Yes or no questions

All decisions about whether or not you should do something come down to yes or no questions.

Should I move to another city?

Should I cut my hair short?

Should I ask him out to dinner?

The questions on their own are simple but when we add in context, feelings and fears we make it much more complicated. Granted, context can be helpful because if the person you’re considering asking to dinner is in a relationship, it’s probably best not to bother.

However, the added information can also be unhelpful.

Take moving to another city, you might be super excited but also kind of scared because of the uncertainty, even though you feel like you need a change.

When you allow feelings related to fear to be at the forefront of your mind, it can often hinder your ability to make decisions.

So sometimes it’s best to remove all the details and ask yourself a simple question. Answer yes or no, stick with it and move forward.

How to know when you’ve made the right decision

It’s all in how it feels.

When you find yourself with a choice to make between A and B, the main challenge will be wanting to make the right decision.

You don’t want to pick an option that you might later regret. But the truth is most of the time, you never really know how you’ll feel a month or a year down the line.

And as much as you can go back and forth, at the end of the day you have to choose.

I find that that it helps to put as little pressure on the decision as possible. Sometimes even make a game of it, put your options into an online hat that will pick for you or pick flower petals.

Whatever you end up choosing if you feel calm and at peace granted part of that will come from no longer having the burden of deciding on your shoulders but the feeling of peace will also be from having made the right choice for you.

Making difficult decisions

The feeling of regret is always uncomfortable, especially when you think that making a different choice would have led to a better life.

When you reach this conclusion, what do you do next?

Do you take charge, choose the other choice and commit to it in order to reach the outcome you believe is possible.

Or do you get swept up in the feeling of regret and allow your mind to go round and round in circles telling stories about how that single choice you made has ruined your life.

The other option is to stick with the decision you made and make the best of the path you’re on.

It can be difficult to decide but if you put less pressure on the decision you make, things start to feel a whole lot easier.

What also helps is knowing that whatever you pick, things will turn out totally fine.

What do you want to be known for?

When Seth Godin answered this question he said ‘ I would like to be known by what the people who have learned from me have taught other people’.

I think this was said on an episode of Tim Bilyeus’ podcast, Impact Theory.

If you’re somebody that creates or puts stuff out there, I think it’s an important question to have regularly running through your mind.

Your answer will serve as a compass to help guide your decisions.

I often ponder on that question in relation to this blog and my answer is always about adding value and sharing something useful. And so I’m so I’m less likely to write about personal details in the day to day life because it doesn’t align with my answer.

Perhaps, it isn’t something you’ve considered much and maybe right now you can’t sum it up in 18 words. But it is definitely something worth thinking about.

Making a change vs Doing nothing

When making a difficult decision a good place to start is weighing up the pros and cons.

Take some time and really think about it.

Let’s say for example you were deciding whether or not move to a new city. The pros might be things like getting a fresh start, more opportunities and challenging yourself. The cons could be a lack of familiarity, time lost having to start over and leaving family/friends behind.

You could also ask yourself questions like:

Will the short-term advantage benefit me in the long-run?

I think if you regularly find yourself caught between making a change and doing nothing, you might just be afraid of trying something new or making a mistake.

In those cases it might actually be better to throw yourself into doing the the thing you’re unsure of because at least you’re giving yourself the opportunity to grow, develop and explore.

Will we still have meetings post-pandemic?

A while from now we’ll be living in a post pandemic world. Companies and businesses will have to make decisions about the way they will choose to work moving forward.

Presentations, discussions, conversations and updates are all being done remotely when normally they’d have required meetings.

Those meetings may have involved: a journey to another city by car or train, a large group when only a small few were needed or time wasted because it could have easily been a 10 minute conversation over the phone.

But when the world goes back to the office, back to the normal 9 to 5 lifestyle, I have no doubt that there will still be unnecessary meetings.

And so a question worth pondering on is, ‘Why do we meet when we know we don’t need to?’

Almost bored

Ever have those days where you’re just pottering around the house not quite sure what to do.

There are at least 17 things you could be doing but instead of getting things done you just sort of flitter from one thing to another, aimlessly.

It’s kind of like a sort of boredom, almost bored but not quite.

I find that those days usually turn out to be wasted. I’ve learnt that, it’s best to either give in and allow yourself to be totally bored or make good use of your time and do what needs to be done.

Being indecisive, caught between do nothing and something is a real waste of time.

 

 

Changing the rules

In day to day life you might be surprised at how many rules you follow. Things that you are or aren’t supposed to do or say?

Some of them are necessary and help us function well as a society whilst others just restrict us. Some are inflicted by others but some we force upon ourselves.

You make up unhelpful rules that get you off the hook because you cant, you’re not allowed, people don’t do that.

But maybe if something isn’t working out you could take control.

Make the decision to change rules and do something differently.

Small-scale spontaneity

So often we run from spontaneity because it doesn’t allow us to have as much control as we’d like.

We tell ourselves that it’s the wrong decision or that we need to give it more thought or maybe just say no instead of yes.

But the beauty of spontaneity is that it opens us up to other options that we could never even imagine. And so when you say no instead of yes out of trying to be in control you miss out and you don’t even realise it.

I recently did something spontaneous, it wasn’t grand in fact it was very small-scale. But it taught me that there are more benefits saying yes and being spontaneous then I had realised

Embracing a care-less mentality

Mid-week musings on not embracing anxiety.

If you find yourself caught in the analysis paralysis of indecision it might be worth making a conscious effort to care-less.

Instead of allowing the thoughts to go on and on until breaking point, give yourself a deadline.

3 minutes, 3 hours or 3 days before you have to take action. Do it for at least a week and keep a dairy of the decisions you made and the outcome.

The ideal outcome would be that you find that whether you care or care-less things will still be alright which is a pretty good reason to stop being so afraid of making decisions.

You’ll have physical evidence that what you decide isn’t always the most important thing it’s how you feel and your attitude towards what you’ve decided.

And if you find you’ve picked something that didn’t result in the desired outcome , then it’ll be the perfect time to practice your bouncebackability.

At the end of trying out a different approach to decision making the beauty of it is, is that if it was just totally dreadful you can always go back to your old approach.

If that’s the the case at least you tried which is often more important than the actual result.