Day One or One Day? How to take the pain out of decision-making and start moving forward.
We all know that tomorrow never comes…that one day becomes someday – which leads to the town of nowhere!
So why don’t we just decide right now?
Truth is, the decision-making process can be hard – especially when it comes to decisions that could have a real consequence on our lives.
But it’s important to not to say ‘no’ just because it’s easier and less scary!
Studies show that at the end of their lives, what people regret most are all the opportunities they didn’t take!
Most often, what holds us back from making a decision is the fear of making the wrong choice.
Here are some tips to help you overcome fear and make the right decision for you!
The truth about Fear
First, let’s take a quick look at fear. This is a huge subject that I will come back to in future blog posts, but for now, the one thing you need to know about fear is that it isn’t real.
OK, I know it feels real, but really it’s ‘False Evidence Appearing Real’ which can make us want to ‘Forget Everything And Run!’ (I hope you appreciate my clean version of this phrase lol)– but what we fear is highly likely to never happen.
FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real …making us Forget Everything And Run!
Nick Hall PH.D., psychoneuroimmunologist (try saying that 5 times quickly!) has done some pioneering research into the link between our emotions and health and he confirms that fears are merely perceptions and not real things, and so we should never let them stand in our way. When I’m faced with a big hairy spider – I know that’s easier said that done! But it’s a good point.
The fear of what might happen kills more dreams than real failure ever does! Even though in reality, it’s rare that the worse case scenario ever happens.
How can you stop fear from stealing your dreams and keep you from life-changing experiences?
How to stop Fear holding you back
The Rocking Chair Exercise
Tony Robbins suggests trying this simple exercise to overcome fear – or at least not let fear hold you back from taking important decisions – and it links back to the study above:
Imagine yourself aged 85 sitting down in your rocking chair reflecting on your life. Would you experience greater regret over having done the scary thing or from having opted out of it?
You don’t ever what to be sat in the chair wondering ‘What if?...’
Journaling your fears
Journaling can also help.
Sit down and write out your fears, you can then go back through the list and determine the worst/best case scenarios for each one to help you make a better judgment.
If you do this and you’re still not sure, then you need to get more information.
Get all the information
Never assume. When in doubt, Check it out!
If we fear the unknown, then it makes sense to get the facts so we can make a decision based on reality and not on some assumption of what might be. Placing trust in assumptions can be a big mistake.
Finding out the truth allows us to deal with things the way they are – not the way we imagine them to be.
In today’s ‘information age’ there are no shortage of ways to get the facts. But we just need to make sure that the facts are credible, and not someone else’s assumptions!
Think backwards about the future
Your level of confidence in the decisions you make are usually based on how you see the future from where you stand today.
For example, you might be looking at a new opportunity thinking: ‘could I really do this?’. Your answer to this question will be based on the skills, knowledge and mindset you have today. As a result, there is a real chance that, on this basis, you will experience fear that you’re not ready for success and decide not to proceed.
A better approach is to look at things the other way around. Try using this thought process:
‘This is where I want to be in the future, what do I need to do or learn today in order to get there? Am I willing to take the necessary steps to grow into the person that can achieve that future goal?’ and then base your decision on the outcome of this line of questions.
This is a small shift in perception, but it has a big impact. It can make a lot of opportunities that we fear we can’t do start becoming more possible. Meaning we get involved in more exciting projects and we’ll have fewer regrets later in life – and a lot more amazing memories!
One Day or Day One?
So what decisions are you facing?
Are you going to do them ‘one-day’ or make today your ‘Day One’?
Let me know in the comments below!
Share this article with your network – you never know who is facing a tough decision and could do with some help!