Have you ever had a time in your life where you had to make a decision for yourself, and you’ve ended up going back and forth, back and forth trying to make the decision? A bit like a ping pong match isn’t it! Working out what the pros are, what the cons are, what’s good about this decision, what’s not so good…
I get asked this question all the time by people around the world, at my workshops, speaking engagements, by my private clients, celebrities, business leaders – so many people commonly want to know “How do I become great at making decisions?”
And I get it. I used to be that ping-ponging person too. But I found that the more that I went through the ping-pong method, the harder it got to make a decision. Because before too long, you come up with so many things on the good side, and so many things on the bad side that they cancel each other out! And by this stage, you may as well have taken a coin out of your pocket and flipped it to make the decision. Which actually would have been much quicker anyway!
My point is, is that thinking through the decision isn’t the appropriate way to make a great decision. There’s a real set of strategies to making decisions efficiently, and they go like this:
- Become a decision maker. Yes, you actually need to start practicing making more decisions! You see, most people are weak decision makers who avoid making decisions, often relying on others to make the decisions or asking others to help them make the decision. Well, in order to become a great decision maker yourself, you need to start exercising your decision-making muscles.[vertical_spacing]
Just like you’d exercise your physical muscles to make them stronger, the same thing applies to decision-making muscles – the more decisions you make, the stronger you’ll get become at making decisions! Get great at making small decisions first, like what you’re going to eat for dinner tonight, or what movie are you going to see, etc. Practice becoming great at making decisions with these types of choices first, to start building that muscle up.
- Feel your way through making a decision. Has there ever been a time in your life when you went to decide on something and you felt a certain way about it, but you didn’t listen to that feeling and you thought your way past it, and then later on you regretted that you didn’t listen to yourself?[vertical_spacing]
Well, we think to create; we feel to decide. So instead of thinking your way through the decision, feel your way through it. Thinking your way through a decision is inappropriate to making a great decision. You don’t have to think your way through it or try to rationalize. Doing that is actually going to get you farther away from making a great decision, and the right decision. We’re feeling creatures, so you want to feel the answer.
First, get yourself in a good emotional place. Don’t ever make a decision from a bad emotional place because you’re likely to wind up regretting that decision. How do you get yourself in a good emotional place? Try turning on some great music, do what you need to do to get relaxed – perhaps deep breathe, meditate, whatever it is.
Then ask yourself “What does a yes answer feel like to me?” and pay attention to yourself – be sensory acute. Feel how you’re feeling within yourself. And then do the same thing with the ‘no’ answer. Ask yourself “What does a no answer feel like to me?” Now notice the difference between how you feel between the two answers. When you pay attention, you’ll notice a difference.
Whenever you have a hunch or an intuition about something, it’s just your subconscious mind communicating with your conscious mind how it feels about something. The subconscious mind is so fast and powerful that it dwarfs what the conscious mind can do. The thinking process is in the conscious mind, so it’s the subconscious mind that we want access to because that’s going to steer you in the right direction. That’s your decision making process and that’s why we need to act on those hunches and act on intuitions because that’s us feeling what the right decision is. Makes sense, right?
- Live with your decision. After asking yourself “How do I feel about this decision?” live with it and commit to it. When you do this you’ll never regret it. And after time passes you start finding yourself trying to think through the decision again, remember that that’s not going to help you, and check in instead with how you feel about it and start trusting in your gut.
Start practicing these three strategies and you’ll get more and more comfortable with it. Soon, it’ll just become your way of operating.
It’s how I always operate when I need to make a decision. There have even been times when I’ve needed to make decisions about offers to make money, and yet something just hasn’t felt right in some of those instances so I’ve decided not to proceed. If I had of tried to think my way through the decision, the offer might have come out sounding great, yet because I wasn’t feeling good about it I’ve declined and always trust in my felt decision.
Even if someone else takes up that same offer that I’ve just declined and makes money with it for example, I just say to myself “It wasn’t my deal.” It might have been a great decision for that other person to go with that choice, but it wasn’t for me, for whatever reason. Also, you may only be seeing the early stages of that person taking up that offer, and you don’t know where it’s going to take that person down the line.
When you have an abundant mind, opportunities of a lifetime come around all the time. Just because you turn down one opportunity, it doesn’t mean there aren’t others waiting just around the corner – they will be. So go with the opportunities that you feel great about.
I’d love to hear the results you get from putting this into practice – leave a comment!