Sunday, July 17, 2022

On Friday, my friend found out she has to move. Her landlord is selling the house she’s been renting for the past 5 years.

Now she has to decide where to go.

When we talked yesterday, she told me that she’s working on a pros and cons list for each of her options.

And that is exactly how I would have approached this kind of decision too, up until last November.

That’s when I made two big decisions – leaving my full-time contract role and ending a relationship. Yes, I’d been thinking about making these changes for a while but it was not my reasons or pros and cons that mattered most. It was how I felt.

Even though the decisions I regularly make in my business aren’t usually as life-changing, I find it helpful to pay attention to my internal state. The more I tune in to how I feel, the more I can let go of having to do more research to be sure.

Here are two ideas that can help us tap into the way we feel about a decision:

1. What if it wasn’t about you?

Chip Heath, co-author of Decisive, shared this decision-making trick in an interview:

The closest thing to a decision-making magic trick that I’ve found is the question,
“What would you advise your best friend to do if they were in your situation?”

When helping a friend, you’re more likely to do it from an emotional place. Because you care and want what’s best for them.

We don’t always default to this kind of compassion for ourselves. We judge our situation more critically and feel we can control more variables with our rational brain.

In the case of my friend figuring out where to live, she was thinking that she was too old to consider anything other than what she already knows. That she should be laying roots by now. Not things she would consider for me if I was in her situation.

2. Flip a coin

In 2013, Steven Levitt, my favourite economist and co-author of Freakonomics, created a website that would tell people what to do when facing tough decisions – using a random digital coin toss.

Decisions like: Should I quit my job? Should I break up? Should I go back to school? Should I start my own business? Should I move?

Out of more than 20,000 participants, those who followed through on the coin’s decision to make a change reported feeling better off 6 months later.

It makes sense that you would feel better after making a change in these kinds of situations.

There’s a reason you’re even asking the question in the first place. But facing uncertain outcomes is really tough so we get stuck.

Even if it feels nuts, go ahead and flip a coin when you’re not sure what to do.

Pay attention to how you feel when it tells you to stick with the way things are or to make a change. Then listen to that feeling to help you decide.

What decisions do you find the hardest to make in your business and in your life?

Let me know or just say hi. I’d love to know more about you.

Lynn xo

p.s. When there are too many options, you may not even know where to start. If you’d like to talk about what you want in your business and figure out the best way to get there, here’s my link to schedule a call.

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