REassess: Making the Right Decision Every Time
You can’t care what people think.
That is, if you want to make the right decisions.
You also can’t care what YOU think.
If you want to come to optimal outcomes, you must purpose to slow down the standard cranial activity you’re used to and increase the intuitive activity you may have forgotten.
But we’ve been trained to do the opposite.
We’ve been accustomed – especially those of us who are high performers – to thinking our way out of situations. If we bump into a problem, we think our way around it, over it, and under it. We’re trained and rewarded for creating clever alternatives. If we face a difficulty, or even a new opportunity we default to using our rational mind to solving problems:
- We make our pros and cons list
- We examine history – how have we done this or seen this before?
- We defer to industry best practices – how do the experts, or others in our field, do this?
And this computer inside our skull is pretty awesome! Our great gift of thinking, creating, theorizing, optimizing, and strategizing is truly divine. Our brains can get us far and help us affect our purpose in the world.
Yet, those same brains can get us into trouble.
Our rational, usually linear, thinking can lead us to make decisions that may actually be correct but not timely. Like yanking green fruit off a tree, we can apprehend the thing we wanted only to find out that it doesn’t taste very good.
- Our pros/cons lists can leave out the context of an opportunity or season of life. We can end up doing the seemingly right thing but either we or the world was not ready. Preparation is everything.
- In contemplating historical experience, we can miss the opportunity to do something the world has never yet seen or considered. Like getting sucked into freeway ruts, our brain goes along familiar channels and can miss new pathways.
- In searching the database of industry best practices, we can default to fitting in rather than standing out. We can play it safe instead of risking into glory.
It’s time to REassess the way we make decisions and consider opportunities.
I’m not proposing we toss OUT our incredible internal processor.
It’s too valuable! It is needed.
I’m simply suggesting that we bring IN our inner person. The one who sends us chills when we enter into a spooky building. The one who brings to mind a friend in need and prompts us to make a timely call. The one who won’t let us trust someone that – by all practical and social means – should be fine. You know, the one who still bugs you about the candy you stole as a child or the business associate you wronged. The one who nodded when we met our soul mate. THAT ONE. The one that’s been there our whole lives: instructing, guiding, reminding.
It’s time we include that still small voice inside into our decision-making and opportunities.
To “assess” means to evaluate or estimate the nature, ability, or quality of something. To do this holistically, we must tap MORE than our logical mind.
Making sound, successful decisions and apprehending the opportunities that were meant for us in due season requires that we assess situations with ALL our available senses, not just our pragmatic mental capacity.
I’m not suggesting we make choices based on our feelings.
Or am I?
Well, yes and no.
It depends on our perception and on our maturity.
Surely, we won’t be successful in life if we swing from job to job, moment to moment, relationship to relationship, swayed and motivated by our dramatic and ever-changing emotions. We all know people who live in a constant state of drama and their unstable lives reflect a common denominator: their own emotionalism.
(Of course, if that description fits US, we must be healed in our souls of the pains we’ve suffered in life so that we can live into our future as whole, unbroken contributors, rather than detractors.)
Yet, we also won’t enjoy meaningful success in life if we ignore our feelings.
If we are living whole and congruently, we ought to be able to trust ourselves, our inner person who is outstandingly brilliant.
In assessing decisions and opportunities, we would do well to include our feelings in the matter. In fact, our feelings can save us money, cause us to find the shortest route to a destination, and extricate us from trouble. And often, the longer we ignore them, the more our troubles mount.
One time I was in a business relationship where I had hired a company to help me. They were excited to help at first and noted I was the right fit for their services. They had so many strategic things figured out – just the help I needed according to their literature. I had made a list of things I needed and they were checking all my mental “boxes.” I admired their business expertise. So, I entrusted them with our business and our resources.
Pretty soon, our working relationship became strained. I kept sharing my vision, but it seemed like I could not plant my figurative “seed” in that soil for some reason; like I had to keep elaborating. Our collaborative work products kept hitting a wall and nothing was really being produced on our behalf. Being an avid communicator, I just kept writing long emails and explaining what I needed that wasn’t happening. I could never seem to make their deadlines work. I began to imperceptibly discern that they felt irritated with me, or that I was “high maintenance.”
And yet, I have always been a loyal person. To the end. If I committed to do something, I followed through, even if it came at great cost. If I believe in something; it is nearly impossible to wrest it from my hands.
I began to “know” inside that something had to be done. I needed to make a decision. Should I stay or should I go?
I went back to our original agreement. I pored over it with my highlighter. I noted all the deliverables and reminded myself logically that I still needed those things. So, I reasoned myself back into obedience. I didn’t want to offend anyone. The problem was probably mine, I figured. After all, I had not met several deadlines and maybe I needed to “get it together”.
Nearly a year into the relationship, and after I spent thousands, I finally had to admit to myself that it wasn’t working. My inside person knew all along. It was just my outside person that was stuck in the rut of logic and need.
It wasn’t their fault (as long as they didn’t have the same nagging feelings they ignored).
The error was mine because I didn’t listen to myself.
Has this ever happened to you? Have you stayed in relationships too long for anyone’s benefit? Have you leaped too soon? Have you beat back your feelings only later to discover the breadcrumb trail of truth began inside you?
As you face your next decision or opportunity, I invite you to REassess your thinking. Here are some essentials to making the right decision every time:
- Instead of doing what you’re driven to do, make room for what you’re LED to do.
- Instead of leaving out the intangible and inexplicable, make intentional space for it.
- Instead of doing what promises prosperity, refuse to do anything until you have PEACE.
- Instead of forcing timing, allow things to ripen with the right conditions and preparation.
- Instead of defaulting to what is good or bad, known, or accepted, lean in to the unknown.
I hope this chance to REassess has been refreshing, affirming, and challenging for you.
Join me in navigating new, off-the-beaten-path roads, that don’t yet have tread marks, let alone ruts.
Together, we are reclaiming our lives – inside and out – so that we may become our exceptional selves.