“Find Your Soul. Find Your Soulmate.”
Episode #30: Why Fear Based Decisions Don’t Work
Afraid to make a decision? Afraid you will make the wrong one? Listen to this week’s episode and learn why it doesn’t matter if you make the wrong decision. Learn why bad decisions help you.
(see transcript below podcast links)
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(transcript from the episode below)
Not too long ago, I was so afraid of making the wrong decision, that I suffered from analysis paralysis. Instead of making a decision, and putting my time and energy in what I needed to do, I put all of my energy into worrying. I used all of my energy worrying about if I was going to fail. I was so afraid to fail, that I did nothing.
After a few extremely challenging times in my life, here’s what I’ve learned. Any decision you make that’s based on fear is driven by the wrong motives and it’s less likely to give you the desired outcome. So, if you find yourself having a hard time making a decision, chances are you’re spending too much time worrying about what might happen if you make the wrong decision. You worry about what will happen if you fail.
Your focus should be on the desired outcome, and the changes that you need to make in order to achieve that outcome.
For example, are you afraid to break up with someone because you’re afraid to be alone? Are you afraid to break it off, maybe because it’ll sting a bit if you see them out on a date with another person, or on Facebook with someone new? These are fear based decisions. Fear based decisions don’t work. You’ll end up staying with this person and still be unhappy. Are you afraid to break it off with someone because they know something about you, that maybe you’re not so proud of, or a secret, or you’re afraid no-one else will accept you? Are you afraid to make a decision because you think it could be the wrong one, and as a result you do nothing, and nothing changes?
These are fear based decisions. And doing nothing is actually a decision. You’ve decided to do nothing. But it doesn’t have to be that way. WE forget to listen to our gut, or we ignore that gut instinct, and I talk about this all of the time, how important it is for you to not only listen to your gut, but to do something about it. We’re so unbelievably distracted by technology and other sources of instant gratification, that it’s like we can’t even hear our gut anymore. It screams at us loud and clear, but we still don’t hear it. We’re too distracted. In fact, some of us make ourselves physically ill because we’re ignoring our gut.
If you find yourself worrying yourself sick over something, it’s time to do something about it. This is your gut screaming at you. Your gut is telling you no. Stop. Make a change. The funny thing is, you know this. You know this, and unfortunately many of us choose to ignore it because we’re afraid. We’re afraid of the results. Again, fear based decisions.
People have told me that I have a good gut instinct. Whatever. I think that most of us do. The difference is that I choose to listen to my gut. I trust my gut, and I don’t ignore it. If you feel it in your gut, it’s valid. You must unplug. You have to go outside. Yes, enjoy that bright yellow thing in the sky even though it’s winter and it’s kind of nowhere, but you get the idea. Enjoy those brown tall things outside your window, that have those green things hanging on them, you know, trees, nature, flowers. Stop and smell the roses.
You know, we can’t hear our gut anymore, because we have little to no moments of silence.
We have little to no moments of contemplation. We simply react because that’s our culture now. We’re a technology driven society that has grown accustomed to instant information. We need something, we Google it. We want something, we hop on Amazon Prime and boom, two days later it’s at our doorstep. We don’t have to sit around and wait anymore. Pretty much anything we need, including entertainment is within our reach in moments. We’re too distracted. We can’t hear our gut, and therefore we can’t focus. We can’t make decisions, we don’t self-reflect or contemplate.
So here’s my suggestion. It’s super simple, and it’s extremely effective. I don’t care what it is that you’re facing, if you’re struggling to make a decision, if you’re struggling with anything just do this. Take a long walk outside and be alone. Go alone. Get some time by yourself in your own head, where you can really listen to your thoughts. Go for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Don’t come back until you’ve made a decision. Now, don’t entertain the fears while you’re walking. Don’t entertain the negative, scary thoughts. Think about the positive results that will happen as a result of your decision. And then you have to make a decision.
So here’s the deal, and I’ll tell you a little secret. It may not be the correct decision. Yeah, you may make a bad decision. So what? Take the information, and learn from it. Next time, you’ll have a better idea of what to do. Next time your decisions will be educated. You will have some references. You need to have references to learn. You need to make mistakes to have references. You have to make a decision. The more references you have, the better decisions you will make, period. Don’t be afraid to be wrong.
The only time you should feel bad about making a decision is if that decision knowingly hurts another person. This does not apply if you’re being treated unkindly by someone, and you choose to leave that person by the way. That’s self-preservation. I’m talking about a decision that you made that has an ugly motive behind it. It’s about your motives, not your fears. If your motives are innocent, if your motives are pure, if your motives are positive, then do it. If you’re coming from a good place, then do it. If it’s going to make you a happier person and remove stress from your life, then just do it already.
