Self-Doubt and Make Great Decisions
Do you sometimes doubt yourself when making decisions?
So many people have a hard time making decisions.
They’re afraid to make a mistake and get stuck with the consequences.
In this article, you’ll discover the mindset and strategies that support me to make decisions I feel great about….decisions that make me a better man, father, husband, leader, and speaker. Decisions that have supported us to impact tens of thousands of people, make millions of dollars and help our entire community thrive.
Self-doubt used to interfere with MOST of my decisions. And one of the main reasons we’ve enjoyed so much success is because self-doubt no longer runs the show. There was a time when I felt paralyzed about some decisions…so much so that opportunities passed me by and the decision was made for me, by default.
I’m happy to say this is no longer the case.
Nowadays, self-doubt takes a back seat to my Higher Self (who has the steering wheel and takes me where I want to go).
Where does self-doubt come from when trying to make a decision?
In my experience, self-doubt comes from our fear of making a bad decision. But it doesn’t stop there. Your fear may tell you that if you make a bad decision that it could put you into an overwhelmingly bad situation that you will regret for the rest of your life.
That level of fear can be paralyzing.
The problem is that when you’re faced with a big decision, it’s important to be in an empowered state…
If you are frozen or avoiding making the decision, you lose the power to make great decisions and are more likely to make a less than optimal decision.
And if you make a poor decision, you’re more likely to doubt yourself the next time you have to make a decision…. And the cycle of self-doubt becomes stronger and stronger.
Fortunately, I have discovered 3 Strategies to Overcome Self Doubt and Make Great Decisions.
Strategy #1: Let Go of Your Fear of Making a Bad Decision
When I have been frozen by self-doubt, it was usually because I was trying to avoid something “bad” from happening. Once I started thinking about what I didn’t want to happen, the fear would become paralyzing.
I’d feel like I was living in a dog-eat-dog world, where I could mess everything up by simply making the “wrong decision.”
Even if the wrong decision was about what to wear to my session with a client!
It sounded something like this:
“What if I don’t look professional enough (or too professional) and my client feels disconnected from me and wants to cancel and then I have to refund all their money? And then I won’t have the money to pay rent…And then I will be in a place of scarcity and not be able to attract any more clients…And then I’ll have to get a job I hate. And then…what if I lose the job and become homeless, and die, cold and alone sleeping on the street?”
Wow! From ”what should I wear today?” to “dying cold and alone sleeping on the street!”
Does your mind ever take you down a rabbit hole like that?
One of my spiritual mentors, Byron Katie, says that “the worst thing that can happen in life is a belief.”
I understand this means that the pain of making a “bad decision” has little to do with your “bad decision.”
Instead, the pain comes from your belief (or the story you tell yourself about what could happen after the decision).
For example, a participant at our Client Attraction Summit said,
“I really want to sign up for Thrive Academy Platinum, but I’ve already invested thousands in another mentor’s program and I have nothing to show for it. I don’t want to get burned again.”
I set my intention to help her overcome her self-doubt and make a powerful decision (to invest in Platinum or not).
As we went deeper down the rabbit hole, I discovered she was telling herself all kinds of things like:
“I trusted myself once and failed. I was so stupid. That was a bad decision. I can’t trust myself again. I am a failure; I’m never going to succeed.”
She had a breakthrough in our short conversation, which I’ll share with you in Strategy #2.
But for now, I want to stress that the pain comes from the things you tell yourself, not from the reality of your situation. To quote Byron Katie again,
“Reality is always kinder than your story.”
So instead of beating yourself up for the “stupid decisions” you’ve made, tell yourself something very different.
Below is what I say to myself (and used to whisper in our boys’ ears at bedtime when they were younger). It’s one of the key reasons my self-doubt and fear of making bad decisions has taken a back seat to my Higher Self.
Here’s what I say:
“I love you, no matter what you say, no matter what you do. And we live in a Friendly Universe which means that everything that happens is happening for you and never against you. If it feels good it’s here to support you and if it doesn’t feel good, it’s here to help you grow. But it’s always a good thing and it’s always a gift.”
The more I hear myself say this, the more I believe it.
The more I believe it, the more I see evidence of it.
