To Not Decide is To Decide
“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” -Anthony Robbins
Many times we feel stuck and as a result we believe that we cannot make a decision. The truth is that in not deciding we actually do decide-we are making the decision to do nothing keeping the status quo. What blocks us from making a decision? Fear is the major obstacle. We fear that we will make the wrong decision, we fear missing what we have to give up, we fear public (and private) reaction to our decision, and we basically fear change. So we stay stuck in our comfort zones.
Jack Canfield calls these comfort zones prisons which are self-created and consist of a collection of can’ts, shoulds, and should nots, This collection of beliefs feeds the fears that people often experience in making decisions. Another author Thomas Leonard shares that many times we don’t move forward with decisions because we are tolerating what is happening in our lives without even realizing that we are tolerating. Many would not call this a comfort zone, rather we become numb to what might give us the momentum for decision making and change.
Thomas Leonard defines toleration’s as things we are putting up with. These include people, situations, behaviors, yourself, your body, your environments, feelings, reactions, problems, pressures, expectations, restrictions, stress, inadequacies, ‘missings’ and events. Leonard believes that we tolerate for potentially “good” reasons. which include; cultural norms, ignorance/unawareness, unmet needs, external pressures, emotional stresses. However, I believe that if we examine the “good” reasons for putting up with toleration’s, we might find that we are in the “prisons” that Canfield describes.
Toleration’s are expensive. When you are tolerating you incur two types of costs; immediate and opportunity. The immediate costs we experience range from mild discomfort to emotional roller coasters. What we are experiencing may feel like a pinch or an all-out punch however we believe that for some “good” reason we must stay the course. The opportunity costs we experience prevent us from engaging in the ability to see and fully respond to personal and business opportunities which are occurring all around us. We are so focused on what we are putting up with that we fail to see the big picture. Amazingly, tolerations drain us and when we are able to release them we become energized.
He advises that naming is the key to moving something in our lives. By naming what we are putting up with we create a sense of power to change it. Sometimes it may be difficult to name what we are tolerating so it is best to start with the simple things. Is a faucet leaking, is there a pile of laundry on a chair, does your best friend keep you from your decision to exercise or eat healthy? The list could go on and on. Where in your life are you experiencing the friction that could take you into the best version of yourself and yet you find “valid” reasons to ignore this friction?
Anthony Robbins gives us more information about decision making and the connection to our destiny that can guide us in moving beyond our toleration’s. He states that there are three decisions that control our destiny: what to focus on; what things mean to you; and what to do to create the results your desire. As part of the experience of making decisions, we set a baseline of standards in order to avoid slipping into behaviors and attitudes that leads to a quality of life we do not deserve. Meaning is critical to understanding the forward momentum of our dreams and will sustain us as we navigate through changes in our lives. It also helps us to commit once we have made our decisions.
Jack Canfield adds that we need to stop creating the same experience over and over. We create the same experiences by thinking the same thoughts repeating the same behaviors, adhering to the same beliefs and saying the same things. When we are caught in this loop it is difficult to take ourselves out of the situations. We have to remember that we have choice and that every moment we are making choices whether they are conscious or not. I have written in other blogs that 95% of what we do is habit so if we want to stop creating the same experience over and over, we need to bring our thoughts, words, behaviors, and beliefs to the conscious level.
Finally, Wayne Dyer advises us that in moving forward through our fears, we have to give up our excuses. He shares that our beliefs have a huge impact on keeping us stuck. He adds that the deeply ingrained notions act as chains that restrict us from experiencing your unique destiny. We can change our beliefs and our power comes from deciding which beliefs we are going to keep and which ones we need to let go of as we move into our greatest successes.
We all have choices. To not decide is to decide. How can you think differently about your fears, comfort zones, and destiny in order to become the most successful you possible?
Dr. Peggy Marshall