We are faced with lots of situations each day where our decision-making powers are called upon. What should I wear for the interview? Can I ask my boss for a raise? What can I order for dinner? How much should I charge for my services? The sheer number of decisions that you need to make each day can seem overwhelming if you think about it. While decision making is easy for some, we all struggle with this important aspect of our lives from time to time. Keep reading for 6 ways to make powerful decisions.
As a coach, it is your duty to help your coaching clients (and yourself) to develop a reliable system that can help in making powerful decisions not just some of the time, but each and every time. In this discussion, we explore some of the suggestions that can help you to get better at making powerful decisions in all aspects of your life.
1. Know Yourself
The first measure that can help you to make powerful decisions is to know yourself. The saying that if you don’t stand for something then you will fall for anything couldn’t be truer than when we think about making decisions.
Powerful decisions come easily when you know your values, your goals, your priorities and all the other things that define who you are. Every decision that you have to make will be easy if you run it through the filter of who you are.
For example, if your career is your number one priority and your partner asks you to relocate so you can be with them at their new job, it will be easy for you to decide to stay because putting your career on hold isn’t an option at this stage in your life.
Related: 45 Powerful Coaching Questions
However, if family is your number one priority, the decision as to whether to move with your significant other or stay and build your career will be a no-brainer. Knowing yourself is, therefore, a key factor in being able to make powerful decisions easily.
2. Start Listening to Your Intuition
Some call it their gut feeling, others refer to it as the sixth sense or simply intuition. Whatever you call it, intuition is that inner voice that somehow already knows what you need to do in any situation regardless of what your logical mind is telling you.
When you try to use only your head (logical thinking) to make a decision, it will be hard because you will not be calling upon your entire being at that time.
It is therefore prudent to be still and call on your inner spirit to guide you on which way to take in the situation. Your intuition is the sum total of everything stored in your subconscious mind as well as your connection to your spiritual side. The conscious mind takes up approximately 10% of who we are, so you can see what you would be leaving aside when you only rely on logic to make decisions.
It takes time to start trusting your instincts or intuition, so start and grow your confidence as you see how right that inner voice can be if you give it chance to guide you.
3. Reflect on Your Mistakes Daily
This may seem counterproductive because some people may think that reflecting on their mistakes will make them less willing to make decisions or take risks, but daily reflection about your thinking processes and everything that happens can be a powerful way to improve your decision-making skills.
For example, if your daily reflections show that you are quick to judge and time proves you wrong, then you will unconsciously train yourself to be patient and hold back from making hasty decisions that aren’t based on facts.
Reflecting on your mistakes allows you to learn from them, and this sets you up to “get older and wiser” as time goes on. “Wising up” is another way of saying you can now make powerful decisions!
4. Use Inversion (Look at the Opposite)
Inversion as a model for making a powerful decision was excellently written about by James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, a New York Times bestseller.
Inversion entails flipping issues on their head in order to get clarity about them (and then make a powerful decision). For example, if you would like to double your income this year, inversion would require you to ask yourself what things can stop you from doubling your income this year.
For example, you may be held back from attaining that financial goal by your lack of a certain skill, your fear of asking for a salary increment, and so on.
The insights you get when you flip the situation empower you to make powerful decisions that will move you forward. Apply this mental model in any area where you need to make decisions and you will be amazed by how easy it becomes to make the right decision!
5. Get in the Right State of Mind
It can be nearly impossible to make powerful decisions if you aren’t in the best frame of mind to make those decisions. For example, picture yourself making important career or relationship decisions when you are exhausted, angry, or hungry.
Chances are that since you aren’t the best version of yourself when exhausted, hungry or angry, it is unlikely that you will make the right decision regarding a situation you are facing.
For this reason, desist from making an important (powerful) decision when you aren’t in the right frame of mind. Sleep on it, take a walk or do any other thing and then come back to the important decision that you need to make when you are in the right state of mind.
A hint that can get you started implementing this concept is to try and make all your important decisions in the morning. At this time, your body and mind are rested (hopefully) and you have had some nourishment (breakfast). You aren’t in a rush, so it is easier for you to make decisions that move you forward.
6. Base on What You Know NOW
The lights on the road home cannot be all green at the same time, so don’t expect to have 100% of all the information that you need before you make a decision. Perfectionists are especially guilty of trying to put all their ducks in a row before making a decision, but that is just a quick way to trap yourself in analysis paralysis.
Charlie Munger (Warren Buffett’s investing partner) calls this “thumb-sucking” and that is no way to make powerful decisions.
Just evaluate the information that you currently have and then decide on a way forward. You can always course-correct later once more information becomes available.
For example, your coaching client may be unsure as to whether they should propose to a long-term girlfriend. That client may have fears that the person will change once they are married, or that they don’t know enough about the upbringing of their partner, or (fill in the blanks!)
Making a decision can get easier for that person if they look at what they know now, such as how that person makes them feel, how dependable the individual is and any other information in their possession at the moment. When the situation is looked at from this perspective, we can agree that the person has ample information upon which to make a decision.
Summing It Up…
We all face different challenges when making decisions at some point in our life and someone who may be excellent at making work-related decisions may stutter or falter when it comes to making decisions about intimate relationships or other aspects of life. The concepts above can be instrumental in helping us to make powerful decisions in the different aspects of our lives, so start using them and see how you improve.
We are also aware that the five tips above aren’t the only ways through which you can improve your decision-making abilities. So, kindly share in the comments below the specific techniques that have helped you to make powerful decisions during pivotal moments in your life. Together, we can lift each other out of “thumbsucking”!
To Your Success,
Jairek Robbins + Team PCU
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