Maybe you want to quit your job but you’re afraid to tell your spouse. Why do you want to quit your job? Are you miserable? Is it affecting your life negatively? Is it affecting your happiness and ultimately the important relationships that you have? These are good motives. Do you want to quit because you’re tired, and want your spouse to take care of you? Are you feeling resentful that you have to work so much, and your spouse doesn’t? These are not good motives. The point is, you have to make a decision. Stand by it, and give it a shot. There’s really only one way to find out.
And there’s a lot of power that comes from simply making a decision, and seeing it through to the end. It may not be the best decision. Maybe it didn’t work out like you thought it would. Maybe the outcome isn’t at all what you imagine. And the thing is, most of the time the outcome isn’t exactly as we envisioned it. In fact, if you stick to your plan and you make a decision, the outcome can often be more desirable than you imagined. Most of us don’t go for it. Most of us play it, play it safe.
Once you stick to your plan and make a decision, the thing is it kind of doesn’t matter. Taking action will bring results. And I’ve said this before, and I say it again- … I’ll say it again, all you need is progress. All you need is progress. Progress feels good. All you need is progress. Positive action will yield positive results.
Plus, you’ll feel awesome and empowered simply for the fact that you made a decision and you saw it through to the end. It’s a great feeling. And by then, you don’t really pay much attention to the details. You will simply know that you’re either one step closer, or you’ve achieved your goal, or you’re happy and content with where you are, and the decision that you made.
There’s no such thing as failure.
So let me just say that again. There is no such thing as failure. I remember my very first interview right out of college, and I was living in Boston, Massachusetts at the time. It was too cold. I had to move back. Sorry, it was beautiful, but I’m a Texas girl and I froze my butt off, but (laughs) I needed a job. I was right out of college, uh, I needed health insurance stat, and the person who was interviewing me asked me a genius question. He asked me, “How do you handle failure?” He said, “If you attempt to do something and it doesn’t work out the way you planned, what do you do?” and I remember, I sat there quietly for a minute.
I really needed this job, and I needed to make sure that I gave a great answer, so here was my answer.
I don’t know how to fail. I don’t know how to fail because even if it doesn’t turn out how I planned, I still learned something. I take what I learned and I apply that, and it usually works out in the end. My outcome may not be the one that I was working towards, but generally it ends up still being a positive one. Well, he really liked that answer, and I got the job, but it’s still something I think about to this day.
I don’t give up on anything that’s important to me, and not because I think I’m special or, you know, I deserve all great things. I, I just, I never tell myself that I can’t do something that is really important to me. I never tell myself that I’m not worthy of whatever it is that I want because I believe if you’re willing to do the work, then you are worthy. I know my value, and I know my value not because I’m conceited (laughs).
I know my value because I’ve proven to myself time and time again that I’m not a quitter. I don’t give up. I’m going to make bad decisions sometimes. I’ll learn from them, and I’ll see good results. You just, you can’t give up.
I’ve learned the value of delayed gratification, and I know that I will see results eventually. It may take time, but I will see results if I just push through. If you do the work, something positive will come out of it. I don’t know what (laughs), but I know that if I work hard and make a decision that something good is going to happen. If I do nothing because I’m afraid, then nothing will happen. Nothing will change, and that’s scarier to me.
You know, I’ve had hardships in my life. I’ve been lucky to have the support and love of two wonderful parents. They were always my cheerleaders no matter what, and I know some people might think that that’s why I’ve been successful at things in my life, that I’m lucky. I couldn’t disagree more. Luck had nothing to do with it. In fact, I hate it when people say I’m lucky. It kind of pisses me off. It makes me mad because everything that I have, I’ve worked hard for. I did the work, period.
Our only hurdle is ourselves. You really can do almost anything that you want to do. Even if you don’t get it perfectly how you envision it, the progress will feel good. You have to believe in the power of making a decision. Make a decision, stick to it, and you will see results eventually. Don’t quit when it gets a little tough. Don’t start second guessing yourself when you feel a little insecure. Go for it. Forge ahead. Know that your intentions are good. You are good. You deserve to see the changes that you want in your life, and only you can make that happen. I believe in you. Do you believe in yourself, that’s the question, and let me give you the answer. Yes, you should believe in yourself.
Thanks so much for listening today.This was a very personal episode to me. Um, it made me think a lot about some different, you know, hardships and things that I’ve gone through in my life. You can visit me at nikibooker.com. I offer private coaching if that’s something you’re interested in. If you are struggling with making a decision or moving forward, or maybe you’ve made a decision that you’re having a hard time, um, getting over some hurdles, I’m here. I’m happy to help. Thanks again, and have the best day, and, you’ve got this.
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