You think you SUCK at making decisions.
You hem and haw for days.
You ask a bunch of people what they think, hoping that the answer will be crystal clear once you hear the "right" answer. But you're left even more confused.
You make a choice. Then you change your mind. Two minutes later you flop back to your first choice.
In my previous post Why It's So Hard to Make Decisions, I uncovered a hidden reason why you feel like a hummingbird's wings when you're presented with options. Before you continue reading, read that post and watch the accompanying short video to get to the root of why you do what you do.
I'll wait . . .
OK, now that we're both on the same page, here's how you go about making confident decisions. Ready? Oh, but why didn't I just title this article "How to Make Decisions"?
Because it's not just about making any old decision. It's about feeling good with your decision, even if the outcome doesn't go the way you expect. It's about making decisions that inspire you. It's about making decisions that leave you feeling proud of yourself.
Confident decision-making boils down to two words: TRUST YOURSELF
Ugh. Cue the eye rolling. Cue the exasperated, "Seriously? But how do I do that?"
Your brain can't wrap it's head around what trusting yourself even means.
Stay with me here.
Know thyself to trust thyself.
OMG, Valerie. Are you kidding me with this cryptic esoteric verbiage?
Hold up. Let me break it down for you and then provide practical application.
Think of your social life. What’s the point of dating people before getting into a relationship with them? To get to know them, right? To understand how they view the world. To see if you can live with their quirks. To determine if you gel together.
Now fast forward ten dates later. How do you feel about someone you spend lots of quality time with? You trust them. You believe in their reliability. You believe they are being honest with you. You know they have your back.
When you trust someone you have confidence that they have your best interests in mind and at heart.
Now switch the camera to selfie view. When you trust yourself you have confidence that you are looking out for you. You believe in your reliability towards yourself.
Same way that you would spend oodles of quality time with a love interest, do the same with yourself. Spend oodles of quality time solo. Take that cherished me-time. Even if you’re an extrovert, you can still find time to just do you. Take yourself on an artist date. Start small if you must. 30 minutes. Then build up from there. Re-discover yourself.
Some other ideas:
Spend time with yourself to know yourself.
Know yourself to trust yourself.
Trust yourself to make confident decisions.
Want more tools to deepen your self-trust? Read my entire book "Feel Good Kick Ass Confidence: Using Your Body to Rock Your Life" for comprehensive techniques and practices on the road to making more and more confident decisions.
You don't like your office job. But you don't think you're ready to jump ship...yet. Or you vacillate between I need to get the f*** out of here and Well, maybe it's not so bad.
When I worked in admin, and retail, I wish someone could've just given me the answer. And I wish that answer came from someone who knew what it was like to have the job I did. It was excruciating being in that in-between space. And I stayed in that space for years.
Well, I've created a quiz to help you move forward and take the next step. Take the quiz below. You'll receive one of three suggestions about what to do next.
If you want forward traction, do the suggestions.
When I was in the I-don't-know zone, I worked with multiple business coaches to help guide my exit plan. None of them had my experience though. None of them spoke the language of admin or retail. See the thing was, I didn't just need help with getting the hell out of the job and creating my life coaching and dance workshops business. I needed guidance with navigating excellence at the job while I sought greener pastures. That's a whole 'nother ballgame.
That's why I created this quiz. For admins by a former admin.
Have fun! And do the work.
Today we’re talking about why it’s so hard to make decisions. Whether it's which restaurant to pick for dinner, which outfit to wear to the party, or what your next career move is, I've got you covered.
In this video I share two reasons why you're struggling to make decisions. With these reasons in hand, I trust that you’ll get to the root of what causes you to prolong your decision-making. Awareness is the first step to change.
Are you a dissatisfied professional craving an exceptional career, business, and life? Are you capable of so much more than you're currently living? I can help you find the vitality and joy missing from your life by cultivating admirable personal wellness. Let's start with how you communicate. Receive my free virtual class How to Become a Confident and Assertive Communicator.
"Oh, you're just a [glorified] secretary." A co-worker once said this to me when I was as an administrative professional. Now, that comment hurt.
Part of it was my immediate reaction to the outdated and sexist overtone of this person's opinion. The other part of it was the very real internal conflict I experienced in having a profession that didn't match the way I viewed myself on the inside. I also had a profession that was out of alignment with the work I wanted to be doing in the world.
I saw myself as an intelligent, confident, talented, capable, creative Ivy League graduate who happened to have this admin job as I worked to create my parallel careers in life coaching and dance/entertainment. I didn't necessarily want to be working in admin, but there I was. So I chose to make it work.
First, there's nothing wrong with having any kind of job title - as long as you want that job and it works for you, just as much as you work for it. But if it's not working, if you still feel unseen and overlooked, then we've got a problem. Maybe one time the name wasn't a big deal, but now it's really bothering you. You feel that you can, and do, bring so much more to the table than this one- or two-word label captures.
My fellow professional, you're experiencing cognitive dissonance. It's when you have conflicting beliefs about yourself. On the one hand you have this job title and to some degree you agree that you are this title. On the other hand, you're absolutely not that job title. You believe you are something else. And you want to live into this something else more and more. Hello internal conflict!
