Do you agonize over decisions, procrastinate, or leave them hanging out indefinitely? Do you tend to make the “safe” choices, rather than take a risk? Do you second guess your decisions once you’ve made them?
If so, you could be sabotaging the growth of your business.
Savvy entrepreneurs know that the ability to make effective decisions quickly and then move forward is even more important than always making the “right” decision.
In this first article of a 2 part series on decision making, we’ll look at the most common obstacles to clarity when it comes to making business decisions: fear and doubt. Once fear and doubt have been conquered, in part 2 we’ll look at 7 ways to make business decisions quickly and effectively.
The biggest decision making challenge I see regularly is entrepreneurs giving the voice of fear and doubt waaaay too much credibility. They believe what that voice says, as though it were the ultimate in wisdom.
It’s not. It’s simply a protective mechanism. Risks are dangerous, and it doesn’t want you to take any.
Here’s the simple truth: If you want to grow your business, if you want to fulfill your dreams, you have to take calculated risks. It’s part of the deal. You must be able to put fear and doubt in perspective and move forward anyway.
Fear and doubt often hide behind commonly held beliefs. In order to make effective decisions, you must be able to identify what’s really behind those beliefs.
Here are 3 of the most common beliefs that support and justify fear and doubt, and will hamper your ability to make a decision for growth:
“I need time. If I wait, and my decision doesn’t change, then it’s the right decision.”
If you feel pulled toward something, if your heart is nudging you toward it, that’s your intuition. If you feel inspired in the moment, that is your true self talking. If you wait, your intuition and inspiration will begin to fade.
The voice of fear and doubt will take over, disguising itself as “the voice of reason.” Time is the friend of fear and doubt. The longer you wait, the more inertia will set in. Ultimately, it wins. Which means the real you, your “true self,” loses.
Sometimes you may experience fear and doubt after you’ve made an inspiration or intuition based decision, and think you’ve made a mistake. Don’t fall into that trap! Fear and doubt are never real. Your original inspiration was correct. Honor it.
1. “I need to bounce it off other people.”
Spouses, friends, and family often have their own voices of fear and doubt, but they don’t have your intuition or inspiration regarding the decision to move them past it. If their doubtful voice mirrors your own, you’ll most likely go the “safe” route . . . and miss the opportunity for growth.
2. “I have to think about it.”
The ability to make an effective decision quickly is about knowing how to, which I’ll cover in depth in my next feature article. For now, let’s say you feel pulled toward a decision for growth (which involves risk), and you’ve gathered all the information you need to decide.
If you still feel the need to take more time and “think” about it, that need is often your disguised fear and doubt talking (or screaming!)
“Thinking” is code for entertaining the voices of fear and doubt and giving them equal weight. Since inspiration and intuition usually fade over time and get buried under fear and doubt, chances are taking more time and “thinking” will result in taking the safe, stuck route.
Successful entrepreneurs feel the fear and do it anyway. Once you recognize fear for what it is, you are free to take calculated risks and make powerful decisions to grow your business.
Be sure and check out my next feature article in two weeks, where you’ll learn 7 ways to make those powerful decisions.