The Habit of Being Decisive, as we discussed last week, is not about throwing caution to the wind, being impulsive with a devil-may-care attitude and indulging every will without thought to the consequences.
Rather, it is about a willingness to take small risks in exchange for the possibility of great rewards. It is about disengaging ourselves from the comfortable excuses of “I want to think it over,” or “I need to talk to my…” and instead, give ourselves permission to say yes to something we believe will benefit us in some way, and yet, because the benefit comes with a price, we focus on the cost and allow it to become the immovable barrier to what we really want.
A powerful question to ask ourselves at times of indecision is whether we would say yes to the proposition if it came with no cost or risk. If the answer is a resounding yes then we owe it to ourselves to examine thoroughly the benefits before tamely offering up the weak, “I want to think it over,” line.
It is long been known that the only assured, guaranteed and certain way to avoid failure is to never try, and never trying comes with the awful price of never knowing.
All too often we allow deeply entrenched biases like our confirmation bias or overconfidence bias or good-money-after-bad bias to cloud our judgment, obscure, our vision and rob us of the objectivity needed to make good, sound decisions.
The Habit of Being Decisive is an inclusionary one. When applied properly, it enables us to set these emotional biases side, objectively evaluate known data and make decisions that balance risk against reward in a purely mathematical method so as to arrive at the best possible conclusion.
My friend Alastair explained it best when he said that when we make a no decision simply because it is easier, less stressful and less risky than making a yes decision, we are failing to be true to ourselves and potentially denying ourselves the very things we claim to want.
It is neither always easy nor comfortable to make a decision when peppered with fear, and the temptation to take the easy way out – to avoid making any decision by making a no decision – can be quite overwhelming.
I would be lying if I said I have never used the cop-out lines mentioned above, but each time I have done so I have felt the tinge of guilt that comes from knowing that my decision was guided more by fear than by certainty.
Not for a nanosecond am I suggesting that those two lines aren’t, at times, appropriate, and serve a powerful purpose. I am suggesting that using them as our default rather than going through a complete and thorough cost-benefit analysis and then making a decision, will leave us feeling good about our decisiveness.
The Habit of Being Decisive is a compelling confidence builder and the more we apply it the more we learn to trust our decision-making abilities which in turn opens wide the door through which opportunities flow into our lives.
It seems like only good things can come of this, doesn’t it?
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.