How To Make Better Decisions: 4 Steps You Can Use Now!
When was the last time you said,”Yes.” I mean truly, with all of your soul, gave a bellowing ‘Hell Yes, this is what I want, and I choose it!’ Whether building our business, relationships, or body, you have two options:
However, let’s be clear:
Saying ‘yes’ does not mean saying yes to every single thing that comes your way. It means saying yes to what you want to do in that moment.
I want to go over these two ways to be in the world, how to make empowered choices, and 4 actionable steps that will let you take your power back.
Letting the world choose for you.
Take a look at where you are in your life right now.
How did you end up there? Did you dream at age 5 that you wanted to do what your doing?
Of course not. Most of us wanted to be astronauts, firemen, or a dog. Or just not care. Why? Because they inspired us towards an ideal to be whatever we wanted to be in that moment. A doctor today, a pianist tomorrow. We got to choose and nobody could tell us otherwise.
Yet somewhere along the line, we began to attribute our present state to circumstance: The need to make money. This was the position that was open. The economy is tough. There is no time.
You became so dependent on the way the world tells you to be; so numb to your own inner passions. Maybe it’s hard to even remember the last time when you actually got to choose your own adventure.
And I’m sure you’ve said this once or twice – “This is just how it is, so I might as well make the best of it.”
Boredom settles in. I’ve coached senior leaders who are so far removed from why they started their professional journey that they bury themselves in work just to keep from taking a true leap of passion.
Now here’s the good news:
You have the power to choose.
Whether is is going for that new position, taking your business to the next level, starting completely from scratch, or waiting for a cab in the pouring rain… everything boils down to choice.
You’re thinking, “But I need the cab to take me where I need to go!”
Well, you could walk, take the bus, or a bicycle. Yes, even if it’s raining – and I promise you won’t melt. And this model translates into every area of our life.
So, why not choose for yourself?
When you begin taking responsibility for your life, things are no longer just happening for a reason. They happen because you created them. You chose them.
And wherever you are in this moment, you can be totally stoked on it because you know that you are here as the result of a million decisions you made. Or just one. You can stay, leave, or just be. The choice is yours.
And now that you’re driving your life, you control how you want to show up in any given moment. Powerful or timid. Engaged or aloof. Kind or angry.
But here’s the kicker:
It’s okay to feel however you are feeling in any given moment. You have my permission to be human. You don’t need to fake a smile constantly or play into all of the societal formalities that are required of us on a daily basis. Yet, after the biochemical reaction of our emotions has subsided (this only takes a few minutes), remember that you are now choosing to feel this way!
We’ve covered some of the fundamental differences between choosing for yourself and letting the world do it (and I’ll give you a guess as to which one I prefer you’d do).
Now, let’s discuss seven actionable ways that you can start placing yourself back in the drivers seat of your life, today!
#1 – Start your day on time.
Set your intention for the morning. Set your alarm a few minutes earlier, put it on the other side of the room so you have to get up, open the curtains, and allow yourself to sit in silence for 10 minutes before you jump into your day.
Imagine a day that starts off peaceful and clear.
– Reduced anxiety and stress
– Better memory and focus
– A better immune system so your sick far less often
– Improved social relationships
– Less emotional reactivity
I could go on and on; the benefits of mindfulness are staggering.
“But 10 minutes a day? I’d rather sleep in!”
Yeah, but you’re probably pushing snooze 3 times, scrolling through Facebook, and reading Fox news to make sure you ‘stay current.’
It’s up to you.
#2 Eliminate Unnecessary Choices
Donate some old clothes. Get rid of your 4 toothbrushes. How many shoes do you need?
The more inundated we are with these small decisions throughout the day, the more likely we are to experience decision fatigue (Read more) and make mistakes with more important choices.
One of the most important qualities of leadership stems from being able to make decisions quickly, accurately, and in line with your values and core beliefs. But if you spend half of your day deciding what to eat or which shampoo to use, you’re going to be burnt out and unable to make the call when it counts.
#3 – Lose the obligation
In the book, The Superior Man, Deida suggested that we live as though our parents are dead.
Let’s be clear. Call mom every week or two, and take dad out on a boys trip once or twice a year. Love them unconditionally.
Friends, colleagues, family, strangers – just take note of whether your actions are in line with what you really want to do, or if you are just doing them because you feel like you are supposed to be.
What you want to be free of are expectations and obligations to people in your life that are keeping you from exploring what really matters to you.
#4 Forget the word “Should”
This word is so constant in our day to day that you may not even notice it is happening. And the resentment that results from its’ use causes us to blame our bosses, family, and everyone except for our own fear.
You may find yourself complaining or going out for drinks every night after work to numb yourself and keep from feeling what you really want to be doing.
Accept reality. Focus on why this activity or choice will benefit or disempower you. And for Pete’s sake, make a conscious choice that aligns with your values.
The world happens around us all the time, and you choose how you want to react to it.
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