The other day I talked to 7 people who where stressing in the decision making process. Since I had my friend hat on rather than my coaching hat and I am in a decision dilemma, I enjoyed the moment of drama we all had and the solidarity of angst. Later, I did put my coach myself hat on and thought through, “How can I enjoy and thrive in this decision making process?” People who know me well, can tell you- decisions make me a totally crazy, insane person. Last year, I lost my whole summer fun time in the stress of it all.
1) Be thankful– Really we have so many choices these days and it is a good thing. Sometimes it does cause a lot of pressure because we have so many options, but honestly would we want it otherwise? My mother sent all her children to boarding school because that is what expatriate government workers did. You just went with it. While that is simpler, we would chafe with losing that freedom. If I stop and have a heart of gratitude for the freedom to make the choice itself, it goes along way in giving me peace in the process. In addition, I am truly thankful for the relationships involved in this decision and need to keep that in mind, rather than being frustrated and angry with them.
2) Where do I want to go– Sometimes when coaching, people get frustrated with me when they are trying to figure out what to do now and I want them to envision 10 years from now! Really Sonja! Most often the decision about now is only relevant to the big picture. By looking farther out we gain perspective. By looking at where we want to be down the road can help to clarify which road to take in the present! If I keep the journey in mind, it helps keep me moving forward rather than being stuck in the mud of this immediate choice.
3) Mistakes are good!– Some mistakes are fatal and we must avoid them at all costs, but most are not. I think choices are hard because I want to make the absolute perfect one. I get frozen in all the details and what if this and what if that. Talk about pressure. I have made decisions that have not turned out like expected, but I have learned and grown from them in ways I wouldn’t otherwise. Sometimes we just have to take risks and trust that to learn and grow we have to fall down – a lot. Some are more painful falls than others, but getting up and going on can be an adventure with great rewards. Yes, look at the possible cost of the choice, and be prepared, but don’t let fear consume you!
Thinking through these things has made me more at peace and not so crazy. Life is good and I have stuff to do and enjoy today!!
What ideas do you have? What can you share with me to keep the crazy, decision- phobed Sonja away??