How to Get Un-Stuck when Making Decisions

How to Get Un-Stuck when Making Decisions

Recently I wrote an article for APeeling Magazine about how to get out of your head when you’re faced with an important decision. Today I’m sharing some similar ideas, but if you’d like to read the original article, click here.

I’ll bet if I asked you to track all the decisions you make in any given week, the number would easily be in the double digits. And that isn’t counting all simple, mundane decisions we make every day. As the CEO of a company, some of the decisions you make are small and simple – there’s an obviously right choice, and it only takes a few minutes of your time. However, there are also those other decisions, the ones that carry more weight or don’t have an obviously right answer, that tend to suck away all of your time and energy for longer than you’d like. If you’ve ever been lost in the weeds of making an important decision, today’s post is for you.

Chances are your decision-making struggle is caused by one or more of the following scenarios:

Outside Pressure

In this situation, you’re struggling to make a decision based on what other people think you should be doing, or your perception of what others will think. If there’s outside pressure pushing you in a certain direction, but your inner voice is telling you that’s not the right solution, it causes conflict. How much easier would life be if we could reject the idea of outside pressure, and just make decisions based on trusting our gut or knowing what we want? Unfortunately, most of us do struggle to meet outside expectations, so this can be a very real problem.

Want vs. Should

You may be struggling because there’s something you know you should do, but you really don’t want to do it. Or vice versa – there’s something you want to do, but it feels like something you shouldn’t be spending your time on. This might be a “suck it up” moment where you really just have to bite the bullet and do the unpleasant thing, even if it isn’t fun or exciting.

Feelings vs. Facts

In this scenario, chances are you know what you need to do, but you’re afraid of hurting someone else’s feelings by making this choice. A similar situation is one where you don’t want to have to inconvenience anyone else to make this decision possible, so you’re afraid to ask them for help. It might help to think about what you’re losing by not making this choice, or what you would lose if you didn’t ask for the help. It can help to have data to help you make the choice that will involve a difficult conversation.

Equal Footing

Sometimes a decision is really hard because it’s either a decision between two good choices or between two bad choices. If you can only choose one thing out of two great options, it can be hard to pick one because you’ve got a fear of missing out on the other option. Conversely, if you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, neither option feels very appealing. In this case, you probably have to go with what feels the most right (or the least wrong), and just move on.

Alignment with Your Goals

Maybe what’s holding you back from making a decision is that somewhere, your gut is telling you that this decision isn’t really in line with what you need to be working on right now. If you’ve been following a system of setting goals in your business, is this decision going to bring you closer to your current goal, or distract you from it? If you’ve been feeling reluctant but you aren’t sure why, check in with yourself and your goals to see if this decision is truly in alignment with where you should be focusing right now.

Usually, the things that hold you back from making a quick decision are somewhat intertwined. Chances are, you’re actually dealing with more than one of these scenarios at once. The biggest obstacle is identifying what holds you back; once you can do that, it becomes a lot easier to find a solution and move forward.

The next time you’re stuck in the middle of a choice that’s too difficult for you, try identifying what’s holding you back and acknowledging the problem first. Then, make a list of your options so that you can evaluate them and pick the one that’s best for you. As the CEO of your company, you have to hold yourself accountable to making the best decisions that you can, given the tools and resources at your disposal. It isn’t always easy or fun, but it’s necessary if you want to keep moving forward in your business.

If you need some help identifying the greatest area of need in your business, the GEARS assessment can help! Click here to take this free assessment to determine the strengths and weaknesses in your business, so that you can choose the best options to focus your time and energy on for the upcoming quarter.

3 Shortcuts for Creating Excellent Handouts

3 Shortcuts for Creating Excellent Handouts

When I started teaching, one of my goals was to provide excellent handouts for each class I taught. Years later, based on feedback from my students, it appears that I have met that goal.

[featured-image single-newwindow=”false” id=”130928-Shortcut” alt=”Short Cut the Path”]Photo Credit: mag3737 via Compfight cc[/featured-image]

Creating excellent handouts can be very time-consuming, and even now I still typically invest several days’ worth of time into creating a handout for the first time. But over the years I have developed several shortcuts that have significantly reduced that time investment, and today I will share them with you.

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Don’t think you qualify as a leader?

Don’t think you qualify as a leader?

Depending upon your personality, being labeled as “leader” can have either very good or very bad connotations. Some of us find ourselves in leadership positions without much effort or trepidation while others try and avoid the role like the plague. Regardless, I believe everyone is called to lead from time to time – and everyone can be a leader. If you’ve been asked to volunteer for a leadership position, it can be helpful to remember the ways you have been a leader in the past. Don’t think you’ve got any? Let me start with some common examples not often tied to the word “leadership.”

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Don’t Give Up, Try Again

Don’t Give Up, Try Again

[featured-image single-newwindow=”false” id=”130728-Start” title=”Scrabble Start”]Image via Flickr by jakeandlindsay[/featured-image]

At the beginning of the month I laid out a challenge for myself, to write a blog post a day. And like most challenges, resolutions, or goals, things started off like gangbusters! But then the middle of the month arrived which included about 10 days of travel.  I knew I should get at least a few of my posts written ahead of time and scheduled, but I just didn’t allocate enough time.

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Believe it or not…

Believe it or not…

I have spent nearly 15 years of my life as a full-time consultant.  Over that time I have run the gamut from being self-employed to working for one of the largest firms in the country. I have provided consulting services to mom-and-pop businesses, Fortune 100 businesses and everything in between. When I wasn’t working as a consultant, I was responsible for hiring consultants for projects, both big and small.  All this to say – I know of what I speak.

Below are three of the most often suspected, rarely spoken-of truths about consultants.  My guess is that I will be drummed out of the super-secret-society of consultants, but I am willing to take the risk. Because, if you are going to hire a consultant, knowing these will help in making the best decision possible.

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