Aviva Decision School

Watch our brand new series to help you make choices you can stand by

Decisions, decisions - let's make the right ones

Some decisions we make in seconds. Others, we mull over (and over). Whatever we have to decide, it helps to have strategies in place to help us focus on the right things.

We've partnered with activist and TV personality Katie Piper, as well as Behavioural Psychologist Jo Hemmings to launch the Aviva Decision School - offering valuable insight into how we make decisions and what we can do to help us keep calm under pressure.

It takes practical advice and expert guidance to help you make well informed choices. It takes Aviva. 


Lesson one: Making decisions under pressure

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Transcript

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Brits lose almost 43 nights’ sleep a year worrying about making life decisions

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So, to help, Aviva has created the Aviva Decision School

AVIVA

Lesson One: Making decisions under pressure

JO

Hello! Welcome to Aviva’s decision school. I’m joined by broadcaster and author Katie Piper.

So Katie, perhaps you can tell me about a time in your life when you’ve felt you needed to make a decision under pressure.

KATIE

I think as adults we make daily decisions under pressure. I know I’ve had to make difficult choices in my professional and in my personal life… so for example I’ve had to miss out on work opportunities because my job as a mother has had to come first. And actually, these decisions were made under pressure but the choices I’ve made, I’m really proud of.

JO

Sometimes the fear that comes with making a decision under pressure is the fear of making the wrong decision. Many people react to a pressured situation by running through all the potential disaster scenarios.

KATIE

Which of course then adds more pressure!

JO

Yes exactly! Whereas actually some of the best decisions are the ones made under pressure – this is the thing to focus on.

JO

Now we’re going to get a decision-making tip from a fascinating expert…

LEROY

I’m Leroy Logan, former Superintendent and founding member of the Black Police Association.

One of the most difficult decisions I faced was to actually join the force. I was a research scientist at the time but I couldn’t ignore the calling to make changes from within. But I had to ask myself… Why leave the comfortable world of science in a great hospital to go and work in a tough profession? A profession that was steeped in casual racism and was a hostile environment for a black person.

Despite that, I made the leap and I went to do many things I’m proud of. So I feel I definitely made the right decision. 

A tip for making decisions under pressure? Be present of mind and appraise the situation. Avoid jumping to conclusions. Resist going down a path that reflects your biases or fears rather than what is actually going on.

JO

Katie do you have a tip for the viewers at home?

KATIE

Something which I feel is really beneficial is to talk – talk through the decision, it might be with a partner, a friend, or a colleague. But by articulating your decision process to someone else it often helps to clarify your rationale.

JO

I’d also add to run through the scenario in your head. Practise how the situation might play out and think through the decision you may have to make. It can be in any context – career, relationship, education, financial… whatever it might be.

KATIE

So then if it does happen it won’t feel that it’s so overwhelming!

JO

Exactly. Thanks Katie.

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Lesson notes: How to make decisions under pressure

Be present of mind and appraise the situation.

Resist jumping to assumptions based on your biases and fears.

Articulate your decision process to a friend or family member before making it.

Run potential pressure situations through in your mind.

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AVIVA

#ItTakesAviva

Watch more lessons at aviva.co.uk/decisionschool

Lesson two: Overcoming anxiety in decision-making

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Transcript

TITLE AND VOICEOVER 

49% of Brits feel anxious when making a big decision 

TITLE AND VOICEOVER 

So, to help, Aviva has created the Aviva Decision School

AVIVA

Lesson Two: Overcoming anxiety in decision-making  

An animation transition which wipes the screen…

JO

Hello. Welcome to Aviva’s Decision School. I’m joined by broadcaster and author, Katie Piper. 

We cut to Katie sitting in a yellow armchair smiling.

Today we’re going to discuss how to overcome anxiety when making a decision. 

So Katie, some anxiety is of course natural when facing big decisions. Have there been decisions in your life that you’ve felt anxious about?  

KATIE

Of course, absolutely. And I’m sure that most of us have. With age and experience I’ve definitely got better, better with making quick, firm decisions and sticking by them with confidence. Though, like most I do still get some anxiety, especially on big life decisions. 

JO

There are lots of reasons why we feel anxiety around making decisions. One common reason is fear of loss, which is being afraid of what you may lose by making the wrong decision. Another is known as the paradox of choice, that’s where you may have too many choices.  

KATIE 

Yes! I have definitely felt the paradox of choice before. I think also sometimes for me it feels like I just have to make decision after decision after decision! Which also makes me feel anxious. 

JO

Yes, that’s decision fatigue, a very common reason for anxiety. 

Jo turns to camera as we go back to a single shot.

JO

Let’s get a tip from our expert for overcoming anxiety when decision making…

An animation transition which wipes the screen…

It reveals a blue chair against a textured brick wall. Onto screen walks Leroy Logan, he sits down in the chair and smiles straight into camera.

LEROY

I’m Leroy Logan, author, former superintendent, and founding member of the Black Police Association. 

We can all feel some anxiety around making decisions – I certainly have. You can feel that you need to worry about something but when you make the decision and find your way, you have actually gained something from the process.

It’s about staying hopeful. Even if circumstances seem dire. So next time you feel anxious about a decision, also allow yourself to think about the positives you may gain from making it.   

Another transition wipes the screen.

We are back to the panel discussion, Jo is sitting with Katie.

JO

So Katie, what advice would you give for somebody who was suffering from anxiety around making a decision?

KATIE

Well, I do have my own personal coping mechanisms when dealing with anxiety and actually I’ve practised these probably for over a decade. What I love to do is go for a run or perhaps on a nice  long walk and what this does for me is it clears my head and helps me make better decisions in this kind of head-space.  

JO

Another tip I think that could help some people is to reframe your decision from loss-orientated to gain-orientated – this really helps with the Fear of Loss that we discussed earlier. Don’t focus on what you may potentially lose from making a decision but focus on what you could gain, this really helps to make big decisions less scary and more positive.  

An animation transition wipes the screen.

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Lesson Notes – How to overcome anxiety in decision making 

- Don’t focus on what you can lose, focus on what you can gain. 

- Try to clear your head, perhaps through exercise or an activity. 

- When you make a decision and find your way, remember that you have benefited from the process. 

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AVIVA 

#ItTakesAviva 

Watch more lessons at aviva.co.uk/decisionschool