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4 Things You Need To Be Aware Of When You Make Difficult Life Decisions

4 Things You Need To Be Aware Of When You Make Difficult Life Decisions

Making difficult life decisions can be a daunting task.  There are many dimensions you must take into account and pitfalls around every corner.  However, rather than becoming paralyzed with fear, follow these sound decision-making insights and make the best possible decisions you can to improve your life and the lives of those who depend on you.

1. Value is Relative

Just how much is that gallon of water worth anyway?

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Interestingly enough, most of us wouldn’t think that a gallon of water was worth all that much–unless we were trapped in the desert and dying of thirst.  Then it might be much more valuable, maybe even worth a few hundred bucks or your left arm?  The value that we place on something revolves around what our personal situation is at the time, meaning that while water is water is water no matter where you are or what you are facing, the value we place on it depends solely on how badly we need it.

So why does this matter when it comes to making important life decision?  Because we are the only people who truly understand the value of our decisions in our lives.  Sure, we want to know what others think about our situations, but following others’ advice without understanding the value of the result in our own opinion can and often does lead to disastrous results.  Solicit others’ opinions, but always make your own decisions.

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2. What do You Want to Come Out of Your Decision?

This one is a little bit harder because it means that we have to accept that there are no “good” or “bad” decisions, only consequences.  The outcome of a decision rests solely on the person experiencing it.  In order to obtain a “good” outcome to a decision, you have to know what you want, meaning that you have to have a goal.

You need to have a clear picture of the road you want to be on when making the choice to follow either path. Then, you have to make a decision that will help you realize that goal rather than making a decision and then trying to figure out where you are headed.

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3. Accept That the Outcome of Your Decision Will Only be as Good as the Effort  You Put in.

When we make decisions, we often think about it as an analytical process: pros vs. cons.  We think that if we do it right, we will ultimately obtain the best outcome.  We think that as long as we spend a requisite number of hours thinking about making the right decision, then we will ultimately be rewarded for making a great decision.

However, the truth is that no matter how much effort you put into weighing all the alternatives and analyzing your situation, no outcome can be considered positive unless you follow through with your decision.  No amount of analysis or systematic thinking will change that.

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Before jumping in and making a decision, generate alternatives and determine what decision you are capable of living with.  And then commit to your decision and commit to its success.  Here are a couple of quick tips to help you focus your commitment and energy:

  • Pay attention to “hard” decisions. When you find yourself in a stalemate between two choices, odds are that the outcomes are so similar that in the end, the actual decision doesn’t really matter.  Either way you’ll experience the same result no matter which path you choose, so spend less time agonizing over the decision and more time implementing.
  • Agree on a decision deadline. Don’t paralyze your life by stalling on important decision.  Rather, set a deadline and stick to it.  Make an agreement with yourself to make a decision by a certain day/time and then meet that deadline.  If you find yourself still stuck, then toss a coin and follow through.

4. Taking a Logical Approach Can Help

Making great decisions is a process.  You have to use a number of thinking modes to come to the best possible solution for you.  You have to be open to being creative and non-judgmental during the early stages of that process all the while understanding that you need to be judgmental in the later stages.  Switching thinking modes at the critical points of the process will help you make up your mind and be satisfied with the results of your decision.   It is during these final stages of the process that it helps many decision makers to make a list of pros and cons to weigh the impacts of the decision.

As a wise decision-maker, you will quickly learn how to place value on alternative outcomes.  The closer outcomes are, the less valuable the decision.  Realize that if alternatives are very close to each other in value, it matters less which one you picks. You should save your energy for more important decisions–those with very different payoffs.

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Last Updated on December 17, 2018

Why You Think You’re Not Good Enough and How To Believe in Yourself

Why You Think You’re Not Good Enough and How To Believe in Yourself

Have you ever wanted to say something at work, but a little voice of doubt crept in and said, “what if you are wrong”?

Maybe you wanted to apply for that promotion or ask that special someone on a date, but something kept you from taking action. When you think you’re not good enough, you tend to fear the outcome and lack faith in your abilities. That is why it is vital you discover how to believe in yourself so you can accomplish your goals and create your dream life.

Whatever your situation, the fears and self-doubt your false beliefs create will always stop you in your tracks. Identifying the beliefs that cause you to sabotage your life is the first step to removing them.

Self-doubt causes inaction, and inaction leads to regret. When you are not following your passion and living your dream life, you are left with a lot of questions:

  • What if I took a chance on myself?
  • Could I have had a better life if I took more risks?
  • Am I be satisfied with the legacy I am leaving behind?
  • What could I have accomplished if I did not settle for less?

So why would you think you’re not good enough?

1. Parenting

The perception you have of yourself is based on your past experiences. There are studies that show children mimic everything from their parents ability to regulate emotions, to their parents belief about money.[1]

I have had clients who did not believe they were good enough because they did not receive any positive reinforcement as a child. When they were young, their parents were extremely overprotective.

Think of your childhood challenges like dragons you had to slay. Each obstacle you overcame was another dragon you successfully removed from your life. As you slay more dragons, your self-esteem and confidence increase. When someone has overprotective parents, their parents end up slaying the dragons.

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As a result, the child builds more confidence in their parent’s abilities, while still doubting their own.

