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How to Be More Decisive
A big chunk of your confidence comes from the ability to be decisive: to pick a course of action and move forward. Every time you’re around someone making a solid decision without a lot of hemming and hawing, you’re drawn to that person. I wanted to share the simplest way to be more decisive, and thus, to boost your overall confidence.
I made Jacq and I a mug of coffee while the kids are still sleeping (the beauty of summer). What are you drinking? Hit reply to let me know.
How to Be More Decisive
I’ll give you five really simple concepts that add up to a strengthening of this particular ability.
- Match the decision to your map
- Get faster at risk assessment
- Choose fast
- Learn to accept failures
- Correct and adapt quickly
That’s it. That’s the holy trinity of getting better at being decisive. It looks so simple, but let’s put it to the test.
Let’s say you’re considering going to some event in another city, a conference maybe. Your head probably floods with thoughts all at the same time:
- Can I afford this?
- What will I learn?
- Who’s going?
- Is this really what I need?
- What’s not to say I’ll get home and do nothing with the information?
And on and on and on. That’s how we all think about these things. It’s natural and normal to get caught up in the flood. Let’s use the five points I gave you above.
- Match the decision to your map – does this event have anything to do with your goals and your chances of success? Be tangible on this one. “I might learn something” is a bad answer.
- Get faster at risk assessment – what happens if you say yes and what happens if you say no? Will the investment of time and money map to your goals? And what will happen if it’s not what you need it to be?
- Choose fast – procrastination never serves you. Never. Every time you put off making a decision, it’s because you’re not exercising your mental muscles in this area.
- Learn to accept failures – if attending this event turns out not to match your goals for some reason, do what you can to remember what went wrong. Maybe you didn’t prep enough. Maybe you didn’t ask enough questions ahead of time to match yourself to the event. Whatever it is. If you’re in the wrong place, figure out why so you can learn for next time.
- Correct and adapt quickly – maybe the event isn’t 100% what you wanted. What can you do now that you’ve paid and flown somewhere and are in the thick of it? Where’s the lemonade in this situation?
Constant Practice is the Key
The way to get more decisive is to practice at every turn. Learn how much better a “no” is than a “maybe.” Figure out what goes wrong when you choose quickly and mitigate whatever risks you can.
Look for really simple parts of life where you can practice being decisive.
- Know what you’re going to order at pretty much any restaurant.
- Pick one or two types of drinks to order at a bar (or coffee shop).
- When a request hits your inbox, say no fast. Usually “no” is better than “maybe” and often more safe than “yes.” (I know. Tons of people try to talk about practicing saying yes. The most successful people I know hold onto their yesses for the opportunities that match their map.)
Practice is core to this. You can use this in all parts of your business and life.
I’ll Give You Five Questions
Let’s take the five points I gave you above and turn them into easy to use questions. Use these for your practice and start getting more decisive right away.
- Match the decision to your map – Which choice keeps me true to my goals?
- Get faster at risk assessment – What’s going to go wrong here? Can I mitigate any of it?
- Choose fast – If I had only sixty seconds to choose, what’s the answer?
- Learn to accept failures – What will happen if this is a bad choice? What will I have to learn?
- Correct and adapt quickly – If I stumble, what keeps me moving forward towards my goals?
There you are. Steal this concept and start practicing it. Do it a hundred times. That’ll come a lot faster than you think, by the way. You make THOUSANDS of decisions every day without thinking much about any of them.
Those five ideas are a swell tool for better focusing your ability to decide, and to strengthen your confidence.
Know that you’re loved. Even if we’ve never hugged or breathed the same air, I can still love you. Love is free and easy to express. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. And love can be like that little dish of pennies by the cash register. If you need one, take one. If you have one, leave one.