were times I put it off because I thought it was too late. I remember being 19 years old and crying to my mom on the phone because I thought I was going to be stuck in my sociology major for the rest of my life! That is laughable now. You can always choose a new paths for yourself whether you are 19 or 90! 

Be honest with yourself. What do you really want and how will you achieve it? I’ve learned that advice and input from others can be beneficial, but it is not always absolute. If I listened to every cautionary tale someone told me, I would not be where I am today. If you want something and you know what steps you will take to succeed, there should be nothing holding you back!

 Things will work out. You don’t have to believe in fate or that things are “meant to be”, but I know that if you’re being fair to yourself and you’re trying your hardest, your life won’t stay the same for long. If you allow yourself to grow, you will grow.

In short, don’t stress too hard when you have to make decisions. The important thing is that you have the courage to make these decisions because you are smart, strong, and have a lot to offer. Your future awaits!

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About Carly

CARLY_ALLEN_writer_bio.jpgCarly has a BS in English Literature from The College at Brockport. She interns at a literacy center in New York State and can often be found under a pile of books and various writing projects. She loves travelling, Netflix, dance parties, and trying new foods. Her pride and joy is a chubby guinea pig named Charlie. You can check out her personal blog at


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