Are You Losing Opportunities When You Second Guess Yourself?
This week’s newsletter looked at how second-guessing yourself can limit your opportunities. We’ve all done it. Thought it was a good idea and then…maybe not! Maybe we are on the wrong track, maybe we need to check in with someone else, maybe it’s a bad idea. Then we talk ourselves out of whatever it is. This breaks down motivation and it also undermines your ability to take more risk, strike out for new territory, or simply expand your options. When we second guess ourselves we frequently are caught up in people pleasing. Needing validation, which in itself is not a bad thing, but can be taken to extremes when you’re afraid to make a decision that might upset someone. Our indecisions limit our opportunities. So let’s fix that.
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How many times a day do you ask yourself if you are making the right decision? Or maybe you need to check in and ask someone what they think before you decide? Perhaps you decide only to stop yourself from taking action steps because you’re not sure if it’s the right move? This second-guessing creates ennui. We feel stuck. We feel disconnected. We don’t trust ourselves. When we don’t make the decision, we lapse into apathy because we can’t decide what we want, what we need, or what path to take. Most of the time, we get caught in the fear of making the wrong decision, so we don’t make one.
Mark and I discuss the fear of the future, why we don’t make decisions, the stories we tell ourselves, what fear really is, what being fearless means, and more!
We all make thousands of decisions each day. How can you optimize your decision making by restructuring the steps you take before you decide? Our firm utilizes immersive team-based simulations that mimic the decisions they make in the real world to train corporate leaders around the world to better prepare them for the challenges ahead. We get to work with some of the most innovative companies on the planet and get to witness first hand what truly effective decision making looks like in action. We have distilled our findings into a three step method you can use no matter the decision you face.
Read Why Do We Try To Dodge Difficult Decision by Vasundhara Sawney
When we’re just starting out in our careers and are presented with difficult choices regarding which job is right for us, or more broadly, which career path is right for us, how do we empower ourselves to make choices with more confidence?
Reflect on the process of decision making
We often downplay the role stress plays in decision making and how it affects our frame of mind. As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, it is a good time to take a step back and carefully evaluate situations with a solid game plan. Decision making is never an easy exercise, but it can be empowering as long as you follow a process that promotes maturity and a healthy mental approach. Here are a few questions to help with the process.
- How long have you been thinking about this decision?
- How committed are you to this change?
- What difference will this decision make to your life?
- Are you feeling fear or intuition when you consider this decision?
- What is the opportunity presented by this decision?
- What’s the worst thing that will happen if you don’t make this decision?
Every day is an opportunity for decision-making. From the moment you open your eyes and decide to get out of bed, you are already in the decision-making process. Some decisions are life-changing, but many of our decisions can be reversed or changed if they don’t work out the way we wanted them to. Next time you second guess yourself take a risk. Push forward and take a chance that it could be one of the best decisions of your life.