Our lives are in constant motion, a continual evolution shaped by the seen and the unseen. There are greater forces at play that are working behind the scenes and there is also our own Free Will to decide and choose where we are going.
There are times in our lives (most of the time, in fact) when we live our lives unconsciously, making decisions moment to moment, without any real awareness or intent. There are other times in our lives when we are called upon to consciously make a decision – when we are unhappy in a job or a relationship or a situation and we are being called to STEP UP and grow. So, why – even when we are suffering – do we not make a decision? There are 4 reasons:
Fear is the #1 reason why people don’t make decisions – fear of failing, fear they aren’t good enough or fear of making the wrong decision. When people are afraid about making the wrong decision they often make no decision at all, preferring to stagnate in the current situation than ‘be wrong’. You will never learn anything or grow by sitting on a fence. Stop being fearful. Stop worrying about failure. The only failure is the failure to decide.
People have an illusion that they must wait for absolute certainty before they can make a decision. The truth is that you have to make decisions based on the greatest probability. If you wait for absolute certainty you might never get it. Even if you feel certainty about a situation in one moment, you can doubt that certainty in the next. Absolute certainty is an absolute myth.
The greater uncertainty is driven by lack of clarity about what we really want and why. Until you know what it is you want and – more importantly – WHY you want it (how it’s going to make you feel, what will it give you, what will it give the people around you, how will you show up differently when you achieve this outcome), how can you possibly make a decision with any kind of certainty that it’s the ‘right’ decision? How can you possibly know that it will take you where you want to go if you haven’t first gotten clear on the destination?
Overwhelm often comes from not knowing where to start – from having so many things coming at us all at once that it just seems like an avalanche of ‘to dos’. The person who is starting up their own business and has so many different tasks to manage, they don’t know where to begin and so, they end up doing nothing at all. Suddenly, cleaning the house becomes more important than working on the business. A year goes by and they are still not getting out there and spreading their message because the website’s not perfect, the business cards don’t like quite right, the message isn’t refined enough, they don’t know how to market their offerings. They feel overwhelmed and they end up in “a log jam of nothingness”.
The second reason why people feel overwhelmed is they have conflicting outcomes – they want to make $1 million dollars but they also want to sleep until noon; they want to be completely available to their partner but they also want to work 18 hours a day; they want to experience total health, wellness and vitality but they reach for chocolate and coffee when the 3pm afternoon slump hits and they justify not exercising because they “don’t have time”.
In the 4th part of this series, we will break down the 6-step Decision Making Model so you can see how to resolve conflicts and overwhelm.
4. WEAK DECISION-MAKING MUSCLES
The more decisions you make, the easier it becomes to make decisions in the face of fear, uncertainty and overwhelm. Its that simple. If you want to get better at decision making, make more decisions. Find that part of you that is DECISIVE and put them in the Driver’s Seat of your Life. Let the wishy-washy, someone-else-can-decide part of you have a holiday.
In Part 3 of the 4-part Decision Making Model series, we’ll look at the 4 things you MUST do in any kind of a ‘crisis’ or when an immediate ‘problem’ arises.