If you are never encouraged to slay your own dragons, you start to doubt whether you can. It is only natural for a child to conclude their parents are always helping them because they think they need it. This child ages into an adult who still believes they are not good enough. They seek the help and confirmation of others, and they rarely stand-up to opposition.

Solution: Slay Your Dragons!

If you want to believe in yourself, you are going to have to take steps to rebuild your trust in yourself. Start by keeping your word to others and arriving on-time. By showing yourself that others can (and do) trust you, you are going to feel more comfortable trusting yourself.

As you move onto larger and more challenging tasks, you have built a foundation of trust in your ability to keep your word. Next, you are going to want to reclaim your sword from others. At first, you may want to confide in whoever it is currently slaying your dragons.

Understand if it is your parent or someone who loves you, they want the best for you and mean well. You are simply going to tell them that you want to do the work, and will ask them for their thoughts in the planning phase. Feel free to check in with them and give them updates on your progress, while making sure they understand you are wanting to do the work yourself.

Then when the task is completed, let them know so you can celebrate together. Now that you have slayed your own dragon, you can start to reclaim your confidence. By you utilizing them as your guide, you get the added bonus of someone you respect and admire, telling you how amazing you are.

Think of it like a symbolic passing of the torch. Now, you are both dragon slayers. Which means all the positive attributes you attributed to them slaying your dragons, now belong to you.

2. Over-Exaggerating and Oversimplifying

Your past experiences may involve you or someone close to you failing. When you experience failure, you can lose your desire to continue. This has less to do with whether you are brave or scared, and more to do with the fact that your mind does not like failure.

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No one enjoys participating in events in which they under-perform. Outside of the usual reasons of embarrassment, feelings of inadequacy, and fear of failure – it is simply not fun.

Who wants to play baseball if they strikeout every time it is their turn? Would you enjoy singing in front of an audience if you were booed off the stage every time you performed? I could go on, but I think you get the point.

The thing about those two examples is no one really strikes out “every” at-bat. It is also unlikely someone could be booed off the stage “every time” they performed in-front of an audience.

What ends up happening is you oversimplify and exaggerate your past experiences and then your mind believes you. If you believe you are not good enough to ask someone on a date because they “always” tell you no, then do not be surprised you never muster the courage to do so.

If you want to overcome these feelings of inadequacy, start by changing your beliefs. This exercise does not need to be complicated. If you believe you strikeout every time it is your turn, I want to you to go to a batting cage and keep swinging until you hit the baseball.

When you experience success, I want you to take a mental note, write it down, or have someone video it. This is your proof that you do not always strike out. Then, whenever your belief that you are not good enough resurfaces, you are going to replay that video.

Regardless of the situation, you can find a successful experience that you are overlooking.

Solution: Read About the Failures of Others

It sounds a little crazy, I know, but reading about the failures of other successful people will improve your confidence. In a study conducted by Columbia University, they found that teaching students about the failures of great scientists encouraged them to do better.[2]

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When you are battling fear and self-doubt, you tend to over-exaggerate the abilities of others and diminish your own by comparison. You start to believe the successful are successful because they are courageous risk-takers, who do not take no for an answer. You tell yourself, they are meant to succeed, while you on the other hand are not.

When you are able to relate to the successful, you start to realize they have the same struggles and challenges you do. The only difference is they kept going.

Now it is not a question of whether you can succeed, it is a question of whether you want to succeed.

3. Undervalue Yourself

What is the main difference between someone who believes they are good enough and someone who does not? The person who believes they are good enough understands they are a person of value.

What I mean by this is if you do not believe you are worth being listened to, you will not have anything to say. If you do not believe you are good enough to be respected and treated as such, you will accept and rationalize all kinds of mistreatment.

There is an old saying that we are treated as we allow ourselves to be treated. When someone has the confidence and self-esteem that commands respect, they will not accept being treated any kind of way. However, if someone does not see themselves as worthy, they will remain in toxic situations because they do not believe anything better is on the horizon.

Dr. Jennifer Crocker, who worked on a series of self-esteem studies, found in her latest research that:[3]

“College students who based their self-worth on external sources–including appearance, approval from others and even their academic performance–reported more stress, anger, academic problems, relationship conflicts, and had higher levels of drug and alcohol use and symptoms of eating disorders”

Solution: Internalize Your Self-Worth

Instead of valuing yourself based on the awards, recognition, and accolades of others, you need to search internally. By basing your perception of yourself on your core values, you can regain control over self-image.

Instead of focusing on things that are outside of control, keep your mind on what it is that makes you special. You are not defined by your job, relationships, religion, or education. Rather, you are defined by the manner in which you participate in these things. You may be a creative, hard-working, and compassionate person; and that shows up in every thing you do.

Understand that you do not need to be creative, hard-working, and compassionate all the time to consider yourself these things. You are not trying to be perfect, but you are trying to connect with your true self.

By understanding the similarities in which you tackle objectives, you will build a consistent and powerful self-worth that stands apart from external confirmation.

Final Thoughts

Do not allow your past experiences do dictate your future success. You do not want to look back on your life and have a lot of questions and regrets.

Build trust in yourself by taking action today. This will help you build the confidence you need to believe in yourself and your ability to become the champion of your life.

More Inspiration About Motivation

Featured photo credit: Riccardo Mion via unsplash.com

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