And the more evidence I see that we are loved no matter what, that the Universe really is a friendly place, that every decision we make brings us to greater support or greater growth. And the less I fear making bad decisions. Because if this statement is really true, then I can’t lose. I can’t fail. I’m not stupid. And I can trust myself.
If this statement speaks to you, I invite you to read it again, print it out, say it to yourself, share it with your loved ones, and let it be a healing balm for you and those you love.
Strategy #2: Turn Your Deepest Regrets into Your Greatest Gifts
Now if someone confided in you that they really want to take your program but had a bad experience with another mentor, what would you do?
If you’re like many people, you might tell them how your program is different/better and try to “make the sale.”
Instead, I recommend helping them see the gift in their “bad decision.” Because once you get that every “bad decision” comes with priceless gifts, you will never fear making a bad decision again because you will look forward to the gifts you get to unwrap.
This is how I supported the participant I shared about earlier:
I asked her,
“What was the biggest gift you got from this other program?”
She thought about it and said,
“Well, I did get a few high end clients.”
“How much money did these high end clients pay you?”
She smiled sheepishly as she realized that her new clients had paid her more than the investment in that program.
I asked her what else she got from the program.
She shared enthusiastically a few more things that seemed small at the time, but looking back were pretty big.
As she discovered that she really did get some gifts from that program, it dawned on her that it wasn’t a stupid decision and that she wasn’t a failure and that she really could trust herself. From this awareness, she felt empowered.
I honestly don’t remember whether she signed up for our Platinum program or not, but what I do remember is that she made her decision about signing up for Platinum from an empowered place.
If you really want to release your fear of making a bad decision, make a list of your 10 biggest regrets, then find at least three gifts that came from each “regret.”
Strategy #3: Questions that Help You Make Better Decisions
Once you’re in an empowered mindset, it’s time to get down to practical strategies for making great decisions.
Here are 3 questions I ask myself that support me to make great decisions:
Do I have all the information I need to make the decision?
Sometimes paralysis can come from trying to make a decision with missing information. What questions can you ask that would bring clarity to the situation?
Do different parts of me want different things?
Sometimes the Coach part of me (the part that loves kicking ass, strives for excellence, and is unstoppable) wants me to keep working. The boy part of me wants to play. And the tired teenager part of me wants to rest.
Since they can’t agree on what to do, it can lead to checking Facebook, which sort of appeases all three of them, but is not fulfilling.
What works well for me and is way more powerful is to have a dialogue with all of them and give them all a voice. In this dialogue, you can give them space to fully express their feelings and what they want. After hearing from each part, you can find a solution that honors all of your parts.
You can conduct this dialogue in your journal or type it out on your computer (as you would characters in a play).
Hot Tip: This is YOUR dialogue and you get to add whoever you want into the conversation.
You can bring your Higher Self into the discussion. You can bring in a mentor (or mentors) you respect. Each part may bring a different perspective towards a solution that is a win for everyone (all the different parts of you as well as everyone impacted by your decision).
Get creative, have some fun, and enjoy the process of coming into alignment with all these different parts of yourself.
Where is my decision coming from: Love or Fear?
The intention behind your decision is more important than the decision itself. Making decisions from love and kindness perpetuates more love and kindness. Making a decision from fear and scarcity perpetuates more fear and scarcity.
For example, a while ago we entered into an agreement with someone we trusted who “borrowed” $15,000 from us, lied to us over and over, and wasted many hours of our time. I found myself losing sleep over it and waking up with adrenaline-pumping anger.
“This guy is a scam artist,” I told myself. “I need to stand up for myself and our family and get our money back.”
After trying many times to get our money back, I had a decision to make: get our attorney involved or let it go. I realized that the cost of devoting months of my life to this fight was far too great. I only have so much fight inside of me… and I would much rather fight for a cause I believe in than fight against this guy.
So I decided to let it go. Not because I’m a spiritual guy, not because it was the right thing to do, not for any reason except that it was the kindest thing I could have done for myself, my family, and our community.
Rather than seeking to get the money from a man who was evading us, I took that same energy and devoted it to fight for our clients to get the best results possible. And that $15,000 has come back over and over and over in the form of clients and JV partnerships that I would have squandered away, had I put my energy into fear.
So I ask you now: Are you making your decision from fear or from love? We say: Choose Love.
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