Decisions, decisions, decisions…


Whilst sat here in Bournemouth observing the schizophrenic weather (it can’t seem to make its mind up, does it want to be sunny or rainy?!!) it got me thinking  how indecisive some of us are with our own lives and why this is.

They say that the most successful people makes decisions quickly and tend to stay committed to them and those who are not as successful tend to ummmm and ahhhh when faced with having to make a decision and once they finally make a decision they then change their mind often over the decision they originally made.  This is a rule of thumb that I have learnt and try to apply to my life when being faced with making a decision.

I have found that on the most part, the two reasons why people find it hard to make a decision is due to either fear or being unaware of how powerful they actually are.  B0th of these reasons are understandable and yet achievable to overcome, which I will describe below.

Fear is one of primary reasons people put limits on their lives and don’t move forward with what they want to achieve.  The thought of ‘what If this happens?!’ creeps into their mind and stops them from making the decision they were going to make or even worse from making any decision at all.  Theodore Roosevelt famously said:

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.
~Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States of America

This basically means that its even worse to do nothing at all than make the wrong decision.  This is because by not making a decision you are therefore stuck and not moving anywhere least of all forward, which causes anxiety and frustration within yourself.  Therefore, take comfort in the fact that by making the wrong decision you are actually in a better position then not having made any decision!

People tend to put so much pressure on themselves to make the right decision that it stops them from making any decision at all.  What we have to come to realise is that as humans we are bound to make mistakes and so long as we learn from these mistakes, these mistakes were worth making.  There is no rule book to life and although we can listen to the advice from our peers and elders, we often do have to make slip ups and make wrong decisions in order to learn and progress through life.  So again, making the wrong decision is often worth while!

The ‘what If something bad happens?!’ question that stops people going ahead and making a decision is a negative perspective of looking at things.  I have a year 7 student at school who has so much fear within himself and about life.  When faced with a new and uncomfortable scenario in his life, the first thought that will come in his mind will be ‘what If this happens!!?…what if that happens?!?!…what If I die!?!’  Can you imagine how troubling that must be for a boy of only 12 years old?! To be constantly faced with the most negative outcomes prior to every new event?!  In most cases, this boy would rather not decide to go ahead and participate in this event for fear of what could happen and fear of the unknown.  This therefore puts huge limits upon his life and he in essence does not experience life to the full.  In order to help him with this negative thought process, I told him to replace ‘what If’ with ‘as if that ‘bad thing’ will happen’  and since doing so this young boy has decided to participate in things that he would never in a million years imagined himself doing such as signing up for a drama class and going for coastal walks, which has made a huge impact on his life as a whole.

The law of attraction also states that what you think about, you bring about therefore If you were to think of a positive outcome to a situation you are more likely to attract it into your life as opposed to thinking the worst case scenario.  Therefore, it pays to think positively about what consequence could come about from the decision you make!  It’s also been said that 90% of what we worry about doesn’t actually come about so worrying in itself is to an extent pretty pointless!

Another reason people find it hard to make a decision is due to  fear of the unknown.  People are so scared of where their decision is going to take them that they are too scared to make a decision to take them anywhere! Just like my 12-year-old student, we are basically scared of ourselves and of what life has in store for us!  This limits us from moving forward with our lives.  This belief of the future being scary and too difficult for us to handle needs to be replaced.  I believe that our lives are a journey of twists and turns full of exciting events just waiting for us to experience and that the Universe wouldn’t give us anything in life that it believe we couldn’t handle.  Therefore by trusting this it means that whatever is thrown of us in life, we can cope with, which again is a massive reassurance when coming to make a decision.

