When was the last time you made a DECISION?
I know what you’re saying—“Keisha, I make decisions all the time.”
No, I mean real decisions. What most of us do in our daily lives is make choices. Choices consist of selecting from options that are presented before us—this or that or the other. When you make a choice, you’re ultimately not responsible for the outcomes because it really wasn’t your decision. You just had to choose from the options that were presented before you. There wasn’t much thought given to what happens after you make the choice. Usually you make the choice and then move on from there. At the next crossroads, you make another choice, and so on.
How many times do you hear people say “But I didn’t have a choice” when encountered with a difficult situation? (You usually hear this when they did something that caused someone else a great deal of pain or inconvenience.)
Choices are external. The control is not yours.
The outcomes from choices are predetermined based on the options that are presented. You are simply choosing which of the outcomes you prefer to deal with—or not deal with—as the case may be.
When people make choices, they seldom accept responsibility for any of the outcomes that come with them for the simple fact that they weren’t involved in making the decision that led up to the choice.
Even when you say the words “I choose”, you don’t feel in control. You feel as if there’s still some doubt—as if the other option still might be better.
Think about it. When a waiter asks you what you’re having, and you say “I think I’ll choose the fish.”Do you sound certain about that? Is that your final answer?
Or when you tell someone that you’ve “chosen to start your own business” or “chosen to go back to school” or even that you’ve “chosen to take the day off”, do you find that they question you?
The problem isn’t that you’re not respected. The problem is in your choice of words and actions.
You’re making choices when you should be making decisions.
Now, decisions, on the other hand, are by their very nature concrete. They bring with them a feeling of being in control; of finality of someone who knows what they want and will not be questioned or second-guessed.
Making decisions implies that you have weighed all of the possible outcomes; examined the situation from all angles; understand all of the variables involved and that you come to the best conclusion possible and determined that this is the course of action that you will take as a result.
Making decisions implies taking responsibility for the outcomes.
Making decisions implies that you are in control.
Making decisions implies that you are not to be questioned, because there is no doubt and nothing left to be explored.
Making decisions is proactive way of controlling your life, while making choices is reaction to circumstances.
Now, repeat the same scenario from before, this time make some decisions instead of choices.
When a waiter asks you what you’re having, and you say “I have decided to have the fish.” How do you feel as a result? What do you believe the impression is this time as opposed to before?
Or when you tell someone that you’ve “decided to start your own business” or “decided to go back to school” or even that you’ve “decided to take the day off”, do you find that they question you now?
It’s the same, yet incredibly different.
The first step to becoming Released and Ready is to make a decision—not a choice. You must make a decision to be different. You have to decide to find those things that fuel your passion; align with your purpose and build your legacy. You have to decide that you are committed to be what you need to become in order release all that you are and are meant to be.
The first step to being Released and Ready is to make a decision.
Are you ready?
Note 2 Self: Look beyond the mirror to see the vision of yourself that others see of you. ~KARS
Part of the key to truly becoming released and ready is to look beyond the vision of yourself that you see in the mirror and to look at yourself as others see you. Far too often, when we consider anything having to do with ourselves, we always look at situations from our perspective–that means that if it has anything to do with us, we automatically bring our “baggage” with it and factor in our own set of assumptions, background knowledge and back story into the equation.
But all that does in most cases is complicate things–because to be quite honest–most times, when people are dealing with us, they’re only dealing with us based on the situation and the circumstances at hand. No one is bringing into play what happened last year, last month or last week. No one is considering any of our past issues, failures, or shortcomings.
Any of those things that are coming into play whenever we deal with people are things that we bring to the situation. (Unless of course we’ve dealt with a person before and things haven’t gone well in the past. For the sake of this piece, I’m talking about a clean slate.)
Many times when we enter a new situation, we immediately self-sabotage it because we bring all of these issues, insecurities and preconceived notions of things that can potentially go wrong–instead of walking into it thinking about all of the possibilities of what can go right.
Try this exercise.
First, look in the mirror and immediately say out loud all of the things that come to mind to describe yourself. Write down your responses.
Secondly, close your eyes and think about yourself in a setting where you are in your “element”–on your “A” game and being successful at what you are meant to do–whatever that may be. With this picture in mind, immediately say out loud all of the things that come to mind to describe yourself. Now write down your responses.
Now compare the two sets of responses. What do you notice about the way that you described yourself when looking at yourself in the mirror? What do you notice about the words you used to describe yourself in your “element” and being successful?
What this exercise points out is that sometimes we need to step outside of ourselves to really see ourselves–both good points and not so good points. It’s always better to gain another perspective when gaining new insights and determining the best way to approach personal and professional growth and development.
The key to becoming released and ready is to understand that you can’t continue to remain “stuck” in your own perspective and trapped in your insecurities if you want to become ready to fuel your passion, align with your purpose and build your legacy. Sometimes you have to look beyond the mirror. You just might be pleasantly surprised at what you discover.
Keisha A. Rivers Shorty, Strategist, Consultant, Speaker and Author.
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