How do you know when you’ve made the right decision?
Do you tend to question yourself, or freak out once you’ve decided? Do you call 20 friends to ask them if it’s the right move? Do you run it by your coach, mentor, boss, team, cat, box turtle, life-size cardboard cutout of Idris Elba (what?) or partner (or all of the above)? How do you react when things don’t go according to plan? (Hint: They seldom go according to plan). Do you feel good about things once you’ve made a decision, and trust your instincts to guide you?
When I make a decision and wonder later on if it’s the right one, I tend to look at three things: Desires, Results and How I Feel.
Example: Last month, I decided to only send this newsletter twice a month.
Let’s break that decision down, a few weeks later:
Desires: My desire was for greater clarity and to be more in alignment with how I work best, as opposed to listening to what experts say is best (which tends to translate into: always be posting/sharing/pinning/connecting). I find that business model overwhelming. Is that desire still valid? Yep.
I received almost immediate feedback from people who said they love reading my newsletters and were bummed I’d be sending fewer of them.
A decrease in traffic to my website, where I also post these newsletters. I do believe Google ranks sites based on a “use it or lose it” sort of deal, not that I’m all that concerned with hits or traffic in the everyday sense. But long-term? If I were to pursue a book deal or other partnership, they’ll look at that stuff. So it’s on my mind as smart biz growth, even if it’s not a huge everyday priority.
The less structure I have in my week, the less I tend to get done in general. I’ve talked to other entrepreneurs who have experienced a similar sort of lag. So for me, having that structure helped prop up my productivity on my writing days (which are separate from my coaching session days, where I am plenty busy–yay!). (Look for an upcoming newsletter on how structure–but not too much–can really help even the most wild-minded creatives flourish.)
How I Feel: I really, really miss writing each week.
So, guess what? I’ve changed my mind. Weekly it is!
I do NOT care about this in the sense of it being some sort of grand announcement. I’m fully aware that nobody gives a shit about how often I email them, unless it’s like five times a day or something (NOPE). But I DO care about it in terms of how my thought process and analysis might help YOU.
I think sometimes we struggle with changing our minds out of fear. Fear of what people will think (are we wishy-washy? Incapable of commitment? Weak-willed?). Fear that we can’t stick with anything — creative types who feel called to chase many ideas at once will get this one. Fear that we’re wrong and should’ve stuck with our first instinct, with an attendant fear that once we start in one direction, there’s no turning back. (Hint: There so totally is.)
That being said, I don’t think that fear usually leads us to our best decisions.
So my hope is that you can take this process and make it your own:
Do you have something that’s not quite working for you? Examine it in terms of your desires, results, and how you feel so far. Then decide from that place — a place of clarity and power — instead of from fear or doubt. You should have an answer after running your choice through those filters.
One last thought: Watch out for continually changing your mind, or getting caught in a cycle of perpetually starting new things and seldom or ever finishing them. Chances are, if you were to run THAT pattern through this three-part series of questions, you’d figure out that this isn’t serving you, either.
What do you think about all of this? I love hearing stories about all angles of these dispatches; if you’ve changed your mind with great or terrible results, I want to hear about it, and we can continue the discussion in future newsletters/blog posts. If you ask yourself these questions about a decision you’ve made, let me know how it goes.
As always, thanks for reading, and I’ll be in touch again next week. Yay!