You make hundreds of decisions a day, some small and some big. Many of the decisions you make, happen without significant consideration such as choosing what to have for breakfast or the clothes you wear. Other decisions require greater analysis such as buying a house or choosing a school for your children.
How much time you give to decision making is usually correlated with the value or the level of risk you associate with it.
But how many of you understand what it actually means to decide?
The root of the word ‘decide’ actually comes from the latin word ‘decidere’ which literally means ‘to cut off’ and ‘cide’ itself means ‘killer’. So when you look at the word decide - recognise its meaning as ‘to cut off and kill’.
When you make a decision, you are in essence choosing, at that point in time, to cut off and kill the other options.
It makes sense and it goes some way to explain why many of you will have hesitated over making a decision at times or will have noticed other people failing to make a decision. To cut off and kill seems pretty final doesn’t it?
We see it happen all the time in the corporate world, where you find people stuck in analysis paralysis - data and more data gathered so that decision made is the ‘right’ decision. Choosing between options can for some be too much and the idea of cutting off and killing the wrong option is too scary.
The key lesson here is that everything is really a decision, even indecision. Some won’t recognise indecision as a decision, but one not choosing is still a choice and there are always consequences. So make it a conscious choice!
Yes the decisions you make today will always follow you into tomorrow - big or small they shape the future you will experience.
What you put into your body today will impact how your body functions tomorrow. Saying yes to staying up late today will have a knock on effect on how much energy you have tomorrow. Choosing to prioritise work over time with your children maybe right for you today or may mean that you missed an opportunity to create a lasting family memory, one that they will have recalled tomorrow.
Saying yes to one job will lead you down a different path than saying yes to the other.
Perhaps knowing that decisions follow you into the future is the other reason why people hesitate to make a decision - but it is worth remembering that whilst you may not always make the right decision you can always make the decision right.
Each decision you make gives you more data to learn from, and if we are learning we are growing.
It’s time to stop the fear of making the wrong decision paralyse you, growth is good, learning is good, paralysis that’s not so good.
Don’t be afraid of making decisions, but do remember to make them consciously and with consideration.
Acknowledge that they will always follow you into tomorrow and allow that to help you to be more discerning in choosing between options - but you must choose.
To cut off and kill may seem extreme but if you are going to move forward it does require that you not be constantly looking backward. Make your decision and then move on to make the next decision that needs to be made and then the next!
More will get done if you just decide.
You’ve got this!
As a change activist and performance coach and an ex numbers nerd, I love helping people reveal their power to make change happen. If you/ your business are stuck in a bit of rut and need help determining the key decisions that will help you move forward, I’d love to hear from you. email@example.com