19 Sep Making Decisions
If you’re like me, I am hopeless when it comes to making decisions, especially those trivial decisions such as what to eat tonight, what movie to watch and what am I going to wear tonight. A typical perfectionist, who wants to get every decision right 100% of the time and will stress myself out for no reason, in order to know that iv’e made the best decision.
However, when it comes to the bigger and more major decisions, my mindset has changed. Choices such as partaking in a particular activity, taking on a new project, job and relationship etc. For some of you, it might be easy to make a decision of yes or no, in these areas, but for many, it’s not that simple.
If you’re like me, I want the best out of life, I want to experience all the amazing things life to offer and I hate saying no to opportunities, because I fear that I will miss out on something so exciting and potentially fulfilling. We love to chase feelings, some may be fleeting and instantly gratifying such as a fun night out with friends or some may be long lasting such as taking on a new job in a field you’re passionate about it.
Knowing this, we often get into trouble of saying yes to too many things and find ourselves overextended and unable to fulfill all these commitments we made, essentially going back on our word we have to people and ourselves. Sound familiar?
When we go back on our word we start to lose integrity, which is an important value, especially for me it is. In the event I let myself and others down, it hurts, big time, I like to be the guy that everyone can count on, the life of the party and the guy who’s willing to take on any challenge.
Is this humanly possible.. perhaps, but is it ultimately sustainable and fulfilling… no.
If we start saying yes to everything, we start to lose focus on what’s really important to us, we start doing things to please other people and begin to build resentment to others because we secretly don’t want to be there, but of course we felt obliged to. This eventually turns into resentment towards ourselves, because we are living a life that is not true to ourselves, we neglect our own needs and start becoming hard on ourselves for letting this happen. Negative self talk arises and we put ourselves down on a constant basis, we lose energy, we stop moving forward and growing into the person and vision we want for ourselves.
I would need a few extra hands and toes to count on my fingers how many times I have fallen into this trap.
So how can you turn this around?
I am a big believer in the quote “The quality of your life is determined by the quality of questions you ask yourself.”. The ability to ask yourself powerful introspective questions brings out what you truly feel and what you truly want for yourself. As you start to come to understand these, and align it with your actions, we start to live authentically and in Integrity. To live in integrity, with the mind and soul aligned, will make you into a more powerful being and able to any decision making process easier. Now you are acting out of integrity and more at peace with what you decide, because it’s in your best interests and what’s important to you.
Questions to ask when an opportunity arises or a decision needs to be made are:
- What’s my intention?
- Will I grow from this?
- Will I add value?
- Is it really important to me?
- What is my heart telling me?
Before we make any decision, we must first understand why we are doing it and what do we want from it, the intention. If we don’t have an intention, we are just going with the flow and in no real direction. If we have a clear intention, we have more purpose of the decision and it’s easier to recognize value or no value.
I love the saying, “you are either growing or dying”, well i’d rather be growing. Growth is a human need and a core value for many people, it is certainly one of mine. If an opportunity arises and it gives me an opportunity to grow then I am more likely to take it, if it’s not, then it will make my decision easier to say no. This will all depend on how each and everyone of you view growth.
To add value to another human being is one of the greatest gifts you can give in this world and fulfilling when you experience it. We all want to feel appreciated and recognized as humans, and when you start to add value to others, these feelings start to emerge in us internally and manifests externally. If you are faced with making a decision and you have the opportunity to add value to others, then it will provide more clarity to your intention and if this decision will benefit others because of your presence.
One of the most powerful questions we can ever ask ourselves is “what is important to us”. When we figure this out, the way we live our life and make decisions becomes clearer and easier. We act within integrity as discussed earlier. When faced with a decision and you ask yourself whether it’s really important to you, we find out if the perceived outcome is in line with our values, identity and our vision we have for ourselves in the future.
At the end of the day, we should never underestimate our gut feel and what your heart is telling you. This is always my go to question, If I am ever truly stuck 50/50 on making a decision. Usually by then I realize it’s a no anyway, If you are dealing with a major decision and you are still 50/50 after asking all those questions, you don’t really want it. If you did, it would have been a yes well before. Sometimes you just know right? But for some reason we doubt it or ourselves.