As I review the past few years and the transformations occurring both in my business and my personal life, a key factor in this process has been making solid decisions along the way.
I have to share… Making decisions usually takes a VERY long time for me. For example, when I was in Corporate and heard about this amazing new career called Coaching, it took me six years before I seriously started looking to work with a coach.
There’s no question, six years is a long time to “waffle on” a decision. I’m very happy to say that was probably the longest time I’ve spent in a “should I stay, or should I go” mode. Today many of my decisions come much more quickly.
So, what changed? I discovered when I am in that limbo state, nothing really happens. However, when I “pick a side” and get behind it, things start to fall into place.
After I “picked a side”, I found it’s important to not just sit back and assume things will just happen. I took targeted action to support my decision; however, I did NOT PUSH the situation.
Action vs. push can be a delicate balance. How do you know the difference? For me, when I push, I feel like I have to get it done NOW and I usually become very frustrated when things don’t line up the way I think they should. Here are two examples of what I mean:
- (PUSH) In 2010, I became certified to work with horses in my coaching business. I was so excited to start doing this work, even though I didn’t have a horse and I wasn’t associated with a local barn. I set out to find the perfect barn to partner with, even though I didn’t define the perfect barn, nor was I convinced I would actually find a partner to do this work. I took lots of action and even when the barn owner’s reception was lukewarm to non-existent, I pushed. I REALLY wanted to find a barn to do this work…any barn would do! Needless to say, I became frustrated because I didn’t achieve the results I wanted, despite all of my pushing to make it happen. Eventually I put the notion of finding a barn to work with aside and began focusing on other areas of my business.
- (ACTION) A couple of years ago I decided I wanted to do more work with animals. Although I had looked into volunteering at the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Brewster’s location (ARL) before I left corporate, the requirements didn’t match what I was able to give at that time. I decided to check to see if things had changed. I contacted the volunteer supervisor and found I could now volunteer within the parameters that worked for me. I said, “Yes!” immediately and have loved volunteering there ever since. Just a side note…this quick “Yes!” really surprised my husband. I remember him looking quite startled and asking me, “Don’t you need more information? Are you sure you don’t want to go in and talk with them?” Nope! I was all set to start!
In both of these examples, I really WANTED to make the change. However, as I look at these examples, one thing really jumps out at me in the 2nd example (ACTION). I DECIDED before I took the action. In the first example (PUSH), I hadn’t “decided” before I took the action. I hoped I would find a barn. To me, this feels completely different than deciding I would find a barn.
If you’re in limbo, please don’t feel pressure to make a snap decision, which doesn’t usually give you the outcome you are looking for. Deciding really needs to come at the right time for you.
Here are a few things you can do to help move the decision process along:
- Create a vision board
- Ask a question, then spend time in nature, meditating or doing free writing to see what comes up for you
- Visualize the different outcomes and see which one makes you feel great
- Create an old fashion pros and cons list
- Take care of yourself (e.g., reduce your stress, get enough sleep, do things you love to do, take care of yourself physically), since we need to be in tip-top shape to make good decisions.
The new year is a terrific time to earnestly begin creating a life you love. To do this, it may be the perfect time to decide, take action and move forward with the transformations you crave.
“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson