Making Fearless Decisions
I didn’t wake up one day and decide to get in a car accident that would temporarily put me in a wheelchair, blind me, and change my life forever.
I did, however, have 100% control deciding what that event would mean in my life: I could either let it destroy or create me.
As human beings living on earth, some things we don’t choose to happen will happen. And because of this, too many people allow fear to rob them of success.
So how you can conquer your fear while pursuing your life, your goals, and your purpose? Get ready to become a massive achiever in making fearless decisions for the results you want to create in life.
Getting Out of Your Own Way
I meet so many people who are overflowing with gifts and potential, but because they can’t make decisions, they are unable to get out of their own way. They completely waste what could have been something amazing.
Whether you’re suffering from paralysis of analysis, or just good old-fashioned fear, it’s time to move through it. It’s time to start deciding to live the life, make the money, and have the impact that you’ve always wanted to.
Getting Back to the Basics
I read a lot of different entrepreneurial blogs. I listen to countless podcasts. I read books like crazy. But I don’t see a lot of content out there really reminding us of the basics of decision-making.
I want to start off with two obvious, yet important facts about decisions:
1. You are exactly where you are today because of the decisions that you made yesterday.
2. You will be tomorrow the result of the decisions that you’re making today.
There are no accidents.
Right now, the circumstances in your life — both positive and negative — are 100% a result of the decisions you’ve made. As soon as you can accept responsibility for that, you’ll feel a sense of peace in your life and take control of your future.
When these things happen, we have complete control to decide what impact these events have in our lives. Let’s go back to the first point.
For those with that victim mentality who tell me about all these terrible things that have happened in life — getting fired from their job, having their spouse leave them, whatever it is — I always get into the root of the problem with one simple question:
“When that happened, what did you decide to do next?” I ask. Usually I notice their facial expression change. I’m met with silence. Usually, I know that their mind is now thinking of some bad decisions they made.
Now, I totally acknowledge that no one would choose to be fired from their jobs. No one would choose to have a significant other leave them.
But you know what? That’s just part of life. Sometimes there are parts of life that suck. But when these crappy things happen to us, it’s what we choose to do with them that matters next.
It’s the moment of decision that defines us as people and creates our future. Think about that for a second.
Now let’s go into the second obvious point I referred to earlier. Where you are tomorrow is the result of the decisions that you’re making right this very second.
Think about the power that gives you. Whatever decisions that you’re making right this very second, you’re going to have to live with the rest of your life.
The question is, are the decisions that you’re making helping you get closer to what you want most in life? Are they slowing you down? Are they taking the complete opposite direction?
Over-analyzing: Slow Does Not Mean Good
To the individual who might be suffering from over-analyzing, and therefore not making any decisions at all: a slow decision is not a good decision.
Intuitively, that sounds backwards for a lot of people. But great opportunities don’t wait around for you to stop sitting on the fence.
Taking forever to make a decision does not mean that you’re being careful or cautious. It just means that you’re taking forever to make a decision, period.
It’s informed decisions that are good decisions. That’s the magic word: an informed decision. However, I don’t mean to rush into things and make decisions before you have the information.
Gain Knowledge Quickly
If someone next to you on an elevator gave you a two-minute conceptual business pitch, you wouldn’t go ahead and buy that business. It’s only after you get the information about that business that you would then make an informed decision to pursue that business or not.
The challenge in life and in business just comes down to getting the information you need quickly, so you can make quickly informed decisions.
Only then are you able to jump on an opportunity before it’s gone, and before it’s just another should’ve/could’ve/would’ve.
The Successful Decision-Making Formula
Here’s a very simple formula for quickly making decisions for success. This is what I used. It’s worked pretty well for me, and it could work well for you too.
When you’re faced with making a decision, run through this mental check-list:
● Is this legal, ethical, and moral?
● Is it something that I want to be a part of and can be proud of?
● What’s the return on investment — time, money, and effort — going to be back?
Let’s explore this a little further:
Legality, Ethics, and Morals
When you’re presented with anything in life, ask yourself the following: Is this legal, ethical, and moral?
Obviously, if you have an opportunity to do something that could be lucrative or fun — but it’s illegal — it goes without saying: don’t freaking do it.
So each of us have our own ethics and our own moral compasses, but it’s important that you don’t deviate outside whatever boundaries that you’ve set around yourself, and you act within your integrity.
Don’t Sell Out
If something is totally legit — it’s not illegal at all — but it isn’t something you can be proud of, then don’t do it. Don’t sell out your integrity and your character in life for a business or an opportunity. It’s not worth it.
There are plenty of opportunities out there. Don’t do something that you cannot be proud of.
If everything is thumbs up, then onto the next consideration.
Return on Investments
With any decision we make — whether we’re making a financial investment, or it’s something we’re putting a lot of time or effort into — make sure that your return on that investment is worth it.
Are you getting enough back to make sure the risk is worth it?
To determine the ROI on something, you need to really research it. This is your due diligence. Your market research. This is the part where there is a natural progression, but my encouragement is not to drag it out procrastinating.
Get the information you need, even if it takes a year to get the demographics, or a year to get the financials on this business. But get them now. Once you have them, make a decision. Don’t sit on the fence. Go and succeed.
Once you know that something is legal, ethical, and moral, and you know that it’s a positive ROI, then you do it. You pull the trigger. You don’t poke so many holes in an opportunity that you find yourself talking yourself out of it.
Look at the successful people in the world. Do you think any of the great businesspeople of the world got anywhere in life by always finding a reason to not do something? Not a chance. When successful people see an opportunity, they figure out everything they can do to make it work.
The next part is the hard part.
Maybe this is the most important step in the decision-making process. It’s actually getting up and doing the things that you’re thinking and making decisions about.
You’ll never have success if you just sit around brainstorming all day, dreaming about things. Once you’ve been presented with an opportunity, and you’ve concluded it is a good one, then get out there and make it happen. There’s nothing to be afraid of.
Personally, and this is just being totally transparent with you, this has been the area I’ve always struggled with. The only way I’ve been able to do that is with accountability.
The easiest way I’ve found to make fearless decision-making a success is, at that moment, sharing it with somebody and saying, “I’ve made a decision to do this. Hold me accountable.”
Even if, mentally, I’m making solid decisions on things, sometimes I get too busy or forget that I’ve even wanted to do it. But as soon as I share the things I want to create in my life with someone who can hold me accountable — like a business coach or my spouse — it’s that accountability that’s helped push me over the hump.
Remember this process. Don’t sit around suffering from paralysis of analysis. Don’t sit around suffering from fear. Look at opportunities, and if it makes sense, make a decision and do it. Your future relies on it.
Now go out there, get after it, and be fearless.
About the author: I’m a husband and father first and a business owner, investor, and speaker second. I love water sports, cars, and consider myself a sushi connoisseur.
I’ve also got a book coming out later this year about living a purposeful life. If you’d like a sneak peek at the first chapter, hop on the newsletter here.
Header photo courtesy of Rene Mensen