We’ve spent a lot of time talking about searching for – and finding – your purpose. So, it seems only fair that I share my purpose with you: My purpose is that I empower people to align with their deepest truth. Aligning with truth happens when we make big and small decisions that are consistent with our purpose and beliefs. When we become really good at this, we live in a way that is effortlessly authentic. We obtain access to our deepest inner power, which enables us to make a profound impact on the world.
Each day, we are presented with thousands of opportunities to make choices. We decide what to wear, what to say (or not to say), and what actions we will take with our relationships and careers. In fact, various studies show we make over 35,000 decisions per day – including over 200 decisions per day on food alone. In a world of virtually unlimited decision-making opportunities, what do we do when choices paralyze us? How about when we know the decision we want to make, but feel frozen when we try to express it?
Decisions Reflect Our Truth – Or Our Fear
When we are kids, we are generally knowledgable and transparent about our deepest wants and needs. Before we have words to express ourselves, we cry out for assistance. As babies, we scream out when we are hungry or when we crave physical comfort. Once we have words to specify our desires, we use them freely – shouting, pleading, crying and pouting to get what we want. We live in complete, innocent alignment with our inner truth.
The younger we are, the more clearly we know what we want, and the more easily we express it. Over time, though, choices become more complex, and we may or may not learn effective ways of making decisions. Not knowing which way to turn, we sometimes avoid deciding at all. To make matters worse, when we do make decisions, we experience moments that instill fear in us when we communicate them. For example, we may be admonished or ridiculed by a family member or rejected by a classmate. These experiences instill fear.
Over time, we develop patterns of coping with our learnings. We may avoid difficult decisions or fail to exercise courageous communication to achieve the things our hearts desire. Alternatively, we may become overly decisive and bulldoze everything – and everyone – in our paths. Neither of these approaches is authentic. They are both driven by fear, and prevent us from living in empowered, aligned truth.
The Powerlessness of Maybe
Has a scenario like this ever happened to you?
- A friend asks you to attend a somewhat expensive social event, but you’ve been tightening your budget to prepare for a financial goal. Torn about how to respond, you say, “I’ll come if my calendar is free!”
- Your boss asks you to take on another project, even though you’ve already been working overtime to handle your current workload. You respond, “I’ll do my best!”
- Your significant other has expressed interest in deepening your relationship, and invited you to meet his or her family during an upcoming holiday. You respond, “Maybe, it just depends on my work schedule.”
Notice how in each of these scenarios, the response is some version of “maybe,” rather than an empowered, aligned “yes” or “no?” When we respond this way, we are not being authentic to ourselves or others.
The trouble with “maybe” is that it seems to let us off the hook, even though it really doesn’t. “Maybe” simply puts off the decision until later. It also saps us of our power. In our modern “maybe” world, we often blame “busy-ness” for our decisions, rather than owning our choices with intention. Each time we do this, we neglect to exercise our decision-making muscles. Over time, like any other muscle out of practice, they atrophy.
Why do we do this? The answer is simple. Subconsciously, when presented with a choice, we often operate from fear, rather than from truth. We revert back to immature patterns that we developed in our youth. When we respond, “maybe,” it usually means fear is driving the bus. Something is holding us back from expressing a clear and powerful “yes” or “no.”
There’s a place for this fear; it’s coming from somewhere deep within us, and there is power in processing it! When we’re conflicted about a decision, we’re presented with an opportunity to get in touch with our deepest truth. It’s a chance to live in a more conscious and authentic way. In breakthrough coaching, much of our work is aimed at getting clear on what we really want in life. We offer support to make better decisions, both big and small.
Becoming Effortlessly Authentic
If you have trouble formulating and expressing an empowered, aligned “yes” or “no” when presented with choices, you’re not alone. Living in truth is tremendously difficult, and it’s natural to suffer from decision fatigue. There are strategies available to help you with communicating your decisions, such as:
- Address the conversation right away. You can show up in life with pre-designed statements that are aligned with your deepest truth. For example, you could prepare yourself to say, “I really appreciate that you thought to ask me to do X activity. Right now, my top priority is Y, so I will decline. But I hope you’ll keep me in mind for the future!” You can also practice simpler responses, such as “No, thank you.” Not every situation requires your explanation!
- Have the conversation later. Not all decisions must be made right away, and in fact, some require extensive processing. Saying, “This conversation is important to me, but I need more time to think about it first,” is more empowered, authentic and honest than saying, “Maybe.”
- Get support before you have the conversation. You might benefit from support to get clear on what you really want, and how to express it effectively. “Clean Talk” is one of many methods we use in breakthrough coaching to get to the heart of the matter in a way that respects everyone involved. We also invest a lot of time tuning in to our deepest feelings and needs to make powerful decisions. Note: If you’d like to learn more about how Clean Talk can help you get clear about “yes” and “no,” visit Crush Your Career Communication Bootcamp.
These strategies and others can help you to become more authentic in your everyday life. This is a courageous process. The good news is that with practice, showing up with authenticity becomes effortless. Just as a free-throw becomes an autopilot activity for a professional basketball player, executing empowered, aligned decision-making can become second nature for you. You may not always sink the shot, but the process becomes easier with practice.
Complimentary Breakthrough Consultation
I’d love to visit with you to discuss how breakthrough coaching can help you become more authentic and live from empowered, aligned intent. I offer a complimentary online Engaging Breakthrough consultation via Zoom.
In this 30-60 minute online breakthrough coaching session, I will help you get crystal clear on where you are right now and where you want to be. I’ll give you my best professional recommendations to help you take your first steps toward your success breakthrough.
|Written by Craig Tennant|
Founder, Engaging Breakthroughs
Transformation Architect and Breakthrough Coach At Engaging Breakthroughs, Craig Tennant delivers
breakthrough success workshops and online life breakthrough
coaching for people who seek to break through to success
and discover life beyond the 9 to 5.