(Sidenote: Here's a quick way to tell how you really feel about your job title. When you think of the name, do you experience pride or shame? Do you slump your shoulders and frown or do you lift your head as if wearing a crown?)
But it's just a name. What's the big deal? You are not your job. This shouldn't matter, right?
Forget should or shouldn't. This is about what does or doesn't affect you.
It matters because this boils down to identity. You spend so much time in your job, doing the roles of that job. So even if you don't consciously take on the identity of that job name, you are, in fact, adopting that job as part of your identity. It also matters because how you and others view you may adversely impact your job performance.
I think this experience might be more common than people admit or acknowledge. I went through my fair share of this, until I decided who I was, who I wanted to be, and showed up in that way. Eventually my job title changed to match this decisive version of me. In fact, my internal conflict and cognitive dissonance dissipated before the original job label did. And it can for you too.
Know this: You're not alone.
Know this: You can dramatically alter your experience without anything on the outside changing first. Here's how.
Write down every task, responsibility, and way of being that goes above and beyond the job description you were originally hired for. Write down every way in which you are proud of how you show up, e.g. You proactively present three solutions for every problem you bring to your boss.
Write down every accolade a colleague has shared with you. Acknowledge everything.
Reflect on the inventories you've written. Marinate in the proud, accomplished, and successful feelings that emerge. THIS is your identity. Bring this essence with you to work everyday. Let this energy fuel your daily actions. It soon becomes crystal clear that you've outgrown the original job title.
Do you know what time it is now?
Time to request your promotion!
The internal conflict you experienced before was just growing pains. You couldn't articulate it then, but you just needed to shed some old skin. As you fed and nourished yourself with your preferred identity, your self-perception grew. And now you're ready to wear the skin, to wear the clothing, that actually fits.
I went through this process of filling myself up first, of bringing my best self to the table and the natural next step was to get a promotion. I created a case for it. I presented it to my manager. They initially said, "I'll take this into consideration." I followed up. I was told, "Not yet." I kept following up. I kept showing up above and beyond that official job title. Then my manager said, "Yes, and I've got something better for you." My new job title was a step up from the one I asked for and my new compensation rate was higher than I had requested.
Decide who you are. Be that. The job title will follow.
Do you show up to your desk everyday thinking about how much you don’t like your job, worried that you’re not making the impact you want to make with your gifts and talents? This is what I help clients with. I help professionals take control of their work life and feel confident about the direction their career is going while experiencing fantastic health and great relationships. I’m going to help you figure out how to view your job and career through the lens of possibility and opportunity instead of dread and disappointment. Book a call with me.
What do you when you feel like your job is a hindrance to, rather than an expression of, living the life you want? In this video, I discuss the difference between having a job vs. having a career. I also share a simple sentence you can start using immediately that will help you transform your lackluster job situation into an experience of purpose, connection, and power.
If you resonate with this message and desire personalized guidance to transform your job, reach out to me. I work with clients one-on-one for an entire year to create careers they love without sacrificing their social lives and personal wellness.
One of the things I love so much about working out is the abundant training ground it provides for all areas in life. In this video, I show you how to apply the discomfort you experience from exercise to fuel your career growth.
Contact me if this message resonates with you. I have a knack for helping people clarify what they want, create goals based on those desires, and then chunk 'em down to bite-sized action steps, all while managing their mind to keep motoring when the tides get rough.
How do you believe in yourself?
Try practicing the four sentences above.
Believing in yourself doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing-you-do-or-you-don't ordeal. Belief can occur on a continuum. It can be a process of development, a process of unfolding.
Stage 1: I can do it.
Start by whispering the words I can do it OR I'm willing to do it. I love throwing the words I'm willing to in front of any belief I want to adopt, but I'm not fully on board with yet. If I'm willing doesn't work for you then try I think I can do it. The key is to massage your mind from the territory of not-gonna-happen to the realm of possibility.
I love taking daily walks. A couple of months ago, I noticed that I reached the same street 15 minutes into my walk. Almost every time. I looked ahead and realized that I was three (long) blocks away from a main road. I felt this desire emerge from my gut. That desire articulated itself into an idea: I wonder if I can reach that street down there in the same amount of time it takes me to get here.
I immediately psyched myself out with thoughts like:
Well, that means I'd have to run or jog and I'm not a runner.
I hate that long distance running stuff.
Though I am a dancer, dance educator, former fitness instructor, and all-around fitness enthusiast, running/jogging for long stretches is a whole 'nother beast. In the past I couldn't stand the piercing lactic acid in my shins nor the continual boob bounce.
Yet the desire grew. I couldn't ignore it. So with each subsequent daily walk I mentally calculated how many blocks I would have to jog or run to reach my desired destination in 15 minutes.
Well, I could alternate jogs with walks.
I don't have to jog or run the whole way.
I can make this more enjoyable. I can add skipping and galloping.
My doubt and disbelief turned into I think I can do this the more I thought about doing it.