Trusting yourself is the next and final point I want to make.  A large majority do not realise how powerful we are as individuals and how powerful we are to make our dreams a reality.  Whatever it is we want to accomplish in life, we can do If we believe we have the power to do so and take off any limitations we put upon ourselves.  Our destiny is really within our control therefore it is up to us to choose which way it is headed and this is done by making decisions based on what our instinct tells us.  Our instinct is in effect our GPS through life.  It guides us which way to go with our lives and tells us which decision we ought to make.  But more often than not, we choose not to listen to our instinct and trust what it has to says and instead we listen to what our mind tells us to do which tends to be the wrong thing!  We notice this in situations such as waiting for the bus at the bus stop.  We instinctually tell ourselves that we should go get the tube but we think to ourselves, no, lets wait a bit longer, it will be here soon.  It then rains.  We don’t have an umbrella.  And the bus is 30 minutes late.  Therefore we miss the programme we wanted to watch!!! Had we listened to our instinct and taken the tube we would have been home and dry an hour earlier.  But time and time again we choose to ignore our instinct and instead listen to our mind. The key here is to ask yourself what you should do and listen to what your gut instinct tells you and to not think too much about it.  Thinking too much is your mind’s way of confusing you and hence causing anxiety and stress and leading you to not watching the programme you wanted and living the life you were meant to be living!  And don’t allow yourself to be distracted by what your peers are doing and what decisions they choose to make.  That is their decisions and their life.  You are in control of yours so make the decisions that fit in comfortable with you.

Now based on all the evidence I have given above, I would like you to start practicing to make decisions.  It is through practice that we learn habits that stick with you throughout life.  For the next 30 days, I challenge you to when faced with a decision, to stop and listen to what your instinct tells you to do and follow that.  You will be surprised that more often than not, you will make the ‘right’ decision and your life will go in the direction that you want it to go.  You can start by practicing on small decisions such as ‘Left or right’ ‘ potato or rice for dinner?!’ or ‘ gym or watch TV tonight!?!?’
Do this for the next 30 days and let me know how you get on and whether by the end of the 30 days you find yourself being more decisive and creating the life that you want.

I’d like to finish by giving a quote as said by Tony Robbins a World Renowned Self-Help Author and Motivational Speaker:

‘Remember, a real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.’

therefore, DECIDE TO MAKE A DECISION regardless of whether it is the right or wrong one as this is all within your control.

Have fun deciding people.  Your life is in your hands and is what you make it.  Enjoy! 🙂

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3 responses to “Decisions, decisions, decisions…

  1. Michelle, an excellent post and very informative. An absolute requirement for any entrepreneur is to be able to take risks and to take risks you must make decisions. Decisiveness as part of your personality can be acquired if you are self-aware of your lack of decisiveness. Sadly, I find with a lot of students they are often not aware of their lack of decisiveness, or ‘precision’ in the decisions they take. I am always saddened each year when I learn of students who make the most important decision in their young lives, where to go to college, on the basis of where their mates are going to. You cannot live your life letting others make decisions for you (even if the advertising industry thrives on the fact!). But the bottom line and the most important message in your post is that you must take decisions to take control of your direction in life – you will make bad ones but then all experiences in life are useful, even the bad ones if they happen.

  2. Awesome! I will try the 30 day challenge! I too have taken on board your AS IF replacement and it helps! Decision making is a problem a lot of people face I reckon so this blog will help many!! xx

  3. Not making a decision is actually making one. But I still like the quote from Tony Robbins about action!

    Make a choice and GO FOR IT! How will you know if it was the right one or not, if you don’t get to the end? Many times, what appears as “wrong” at the time, actually works out to be the best decision ever acted upon!

    A couple of weeks ago, I was at a seminar that changed my life. Last minute decision too. One of the exercises we were asked to do with another person, had us ask questions about a particular behavior (I’m always late) or decision (What if I moved?). The leading question is “How is that a problem?”. Then you get into the next 4 questions, and ask each one only after they have exhausted answers for the previous one, and start repeating themselves. “What would happen if you did?” “What would happen if you didn’t?” “What wouldn’t happen if you did?” “What wouldn’t happen if you didn’t?” (This is known in NLP as Quantum Linguistics. Tony Robbins absolutely uses NLP in everything (though that is not the event I went to). The last 2 questions are supposed to make the brain go a little crazy! It gets people to step outside themselves and any limiting beliefs they had. It’s interesting what answers you get when you sit down with it long enough!

    Michelle, I love reading all your blogs! Wish we lived closer! Keep up the great work! 🙂

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