The Most Important Question for Your Life
As a business coach, I see it all the time.
Business owners make a decision … and then they second guess themselves.
Now, I completely understand why. We all do it to one extent or another.
Personally speaking, I’m usually able to be pretty decisive, make that decision “right” in my mind, and then move on, but it’s not as if I don’t second guess certain decisions.
So, why do we do it?
It comes out of a very positive intention … to not make a mistake … to get it right.
It’s clear to me that some people are simply more prone than others to analysis paralysis, which prevents them from making decisions in a timely and decisive way to begin with and predisposes them to second guessing themselves once they’ve made a decision.
Those of you who are familiar with the DiSC personality inventory would know these folks as the C’s … whose natural tendency is to carefully analyze and evaluate all the data before making a decision, because the thought of being seen as somehow less than competent haunts their dreams.
So, they’re really careful … sometimes overly careful to the point of “paralysis.”
And then they can’t stop the wheels from turning and commit completely to the decision they made, because they might not have considered every angle carefully enough.
Self-doubt of any kind is crippling … and when does self-doubt show up? When it comes to making decisions!
You simply can’t get mired in self-doubt and move forward with confidence. And moving forward with confidence is key to success in business.
And you want to know the irony?
You’re actually better off, in most cases, making a decision that turns out to be a mistake and then correcting it than to never make the decision in the first place or to waffle back and forth endlessly.
Of course, you want to treat important, potentially high-risk decisions with the thoughtfulness and careful analysis they deserve.
But a hallmark of successful business people is their ability to act decisively, based on the best information they have available to them at the time, and to course correct just as decisively if they see that they’ve goofed.
Why? Because it allows them to be forward-focused, unburdened by unresolved issues.
Am I saying they never look back? No. A little bit of “buyer’s remorse” is normal and natural.
But beyond that, all you do when you second guess yourself is tie yourself up in knots.
It freezes you. It paralyzes you. It creates anxiety.
“Should I? … or shouldn’t I?”
“Should I choose this way forward? … or would that option be better?”
Round and round in circles you go with no resolution. And no resolution means no sense of closure. No sense of closure means no peace of mind. And no peace of mind means your mind is tied up.
You’re not able to think very creatively about other things.
And it’s not just your thinking that’s affected.
It’s hard to take bold action elsewhere.
And where does that leave you? Spinning.
And what does that do for you? Nothing.
It’s like worrying. It does NOTHING for you.
So, when the self-doubt starts … when the second guessing begins, take an unusual approach.
Thank the safety police who reside in your subconscious for looking out for you.
Don’t ignore them or try to override them.
Acknowledge their positive intention. They just don’t want you to make a mistake.
Then, simply declare that you’re taking conscious charge of the decision and line up behind it 100%.
Now, I get that it might not be all that easy to go from routinely second guessing to moving forward boldly, so here’s a bit of advice.
Experiment with lower risk, less important decisions.
Be decisive. Don’t look back … and see what happens.
My guess is that not only will nothing bad happen, you’ll feel a sense of relief … a sense of closure and the freedom to move forward.
And take it from a business coach with a lot of clients who’ve done it.
It’s a great feeling.
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