How do I Make Decision with Mind Map?


Americano or Latte? Master's degree or get a job? Move to a new city or stay in the hometown?

We are facing choices every day, small ones or big ones, and they impact our lives in different ways. I used to be a person who was afraid of making decisions, and I simply just avoided it.

I decided to face this problem when I realized that this is my life, and I’ve got to live it. XMind is one of my favorite tools, and I decided to use it to overcome the problem and record my decision-making process.

The Fear of Decision-making

This is a mind map where I jot down those hard decision-making moments and why I was afraid of them.


I found myself was not afraid of decision-making itself, instead, I was afraid of the unknown. Some people are also worried about making wrong decisions and suffer from decidophobia, which is defined as an irrational fear of making decisions.

Though taking time to weigh decisions and becoming anxious when making decisions are different, but the moment of making a choice makes people feel powerless and confusing exists in both situations. According to University of the People, decisions may seem grander because of the reasons.


Mind Map Your Decisions

To ease my fear of decision-making, I have to face the unknown, and list down all the possible reasons and look into them closely.

After searching, I followed Sheng Huang’s video about his way of mind mapping decisions.


Sheng shares his five steps of making decisions as this mind map, and I will follow the steps to decide whether I need to find a personal fitness trainer.


Ask the Right Question

According to the video, this is the very first but essential part. These 2 questions are:

  • What’s holding me back?
  • What do I gain?

Each question can be a separate mind map, according to Sheng.

When I am making the mind map, the “real” central topic is on the top so that I could remind myself what these questions are for. Then I jot down these 2 questions side by side, and develop my mind map based on them.


Expand All the Factors


This part is to visualize these factors, and by writing them down, you can break down the complexity and factors.


Evaluate Each Factor


The purpose for this part is to dig deeper and figure out what are the concerns, and solutions/strategy we can make.

I keep drilling down each factor, and write as specific as possible, and listen to my mind with the mind map is essential. I cannot deny that the negative emotions is a greater sensitivity to me, especially they are increasing when mind mapping the “Hold Me Back” part. However, keep mind mapping and get over with it. Gradually, I can face and accept all the messages from my body, mind, and spirit, and it’s pretty remarkable because they are also a part of the decision.


Connect the Dots


These factors are related to each other. Using the relationship, and by changing its starting and ending point style, it’s obvious to recognize the cause and effect relationships. I also add icons so that I can figure out the most important factor.


Weigh and Decide


Finally, weigh and decide. In this part, you need to ask if the gain is worth the cost, while figure out if you need resources, time, and courage to make.


According to the map, the expense is the most concerned. I look closely for solutions by checking the gyms (locations, service, price, trainers), resources I’ve already had, and also I seek advice from friends who have done regular workout.

Another point is, in “What do I Gain” map, I do feel promising, and motivated. Deep inside my heart, I could hear the voice saying “give it a try”, and my mind is not that against to this idea.


Actions Speak Louder than Map

Later on, I took a trial class and started training with my trainer. I've taken regular workout lessons for 5 months so far, and I felt the changing of my body, and it gives me positive feedback at my work and life as well.

Everything works well, not only have I balanced my work and workout schedule, but also I gained physical and mental resilience along with confidence.

Making decision with mind map is a magical journey, you can jot down all the concerns with concentration, though feeling stressful at the beginning. Connect the factors, sort the relationships, and generate solutions, you are getting closer to your final decision without regret. The essence is to hear the voice from your heart, mind and body, hence, reach the balance and seek acceptable reasons for each of them. After all, they are also a part of your decision.

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