Welcome to Soulful Sunday #10 for March 19, 2023.
If you’re new to The Power of Change, welcome, and thanks for spending a few minutes of your day with me.
What’s new this week:
I. Six Steps To Making Difficult Decisions: How to stop analysis paralysis
II. Master Your Monday - A mindful tip to help you start the week.
III. Vision For You - An idea or image to help you create a vision of your life.
I. Six Steps To Making Difficult Decisions
Every day, you’re faced with hundreds of decisions. Most are made with little thought, from what you’ll have for breakfast to what shoes you’ll wear. But when it comes to making more significant decisions, many people have difficulty weighing the options and making a choice. Why?
For starters, nobody likes to be wrong.
Additionally, the three most common fears people face are:
Fear of failure
Fear of rejection
Fear of change
What do all three have in common?
They all involve making choices, and your choice could be wrong.
Decisions can be exciting, but making decisions can often lead to fear and anxiety.
For example, how do you approach the choice if you’re faced with one of the following decisions?
You’re offered a new job with more responsibility?
Is it a great opportunity to challenge yourself, or do you worry you can’t succeed?
A person you met at a networking event asks you t. join them for coffee?
Is it a chance to network and make a new acquaintance, or do you worry you won’t have enough to talk about?
Your company is moving its headquarters 1000 miles away and offers you a relocation package.
Is it a chance to explore a new location, or do you worry about not having friends nearby?
Decision-making can be challenging for many reasons:
A decision may be complicated, and you don’t have enough information.
You want the perfect solution, and your options have pros and cons.
You worry about making the wrong decision and the consequences of your choice.
You overanalyze your options and become overwhelmed with too much information.
You delay a decision, hoping a better alternative will become available.
You’re afraid to make a hasty decision.
I’ve experienced all of the above at one time in my life.
You may be able to relate as well.
When my son was ill, I had to make many medical decisions. I often had little information and worried about making the wrong choice. I needed a way to make the process less stressful and more streamlined. I needed to break the cycle of ‘analysis paralysis.’
Analysis paralysis happens when a person overanalyzes or overthinks a situation, causing their decision-making process to become "paralyzed.” Analysis paralysis can delay or cause you to avoid making any decision.
Analysis paralysis usually occurs due to a fear of making a mistake.
A meditation and mindfulness practice helped me to stop overthinking and eased the fear of making the wrong decision. I also followed these six steps.
Six steps to consider when making important decisions:
1. Set a deadline and stick with it
Give yourself the time you need, but determine a deadline to avoid making the situation worse. Consider that not deciding can have a negative effect.
2. Ask others for input
Share your information and the choice you must make with others you trust. By asking others for input, you expand your thought process and may see the alternative options in a different light. You have a greater context from which to review your options.
3. Know when to stop researching and collecting data
The devil is often in the details. As someone who has conducted in-depth research for years, I know getting lost in the details is easy. I learned to set guidelines for what I needed at the time and move on. It doesn’t mean you can’t continue to learn and explore information, but you need to determine when you have enough data to make the most informed decision.
4. Take one step at a time
If making a big decision is difficult, break it down into smaller, manageable ones. Can you take a small action now that will lead to a larger decision? Productivity experts suggest striving for 1% improvement a day. In that same vein, consider making a 1% decision. The smallest step can help break the cycle of indecision and give you the confidence to take the next step. Once the first step is complete, the next one often becomes clear.
5. Have a positive mindset and remain calm
When analysis paralysis strikes, it’s impossible to think clearly. No decision can be made when your thoughts are racing and your mind is on overdrive.
It’s also essential to remain calm. The most trusted leaders are those who exhibit calm during a storm. Watching company executives during a crisis taught me the importance of this valuable skill.
The next time you’re facing a difficult decision, consider these steps. It may also help to remember that how you interpret information and process decisions will change as you do.
As your experiences grow, so will your ability to make the decisions that come your way.
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II. Master Your Monday - A quote that inspires or makes you think.
“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”
– Nelson Mandela
III. Vision - An idea, or image to help you create a vision for your life.
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
-Dr. Wayne Dyer
Dr. Wayne Dyer, an internationally renowned author and speaker was an important part of my personal transformation more than a decade ago. After my life was derailed due to an unknown illness, I sought ways to understand what was happening. Dyer’s book, “Change Your Thoughts - Change Your Life” helped me to see that my illness was leading me down a different path for a reason.
Dyer wrote more than 40 books during his lifetime, including 21 New York Times bestsellers, and appeared on thousands of television and radio shows. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, consider learning more about his approach to life.
If you’re new to The Power of Change, you may wonder, why Soulful Sunday?
I began The Power of Change to help you live your best life. The Power of Change explores the potential to transform your life in meaningful ways by harnessing a power you may not know you have.
Being mindful of your life is the first step. What better way to start the week than giving attention to the present moment and observing your thoughts and feelings without judgment?
Being mindful helps you focus on what’s important today and throughout the week.
Thank you for joining me for another week. If you enjoyed this edition, drop me a comment and share it with a friend who may find it helpful.
Interested in learning more about a topic I’ve discussed recently. Let me know!
Timely article for me Tracey. Thanks.