How often have you been thinking ‘I can’t decide’? You are at a crossroads and it doesn’t even need to be such an important decision to make. For example:
What am I going to cook for dinner? Shall I go out tonight or not? Shall I invite a friend for lunch? Where will we go on holiday? Shall I submit a paper for that conference? Should I deliver a workshop? Shall I raise my hand at a conference or team meeting and ask that ‘burning’ question? Shall I ask for feedback on my chapter? Shall I go to that networking event?
Or the more important decisions…
Shall I change my job? Am I going to commit to this relationship? Will I move to a new house? Shall I ask for a promotion? Shall I finally follow my dream and travel for half a year? Shall I do the yoga course and become a teacher? Shall I get a coach?
Last year my coach told me that the most important thing to do is to decide and it needs to be a very decisive yes or a very decisive no. And then the next most important thing is to run with that decision.
Why is it so important for you to decide? Because if you don’t do that you end up wasting energy by constantly ‘recycling’ your thoughts and going in a circle. Yesterday you thought you will say yes to something but today it doesn’t feel like that anymore and who knows what happens tomorrow?? The week passes by but you can’t focus properly on your work as ‘this decision’ is still on your mind.
Often the thing you want to do is to make ‘the right decision’. But you won’t find out if a decision is right until you decide to make it and take the first step. In fact, perhaps there is nothing like ‘the right decision’ rather there are decisions with different impacts.
Sometimes, we start thinking that what if in three years’ time things will change. Bring yourself back to the present moment and do what you feel is right for you NOW. The rest will take care of itself and as you keep making decisions you will continue to move forwards. In fact, what often matters most is you moving forward. Otherwise, it might feel like you are stuck and literally can’t go anywhere.
Every now and then it might feel that a decision is making you take a step backwards. But this might be the necessary step for you to gain perspective and a bit of distance – look at things in a different light so that you can then take five steps forward. Things are not always linear and going back can actually mean moving forward. And remember, you can always change.
If you find making decisions a challenge I invite you to do this exercise – for the next two weeks keep making small decisions (e.g. what clothes to wear, what food to order, what to cook, what event to go to…). Don’t ponder on these daily decisions – go with one and stick with it. You will get into the habit of deciding on these small things and through these baby steps you will get more confident.
Remember that if you don’t make your own decisions somebody else will do that for you. You are the creator of your life – make the most of it! If you are facing an important decision and you need support and encouragement to decide on next steps get a coach. Go for somebody who will ask you the right questions to bring more clarity into your decision process; somebody who will make you accountable, so you follow through your action steps; somebody who believes you can do it. Because through that person believing in you, you will start believing in yourself.
Who was your best teacher or a person who inspired you most to do something? Chances are it was somebody who believed you can make things happen. So, start with you now and empower yourself to make a decision. Start with one decision.
The interesting thing is that once you decide on something that has been on your mind for a long time you will feel a liberating feeling and almost a relief. You have just made space for new things to happen… and yes, more decisions!
Are you up for the exercise? Make clear decisions on smaller things for two weeks. Make notes. Let me know how it went!