Stage 2: I'm doing it.
There comes a point when can must turn into will. Possibility turns into decision. Decision does not mean action must follow immediately. You can still work your way into actually doing. But you're a step closer because you made the decision to do it. Pay attention to the energy rush you may feel when you tell yourself that you're doing it. Even if you don't do it that red hot moment.
As I kept thinking about this desire to reach that particular street in 15 minutes, I began telling myself I'm doing it days before I ever attempted the trip. Then one day a few weeks ago, I started doing it. I made the trip palatable by alternating jogs, brisk walks, slower walks, skipping, and galloping until I reached that main street in under 15 minutes.
Stage 3: I did it.
What once was a source of disbelief is now a reality. You can unequivocally say that you've done the thing. It's a fact. Feel that burgeoning confidence. Delight in the accomplishment.
Now next time the idea emerges to do the thing again you may hear a voice inside say, "But, but, but, can we? I don't know." Just simply answer, "Well, I've already done this."
Feel the certainty of that statement settle in. Watch the doubter hush the fug up.
Damn, it felt good to have made it to that street in under 15 minutes knowing how far outside my comfort zone I had to go in order to make it happen. Little did I know this was the beginning of a shift in my identity. And I didn't stop there. Since I had time to spare, I challenged myself to see if I could make it back home in another 15 minutes. I was breathing heavily and feeling the lactic acid. But the desire was still strong. So I alternated my way back with jogging, brisk walks, skips, and gallops. I made it to my block so quickly that I chose to do an extra venture around the block before heading back inside. Wow.
Stage 4: I'll do it again.
Stage 3 and 4 go together beautifully. You've done it; therefore, you'll do it again. If that feels off for you, then replace "will" with "can". I can do it again. I didn't include the "can" in the above graphic because I'm all about cutting to the chase in this post. Either works. As long as you keep moving forward.
Next time you get the idea to do that thing, expect the fear to arise. No biggie. You'll do this again. Fall into the arms of the expanded confidence developed in stage 3. You're doing this again. Period. And then have your feet follow your mind.
My daily outings can no longer be classified as just walks. Who knew this would be a thing for me. I have easily traveled a block past that initial target street and made it back home within 30 minutes, sometimes under. My tolerance for jogging and running have skyrocketed to the point where I enjoy it. I'm even going to get another pair of running shoes. What?! Who is this person?
It's me. Told you my identity shifted.
These are my stages of belief. What other stages have you experienced? What other stages would you add to this post?
Would you like to discover what else you can achieve when you strengthen your belief in yourself? I’ve got you covered with tools, strategies, and mindshifts in my book Feel Good Kick Ass Confidence: Using Your Body to Rock Your Life.
You hate your job. If hate is too strong a sentiment, you intensely dislike your job. Doesn't matter if it's full-time or part-time, you just know this ain't it. Perhaps you work in retail and you've decreased your hours to the point that you're only working one weekend a month. But you still hate it. Perhaps you've decreased your 40-hour/week job to 20 hours. But you still dislike it intensely.
You lose sleep over this. You ruminate over how much you wish you were elsewhere, even though you don't know where that "else" is. You keep thinking you have to make a change. You keep telling yourself to stop wasting time. You keep feeling this urgency.
You've built so much internal pressure that no wonder you're not sleeping well. No wonder you're overeating. No wondering you're overusing the Hulu, Prime Video, and Netflix.
I'm speaking from mad experience here.
So how do you relieve this pressure even if you're nowhere close to leaving the situation?
With one sentence: You're okay.
Ever seen a loving caretaker assuage an emotionally distressed child? They cradle the child. They gently rub the child's back. They whisper encouragement into the child's ear.
When you experience the level of intensity described above, you are an emotionally distressed human.
Be that loving caretaker to yourself.
I've alleviated lots of upsets on a range of matters by literally rubbing my hand to my chest, rocking myself to and fro, and telling myself "You're OK." I know lots of other people who do this. I've coached and mentored others to do this too.
It works. With consistent practice.
Self-soothing does not eliminate the fact that you will leave this job. The desire to create a better work scenario is valid and true. And, let's ebb the internal aggression that manifests in insomnia, weight gain, and strained relationships. You have more power over this than you realize. And it starts with your mind and how you treat yourself.
Part of the self-assuaging is gradually disappearing the word "hate" from your vocabulary. Observe and catch how many times you say to yourself, "I hate my job. I hate my job. I hate this. I hate that." Notice how you feel after every utterance. Terrible!
So instead try any of the following statements to mitigate the emotional geyser. Or create your own.
You know another benefit of alleviating the pressure? You’ll be of clearer head and sounder mind to envision and follow through on your next career or business-creation move. Taking action from an urgent, and often rash, state of mind will most likely create a worse scenario than the one you’re in.
Don't do that to yourself.
Mindfully take your next step.
I help dissatisfied office professionals create careers, businesses, and lives they love by prioritizing their personal wellness. If you resonate with this article, complete this questionnaire for a spot to receive kick-ass one-on-one coaching. I’ve been where you are and I know what it takes to generate the change you seek.