Often when we make plans or decide to do things we think, imagine and fantasise about what it will be like. From this imagining, expectations arise. We start to believe that the thing we are planning to do is going to be like this and like that. Sometimes (most times) the thing isn’t quite how we imagined, and it’s either surprisingly better, or we find ourselves feeling underwhelmed and unsatisfied - as the reality of the thing didn’t meet our (most likely unrealistic) expectations.
Last night my little sister text me at 10pm to invite me to join her pole dancing class this morning (at 7am). My first thoughts were - "am I fit enough for that?" and “but there’s nowhere open for coffee that early?!?!"… My next thought was - “my sister is asking me to go and spend the morning with her doing something she loves and that I have never tried before but always wanted to have a go at…” I began thinking more about the experience, spending time with her, trying something new and having a laugh.
So that’s what I did. I made a rather quick and confident decision to set my alarm and swap sleeping in for spinning round a pole.
I love making spontaneous decisions these days, because I don’t have enough time to keep talking myself in and out of something (I used to do that a lot, mostly because I afraid of new things and looking like an idiot). Now instead I just decide and then do it. There’s no time to imagine what it will be like, so I just go do the thing and enjoy the experience. Even if I don’t totally love it, at least then I know for sure and can put that thing to bed knowing that I’ve given it a go. This also helps clear the mind cluttered list of “all the things I want to try one day” and discover hidden talents. In the past I felt lost and confused. This doubt and indecisiveness occurred because I had no idea what was really important to me.
Making effortless decisions used to be really hard for me, before I got to really know myself. It usually involved talking myself in and out of things, writing pros and cons list and asking a handful of friends what THEY thought I should do...
Getting clear on what I value has helped me understand myself better and make decisions that I feel confident in.
My decision to go to this class supported my values of being active, experiencing variety, having fun and connecting/spending quality time with loved ones. This means that even if it turned out that I was completely shit at pole dancing, that there was a really good chance I’d still enjoy the experience because it fits with what’s important to me.
The next time you have to make a decision (in business or in your personal life):
1. Have a quick think about whether the activity supports what is really important to you and what you stand for.
2. Avoid letting fears of “not-knowing” or fear of judgement talk you out of it. Likewise if it’s something that goes against what you believe for yourself, use that as a guide too and trust your gut.
3. Then commit to that decision and clear your mind of “what’s it going to be like” thoughts… Set an intention to just enjoy the experience - how ever it turns out!
The more you use this process and the clearer you get on what you value, the better you'll get at make effortless decisions. You’ll begin to feel more comfortable with the choices you make and doubt yourself a lot less. You’ll also have a lot more enjoyable experiences in your life and may even discover that you’re not such a bad pole dancer after all ;)