Decision making is one of the most powerful things we can do as humans.
In just one day we make thousands of them – many of which are unconscious; decisions we don’t even realize we’re making. From the time our alarm clock goes off (and how many times we hit snooze!), to the clothes we wear, the food we eat, and the people we talk to, just about everything we do involves decision-making.
Individually, our decisions may seem small or even irrelevant. But the reality is, these decisions create who we are presently, and who we will be in the future. And whether we realize it or not, we’re responsible for the decisions we make that shape ourselves every. single. day.
In essence, you are the physical manifestation of every decision you’ve made in your life up to this point. Your hair is the way it is, your teeth are in the condition they are, and even the fact that you’re reading this blog right now are all because of all of the decisions you have made previously. Therefore, if you want to shape a different future, then you must begin to look at making different decisions NOW.
Let’s start by defining what a decision is:
A decision is a commitment to a thought, feeling, and action that creates a result.
Think of it this way. In every moment, we have 3 primary options:
- To do something right now
- To put it on hold for a later time
- To think about it, or imagine yourself doing it
The option you choose in any given moment will contribute to your future results.
It is also important to remember that even when you don’t make a decision, you are making a decision! Your decision in this instance is to not do “the thing”. When you don’t do “the thing”, you create the result associated with not doing “the thing”. And more often than not, that ends up being the same result you’ve been creating and living in up to this point! Sound familiar? If so, no judgment here!
To recap so far: the people we are today, and the people we will become in the future, are a direct result of the decisions we make.
Now, the beautiful thing about this is that we are capable of making powerful and conscious decisions. What does that mean exactly? It means that we have the ability to make decisions that will propel us forward in our lives and towards our goals. Every. Single. Day.
The secret? Making powerfully conscious decisions!
Here’s how it’s done:
The first step is being aware of the decisions you ARE making. Many of us operate on auto-pilot, and we’re so used to our routines that we rarely pay attention to the decisions we are making, if ever at all.
The second step is to consult with your ultimate vision and make sure your decision is aligned with it. My vision is strength and growth over a lifetime (read more about that here). When I am faced with a decision, I have to ask myself, “Will what I am faced with strengthen me and help me grow?” If the answer is NO, then I say “no” as well.
Here are some powerful questions and considerations for when consulting with your vision:
- Will this decision expand me? Or will it constrict me in some way?
- Is it in alignment with my ultimate vision for my life?
- Consider what your day to day life would be if you made the decision, and what your day to day life would be if you didn’t. Notice how each of the outcomes make you feel.
The third and final (and arguably most important) step is to feel into your decision. What are the emotions associated with your decision? Do you like the reason you’re making this decision? When you can go ALL IN on what you decide, you will be propelled forward. If the decision didn’t serve you in any way, then you still walk away with a better understanding of what NOT to do moving forward. The best thing you can do is remain in action. Whether the outcomes are good or bad, when we take action, we learn.
Do not torture yourself by overthinking or playing the decision you didn’t make on a loop. This does nothing but hold you back from forward momentum.
I encourage you to spend some time today tuning into the thoughts and reasons for many of the decisions you make – from the time you wake up, the decision to work out or not, the people you choose to interact with, and so on. Think about reflecting on your decisions as a strength-training exercise for your conscious awareness. As you strengthen this “muscle”, the conscious awareness will lend itself to helping you lead an intentional life in alignment with your vision. And I’ll let you in on a little secret: this is where life gets really good!
If you have a big decision to make in your life, or would just like some support or guidance around powerful and conscious decision-making every day, I invite you to schedule a time to chat. Your decision to schedule that phone call just might be the very decision that helps you unlock your next chapter!
Mind Your Strength,
Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S, is a licensed social worker, holding a Master’s Degree (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve University and a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. After spending 2 decades helping others achieve their mental and personal goals, Melanie worked with Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo, and became a certified Life and Weight Coach through the Life Coach School.