First we looked at the money decision and asked that vitally important question:
Is this wonderful new program, this stunning digital tool, or this exciting business opportunity really right for me; or is it just another shiny object that is distracting me from my optimal path?
Second we looked at the time decision and asked several related questions:
1. Do I have time to do this?
2. Do I want to find the time to do this?
3. Is this important enough for me to rearrange my schedule to do this?
4. If I do choose to add this to my schedule, what can I delete from it to protect myself from stress and overwhelm?
Third, we looked at the partner decision: Do I need to talk with my partner first?
Finally we arrive at the toughest decision of all:
Can I really do this?
Often, when deciding about taking on something new, we find ourselves inundated; and indeed, sabotaged, by negative messages coming from some deep well of insecurity that seems to materialize whenever we are considering something beyond our current level of expertise.
Fear rears its ugly head and we ask ourselves:
1. What if people criticize the new thing I am just learning to do?
2. What if people reject my efforts, or jeer at me for trying to do it?
3. Even worse, what if I fail?
This is precisely the time when we need to tune into our wise adult self, who clearly understands that any worthwhile undertaking requires a growth process.
Our wise adult self realizes that we definitely need to cut ourselves some slack and push our perfectionist tendencies and unrealistic expectations of instant success back into the hole out of which they crawled to try to prevent us from taking any action that is not perfect right out of the gate.
Among the greatest gifts that we can give ourselves is to allow ourselves to take on new opportunities that we know are in our best long term interest.
We can give ourselves the gift of approaching new adventures with a beginner’s mind and enthusiasm.
We can give ourselves the gift of forgiving ourselves for the all too human mistakes that inevitably occur whenever we take on something new. (After all, didn’t we have to do a lot of crawling before we could even stand up, let along walk?)
Finally, we can give ourselves the gift of becoming the fully realized people we are meant to be.
Only then can we truly live our life purpose and share our gifts with the world.
Marjorie, I like the reminder that when we have to make the choice for something new, we need to ask ourselves some serious questions. There is one question I would add to the list, however. I would also ask if the new ‘thing’ is something that is consistent with our values — or if it is a business decision, is the new ‘thing’ consistent with or brand. And thanks for the reminder that decisions are opportunities for a reassessment.
Dear Madelyn, I truly appreciate your adding such an important consideration to the decision-making process. Thank you for enriching our understanding with your wise and insightful comment.