Take a Breath, Think Forward, Consider Priorities
1. Take a Breath
Even when it seems like there is absolutely no time to stop and consider all of the details, pause for a moment and make sure you are making a decision based on reason, not desperation. Even just giving yourself a silent count to 10 and taking a deep breath may help bring you back to center and evaluate the merits of the choices before you.
Editor's note: If you are ever unlucky enough to be in the dock in court and you are asked a critical question, taking a deep breath and counting to 10 before responding is excellent advice.
2. Think About Next Year. Think About Last Year
When we are faced with choices that require an immediate decision, it might feel like such a monumental moment that we have to go for it now or else we will have either missed our one big chance or have just this one time to avoid disaster. In reality, this is rarely the case. Try and picture yourself a year or more in the future. Do you think this choice will still be so important then, or will it even still be on your radar? What about similar situations you faced in the past? If you had decided a different way, would your life really be so much worse or better today?
3. Consider Priorities
When we find ourselves in a stressful position, it may be easy to lose track of priorities. We might feel like everything is riding on this moment or we have to act right now. With all of this stress we might find ourselves giving up something very valuable in exchange for something that turned out to not be worth it. Make sure you stay true to yourself, your colleagues and your loved ones when making any important decisions. Always protect yourself and act in your best interests and of those around you. Avoid acting in a way that will disappoint them or yourself in the future.