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
This Post Has 4 Comments
Wonderful! Thank you Helen for your candor and insight.
Thank you so much for you lovely comment, Rick! I’m happy to hear you liked this article.
Helen has been helping me for over 10 years and guided me into my new career as a personal trainer. I specialize in people aged 50 and older. She also is helping through a tremendous personal crisis. I don’t know what I would do without her!
What a lovely testimonial, Mary Ann! Thank you so much! You have worked very hard to switch careers and create a business you love! Bravo to you! I look forward to seeing how this new phase of your life unfolds for you.