"I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear." ~ Rosa Parks
6 Steps to Making a Life-Changing Decision
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP
We make decisions all the time. And every decision is important.
But some decisions feel more important than others. Who we choose to marry is more important, for example, than choosing what to have for breakfast.
Whether you are aware of it or not, there is a definite process that we each use in making decisions. Large and small alike, decisions are made based on this process.
The process includes the following steps:
1) Gather facts. You can't make decisions in a vacuum. You need to have information, and often that means collecting data. You need to understand the "big picture." Clients approach me about changing their job or career, but they often feel lost. They want to change, but they don't know where to begin. The best beginning includes knowing what your options are. That means gathering as much information as possible.
2) Brainstorm. At this stage of the process. You take all the information you have and brainstorm ideas that feel "right" for you. Before making any decision, make sure you have considered as many options as possible.
3) Consider the pros and cons. You may write down the various pros and cons. Or you may run through them in your mind. Regardless, considering the pros and cons is part of any decision making process.
4) Decide. Once you have gathered the facts, brainstormed the possibilities, and considered the pros and cons, you are ready to make your decision. You may surprise yourself at this point. Once your decision is made, you feel a sense of relief. You don't realize what a burden your indecision was. You may feel that a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. As Rosa Parks said, "...when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear."
5) Follow through. Once you make your decision, it's time to take action. You need to create a plan. Take steps in the direction of your decision. You don't have to accomplish everything in one day. Take one step at a time. Small daily actions will get you to your ultimate goal.
6) Define and clarify. As you work toward your goal, you will continue to tweak and refine your plan. The path will become clearer for you as you move forward. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." Lao Tzu said, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step."
These six steps constitute the process that you and I use when making any decision.
Sometimes we go through the process in a matter of moments. Sometimes we agonize for days, weeks, months and even years before reaching a decision.
Most of the people who reach out to me for help are in the throes of indecision. They know they don't want to continue to do what they have been doing, but they don't know what to do next. That's where I come in. I help to create the space they need to gather information and brainstorm possibilities. I help them consider the pros and cons of the options they have. And I help them decide on their next career path.
If necessary, I also help them follow through on their decision by creating a job search plan. As they work their way through the process, they continue to define and clarify their goals until they are successful.
Were you aware that you were following a distinct process in every decision you make?
Consider the "big" decisions that you need to make today and every day. What food will you decide to put in your body? What attitude will you display in the face of adversity? Will you continue to try to make the best of a job or career you have grown to hate (or at least not love) or will you make a change?
It's all up to you. Tony Robbins says, "It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped."
What decision will you make today that could impact your destiny?
Until next time.
Oh, wait! Before you go, don't forget that I am promoting a free Masterclass on "Work You Love! 3 Secrets of EVERY Successful Job Search or Career Change."
I have two Masterclasses going on, in fact. One you can access immediately or at your convenience. To register for that one, click here.
The other option is to join me LIVE for a Masterclass on the same subject Thursday, February 8th at 7:00 PM EST or Saturday, February 10th at 11:00 AM EST.
I would love for you to join me for the LIVE presentation, but if you can't do that, you have the other option.
Let me know if you have any questions. I love hearing from you!