How often have you heard the phrase “I had no choice!” from a friend, child, partner, co-worker or other person in your life when they relay a story to you about a major choice they had to make? Especially when they don’t like the outcome! How often might you have said “I had not choice” when you had to make a decision and the outcome is a lil tricky. Be honest now!
I am encouraging you to read what I am going to write VERY carefully and know, that the intent for what I am about to write is that I write it out of love for you and belief in your potential.
You always have a choice. ALWAYS. You may not be fond of the options but you have a choice.
When faced with decisions there are some of us who will face them head on. We’re like – bring it on! In the world of Extended DiSC (a behavioral assessment I use with my clients that helps them understand themselves more and learn how to more effectively communicate with others) we call these decisive, ready to take on any task the “D style” – Dominance.
Then there are those people who is perky and lively and wants to bring everyone in on the decision to make sure everyone’s voice is heard – these are the I style – the Influencers. They are often the life of a party.
The person who often seems calm, cool and collected and does not seem to break a sweat. That person who takes in the information and seems to take a long time to make a decision – they are the S – style. The S stands for Steadiness.
And then we’ve got our analytics. They have to look at EVERY every piece of data, read all the fine print, and want to ensure the decision is the right decision. These are our C style – which stands for Correctness.
Just a side note – knowing your behavior style can help increase your income, improve your relationships, and increase your success rate – just sayin.
No matter what your style (and most of us are a combination of two or three) we all have decisions that we have to make on a daily bases. Some decisions are small, some are huge, and most fall in between, but we make decisions as soon as we open our eyes from sleep – What will I wear? What will I eat for breakfast? Who will get the children off to school? Which route will I take to work/school? Do we partner with that business or not? Do I hire that contractor or not? Do I stay in this relationship? Do I move out of the city? What car should I buy? and the list goes on and on and on.
Some decisions will have a greater impact on our lives and the lives of those around us than others do but no matter what decision you make or the factors that you include in making your decision, I have three strategies that will be of support for you.
- Weigh your options. Weigh ALL of your options. Even weigh the option of doing nothing because even choosing to not choose is a choice. When faced with a difficult decision or even just a major decision, it is always a good idea to weigh your options and it is for this reason that I never really liked the sales person who would tell me I had to make a decision right then and there or I would lose out on the opportunity they were presenting me with. Making decisions used to STRESS me out for this very reason. However, I have now adopted the mindset that if I cannot have a minimum of 24hrs to think about my options and determine what I want then that opportunity likely is not for me. Can you guess my behavior type? LOL Now when it comes to which ice cream flavor I’m going to choose – I can make a quick decision. However, when it comes to whether or not I want to invest in an $8000 water system – I’m going to take my time. That’s how I roll – we are all different. Taking the time to weigh your options to determine what is best for you will likely result in a decision you can comfortably live with.
- What is the outcome that you REALLY want and why? Ask yourself this question and be honest with yourself. Have you ever noticed that sometimes we think we want something and when we get it we wonder why we wanted it in the first place? In some instances we regret choosing the option we did because what we thought we wanted was not what we actually wanted? This strategy is really important because too many of us are walking around fooling ourselves instead of taking the time to ask the following: Do I want this specific outcome because it will make me look good? Do I want this specific outcome because it is the best thing for me/my business/my job/my child etc… and what makes it the best thing? Or do I want a specific outcome because the other options, well, they suck. No matter what your answer is, be honest with yourself. Think about this – if you get what you say you want what is that going to really look like? Weigh the positives and weigh the challenges. You got this – but be honest and determine why you want the outcome you want. Remember, there is nothing wrong with any answer you come up with as long as you are able to live with it – which leads us to strategy number 3.
- Take responsibility. Listen, we have to do a better job as a society of taking responsibility for the choices that we make. We often are basing our decisions on the actions/decision of other people and then when things do not work out as planned we blame that person. Funny story (funny now, not at the time). I can remember one summer when I was a teenager, I was in the eleventh grade, and I had the choice to go on a 6 week vacation to Jamaica with my family or go to BC on a school summer trip. If I went to Jamaica, I’d be up under my parents the whole time BUT it was Jamaica and I had a TON of cousins so you know that would be fun. If I stayed in Canada, I would have to spend half the summer in the small town I lived in and then the last two weeks of my parents’ vacation I would travel to British Columbia for a leadership camp. I did have the option to go to Jamaica and then fly to the camp alone BUT because my boyfriend at the time said to me that if I went away for the whole summer our relationship would basically be over I decided to not go away to Jamaica. Don’t judge me, I was 16 and in LOVE! haha Guess what happened? Well, I spent the summer in my small town, went on the school trip, and when I returned the relationship ended up ending anyways and my sister bragged about the AMAZING time she had. I was annoyed to say the least BUT I had a choice. Blame the boyfriend because if it was not for him I would have had a fabulous time in Jamaica too. OR own the fact that I made the decision to stay and even though things did not end up the way I had wanted them to, in the end it was my decision. Too often people who find themselves in these types of scenarios blame the other person – in this case my boyfriend – bc had he not given the ultimatum my choice would have been different. BUT I made that choice. So, I had to own it. No one else’s fault, it just is what it is. Own your choices.
Being happy to the core entails being responsible and accepting responsibility for our choices, actions and decisions. You totally got this. We totally got this. #SlayYourDay.
If you would like more information on Extended DiSC or you want to learn more about how to be happy to your core book a 15min telephone Slay session with me. I’d love to talk to you. Go to www.calendly.com/jenslay and click on the “15min Slay Session” tab. I look forward to chatting with you.
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Jennifer Slay is an award winning speaker and best selling author. She is a registered social worker, therapist, workshop facilitator and online teacher. For more information or to book Jennifer to speak at your event, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-877-786-7190.