In our weekly newsletter, we shared the one lesson we need reminding of again and again, and it is that we have the power to decide. And, if you are anything like us, that need for the reminder comes up as we are blaming our boss/spouse/friend/colleague for how we feel or for a recent situation that did not go the way we wanted it to go. Sometimes, we need the reminder because we are giving our power and control to things that we think are out of our control. And often, we need the reminder because we have slipped back into passive participation in some aspect of our life, which gives us plenty of time to hang out with blame and shame.
The power in deciding has three big benefits that we have learned, experienced and want to share with you:
Making decisions puts you back in the driver's seat
Ownership and accountability create better results
Deciding on your actions feeds your self-confidence, which then fuels you becoming bigger, instead of staying small
Let's talk about these benefits a little more, starting with getting back in the driver's seat. Have you ever experienced that moment in a car where you are the passenger, in a taxi or Lyft, and you just wished that you were driving? Maybe it was because you felt like you could navigate better than the driver, or possibly their speed or lane-changing behaviors made you a little nervous. When you start thinking about what you would do differently, but you are still not in the position to take action, you get stuck in the decision dream state, which can feel like you have some control, until you realize you are just hoping for that feeling. Making decisions allows you to get back in the driver's seat and navigate your actions in the direction you want to go. It moves you from passive participation to active participation, which is a powerful move.
How often have you thought "if only I was in charge" when a leader makes a decision that you do not agree with or does not own their actions? One of the biggest opportunities to create better outcomes is to take ownership and accountability in the process. When we spend our energy focused on blame and finger-pointing, maybe even jump on the gossip train, we take away the power to create the results that we want because we are focused on everyone else, instead of owning our role. When you step into owning your choices, and holding yourself accountable for your decisions, you are infinitely closer to the results you want to create. And, often we forget that stepping into ownership and accountability does not require us to be the "big boss" or the final decision maker. It just requires us to own our role and hold ourselves accountable for the actions we take, knowing we cannot control everything but we can control one thing and that is how we show up.
One of the biggest impacts we have seen in making decisions is how we put deposits into the self-confidence bank, and give ourselves the space to be bigger, not smaller. The funny thing about self-confidence is that we often forget that it comes from our belief in our ability and requires zero evidence of success in order to have it. Read that again. When we decide to take on a new role or tackle the tough project or speak in front of a room full of people, that decision is fueling our self-confidence and every time we fuel that, we find more power and energy to grow from where we are.
And, the more deposits you put into the self-confidence bank, the more you invest in yourself and your beliefs about what is possible for you. It is also important to remember that being big does not mean you are in the spotlight or the center of attention, it just means that you are living into the fullness of your life and achieving your goals and not staying small to avoid the possibility of "failure". We can talk more about the idea of failure and success in another post!
While sitting on the sidelines can feel safe, being willing to take back your power and reminding yourself that you get to decide is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. So, what are you waiting for? Make that decision!